Using Credit Cards in the US

Summer 2009 CSANews Issue 71  |   Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I just read in the spring magazine about the problems experienced in Nevada, Arizona and California when using a credit card at service station pumps.  We, too, ran into similar problems this past winter season all along the I-75 and throughout Florida.  Upon investigation, we found out that virtually all service stations now require you to input the U.S. zip code to which the credit card you are using is billed.  The new system is to reduce losses at the pump.

Neither of the options offered by the service stations to foreign visitors, i.e. prepayment or leaving credit card with attendant is convenient or secure.  One solution we came up with, if you have an address while travelling in the U.S., is to temporarily change the billing address on your credit card to your U.S. address.  Another thing we found out was that if you and your spouse each have a card on the same credit card account, the address to which the bill is sent is the primary account-holder.  So we only temporarily changed the address on the secondary card and, therefore, the actual bill continued to be mailed to our Canadian address.  Of course, if you do this, you must use the secondary card for gas purchases.  This worked very well for us.

Heidi Ryan

Response :
Ed: This has been a frustrating problem everywhere in the United States and your secondary cardholder address makes a lot of sense. We received dozens of letters about the gas pump issue; please read on to see some other creative solutions.

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