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Old 06-24-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
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Gas, trip expenses, cash and plastic

I'd like to hear how people deal with the issue of cash on long road trips-specifically as it relates to the high cost of gas currently. We're planning a 5000 mile trip and we're budgeting about 2K just for gas averaging 10mpg. Do you get prepaid Visa or Mastercards, do you get prepaid gas cards? Is there a combination of cards that you use and why? Obviously want to be safe and will need to carry money for tolls, laundry money and some other cash but would like to minimize it as much as possible. Suggestions, solutions, ideas and experience all welcome.
Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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We use a debit card for all expenditures and carry a little cash for emergencies
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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About $400 cash and debit card and Walmart card for gas.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
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Some cash and a debit card.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:37 PM   #5
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We use credit cards wherever possible. We travel with two sets of cards. One set we carry for general use, and one stashed away in a secure location in the trailer.

If we lose or have reason to cancel the first set of cards, then we have the second set as a backup.

We'll carry some cash for those items for which we cannot use credit.

We don't usually have concerns about hitting our credit limit on the cards - but if we do, we'll prepay an amount on the card. You can carry a balance on a credit card...
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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We use a credit card that we then pay in full every month. We take some cash but not a lot.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #7
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50% cash 50% credit card. The cc is paid at end of trip. Really do not use our bank debit card since it is harder to dispute fraud, if any. Been thru this before.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #8
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Many gas stations now will not accept credit cards. And if they do, the price is considerably higher than the cash price.

Just another aggravation to live with in today's world.

Dave

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Originally Posted by Skater View Post
We use a credit card that we then pay in full every month. We take some cash but not a lot.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #9
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Many gas stations now will not accept credit cards. And if they do, the price is considerably higher than the cash price.

Just another aggravation to live with in today's world.

Dave
Depends on where you are. I travel the I-95 and I-81 corridors way too frequently and outside of a few stations in SC I have don't typically see the cash/credit price difference. I have yet to have a station that doesn't take credit cards.

I typically carry a couple of different credit cards that are paid in full monthly, plus enough cash for a couple of fill ups just to be on the safe side. I WILL NOT use a debit card to pay for gas, prefer not to use them at all.

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Old 06-24-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
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For domestic travel in Canada we use credit, debit and cash. When crossing the border as we do a fair bit, a credit card (or three) is essential as our credit union debit cards won't work in another country. We do carry a little cash as well, but not much. We don't go too far off the beaten track so we've yet to have any issue with cards in either Canada or the US.

My big beef is paying at the pumps for gas; with an non-US credit card, we can't enter a Zip Code into the pump so at most gas stations we end up having to go into the booth and pay before pumping - it's only a minor hassle but a hassle all the same. I'm told that Pilot/Flying J do a card that can solve this problem but I've yet to follow that up.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:34 PM   #11
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I keep some cash on me for things like dinner in restaurants, etc. For all other purchases, I use my credit card, because it does not require a PIN like my debit card does.
I can log into my bank thru my computer or my bat fone at any time, and transfer funds from various accounts to pay off the credit card.

I have not found a gas station yet that does not take credit cards in my recent travels, but to be honest, I'm never far off the beaten track, and I don't go to Canada anymore, so I can't comment on how their gas stations work.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #12
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American Express credit card from Costco will pay you 3% cash back (in Feb) on gas purchases at any station that accepts American Express. And if you can find a Costco every now and again to buy your gas, that usually is a great price as well.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
For domestic travel in Canada we use credit, debit and cash. When crossing the border as we do a fair bit, a credit card (or three) is essential as our credit union debit cards won't work in another country. We do carry a little cash as well, but not much. We don't go too far off the beaten track so we've yet to have any issue with cards in either Canada or the US.

My big beef is paying at the pumps for gas; with an non-US credit card, we can't enter a Zip Code into the pump so at most gas stations we end up having to go into the booth and pay before pumping - it's only a minor hassle but a hassle all the same. I'm told that Pilot/Flying J do a card that can solve this problem but I've yet to follow that up.
Gas pumps in at least some locations frequented by Canadians (Ogdensburg, NY for example) accept the numbers only from the Postal Code when asked to enter the Zip code. Saves the walk into the station.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:28 PM   #14
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Gas pumps in at least some locations frequented by Canadians (Ogdensburg, NY for example) accept the numbers only from the Postal Code when asked to enter the Zip code. Saves the walk into the station.
Never found one that works for us, not yet anyway, but thanks for the tip about Ogdensburg - other places in NY will probably do it as well.
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