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Old 03-02-2015, 05:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arco gas stations

These often have cheaper gas in my area (while claiming to be top-tier), although Costco, where I have a membership, and Fry's, where I earn fuel points, regularly beat it, and it is interesting how many of us avoid stations that charge thirty-five cents to use our debit cards.

Doesn't everyone charge, they just hide it?

One time, it filled up for whatever amount I gave it, so I put in more, and it clicked off immediately. When I filled up today, I put in twenty-five dollars, and it clicked off after exactly twenty-four.

Have I simply had unusual experiences, or does the Arco pump take your payment into consideration when it clicks off?

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The pump should click off only when the tank is full or the entered amount has been reached. When I fill at a station that charges different rates for cash and credit, the pump automatically switches to the proper price and shows it above the button for each octane level. Whatever the extra cost of using plastic is, it should be factored in to the price/gallon; not added at the end unless specifically laid out that way on signs at every pump to describe the process to the consumer.

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would pay cash but Wally World requires you to use their card (5 cents off), and at other stations I use AM Exp for 3% off.

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Old 03-02-2015, 02:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hereabouts the Arco stations don't take plastic. (Or maybe just debit cards.) They have bill readers that take actual cash, so you put in however much you want, then fill. And they are noticably cheaper than other places.

As for 'top tier', as far as I'm concerned, that translates to 'gullible enough to pay more for the same product'.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My favorite is Pilot, which is competitive to begin with, then 3 cents off with your Pilot loyalty card, then 2 or 3 cents back with my amex card.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I now get Arco, or Chevron if it's competitive, and pay cash.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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John, everybody expects it to click off when you have spent your money, and there is a 1% chance that it will stop at an even dollar amount. I just rarely use them because I did not drive enough and could get better deals at my grocery store and\or Costco.

Would you say that I just had two separate 1% experiences?
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Arco stations vary in how they charge for the use of credit or debit. The station closest to me is generally very close, or the same price as Costco and doesn't charge a fee for Credit. This means I can beat Costco prices since I earn 2.1% back on my credit card.

I'll also point out that both Costco and Arco are now Top Tier qualified fuels.

As to the question about clicking off, I'd lean towards that being a coincidence. I'd just fill the tank to full and not set a dollar limit though. How else are you going to calculate fuel economy?
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm when I was in CA, my local Arco was not only cheap, they took cards as well. No idea about the quality of their fuel, but it ran just fine in my Mustang.

I only use Texaco/Chevron now, but Arco is too good a deal for me to pass up - if we had em here I would likely be pretty loyal to them.

The interesting thing is that we really don't have much variation in price here in terms of gas station branding, where in CA there was a decent bit of it. Your biggest variation will instead typically come by geographic location - sometes neighborhood, but more typically proximity to a freeway, or major highway/intersection.

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Old 03-03-2015, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I will accept that it was a coincidence. Thread locked!

I put in more money than I expect it to need, unless I just do not have more cash. Then I go to the next-cheapest place and use debit.

So, "Top-tier" is meaningful?

Since you bring up credit cards, I accrued seven thousand dollars in credit card debt while I earned my first Bachelor's. Mostly it was from repairing my Prelude and because I was offered and then denied dental coverage through work. Then my teeth started hurting and a dentist told me I needed three root canals and crowns, but first I needed to extract the wisdom teeth that were not bothering anyone. I maxed out my credit cards before receiving all of my crowns, then the Army would not do them.

I paid off my credit cards as soon as I joined the Army and only got a pre-paid one in order to rent cars when home on leave--and then paid with my debit card.

I have pretty much only used my credit cards when my debit cards were unavailable, but I had the money, so I made a payment immediately.

Recently, I "graduated" my pre-paid card to a full one, received my deposit back, and was surprised at how good my credit score. In theory, I could have just used my credit card for gas, paid it off every month, and had a better score, but my full card now offers rewards:

Ha! Who pays two hundred dollars a month for gas?! That cannot be real!

Still, am I just costing myself money by using my debit card instead of credit?

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