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Recently I was in Boston in a rental car. I didn't fancy paying $7 per gallon to the rental car company for gas. I wanted to return the car with a full tank. Problem is that more and more gas pumps want a zip code. Giving a Canadian postal code isn't going to work as the keypad on the pump has no letters. 90210 used to work, but not any more.

I talk to the attendant. He wants me to pre-pay. I have no idea how much gas I want. It's a rental car! I don't know how many miles I have done and even if I did, I wouldn't know how many gallons it would translate to.

It seems that this Zip code requirement is becoming more commonplace.

I did a little internet search and found that if you strip your Canadian postal code of the letters and add two zeros at the end, the pump will accept this as a valid zip code.

I haven't tried it yet.

I just wonder if any others have had similar experiences or have tried the Canadian zip code trick??
 

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I have the same problem with my US credit card and a zip number. Seems they just changed my local zip (it's been 3 years) and some of the pumps don't recognized it, some do. If I punch the wrong one in the pump tells me to see the cashier, and they want to hold the card while I pump my gas. Not in this lifetime, noone gets to hold that card when I not there to watch it. I just get back on the bike and go to the next station, it's a pain in the azz but if I'm not hurting for fuel, I just keep riding til the next service station.
 

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Have tried exactly as you suggest. Worked for me in Washington State but not California for some reason. There I had to prepay and set amount, got pump and then have the difference refunded back to my card. Worked just fine.

T.
 

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Eamonn1200 wrote:
What reason do they have for wanting a zip code?
If the card is stolen or fraudulent the user probably won't know the zip code of the actual owner, just trying to prevent theft.
 

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Bruce County Boy/Snowbird
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We use a US $ visa credit card. Our postal code here is N2Z 1M4



I enter 21400 and am always allowed to pump gas at the pump and receive my receipt from the Pump.



Just take the numbers from your Postal code and add 2 zeroes..works great with Visa.
 

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45/70fan wrote:
Eamonn1200 wrote:
What reason do they have for wanting a zip code?
If the card is stolen or fraudulent the user probably won't know the zip code of the actual owner, just trying to prevent theft.
Isn't that why the card companies introduced PIN numbers? It seems to me that a PIN number is easier to keep to yourself than a zip code that your freindly burglar or pickpocket will know from your addressor ID in your wallet.
 

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englishted wrote:
45/70fan wrote:
Eamonn1200 wrote:
What reason do they have for wanting a zip code?
If the card is stolen or fraudulent the user probably won't know the zip code of the actual owner, just trying to prevent theft.
Isn't that why the card companies introduced PIN numbers? It seems to me that a PIN number is easier to keep to yourself than a zip code that your freindly burglar or pickpocket will know from your addressor ID in your wallet.
I don't have a PIN number with any of my credit cards, just my debit card.
 

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Just buy a prepaid visa or other type of prepaid card with a PIN# and use it when traveling
 

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Bruce County Boy/Snowbird
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Dusty Boots wrote:
I don't have a PIN number with any of my credit cards, just my debit card.
I just had to add a pin # for my new Mastercard CC I just got back a few months ago.



I think it is something new Ken..saves signing the CC slip.
 

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.


Soooooooo, is there a electronic connection between you credit card and your zip ? Or is the fuel company tracking where their customers are coming from ? Or is this just the start of more big brother tracking ?


.
 

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My Mastercard will not work in the US with the area code work around.
My Visa will.
It could be that the Visa card is distributed by a bank whereby my Mastercard is issued by a Dept Store.

Both are Chip cards
 

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Hodgy wrote:
.
Soooooooo, is there a electronic connection between you credit card and your zip ? Or is the fuel company tracking where their customers are coming from ? Or is this just the start of more big brother tracking ?


.
Your ZIP code is likely encoded on the magnetic strip on the back of the card already. Along with lots of other data.
 

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Silicon Sam wrote:
Hodgy wrote:
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Soooooooo, is there a electronic connection between you credit card and your zip ? Or is the fuel company tracking where their customers are coming from ? Or is this just the start of more big brother tracking ?


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Your ZIP code is likely encoded on the magnetic strip on the back of the card already. Along with lots of other data.
Yep, and as already also mentioned, it's to help prevent fraud. You might also note that if you use your debit card and are given the opportunity to enter your pin, then you won't need your zip code. Some stations always runthe debit cardas credit though, and then require your zip code.

John
 

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I have never had any luck using Canadian debit card in the US, I now have a US bank issued debit card that I can use if needed and use Paypal to transfer funds when needed, doesnt cost anything as long as it's over $100 but does take a few days, which I guess is how Paypal makes their cut using the money while it is in limbo.
 

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Worth noting that anyone coming over the Big Pond to the UK, or most anywhere in Europe, will need cards to have been set up to operate on the chip and PIN system, since signatures have long gone as a method of transacting with a credit or debit card.
We have had visitors who have had problems using US cards over here and in Europe.
My eldest son is in the US on a long tour at the moment and within a couple of days of arriving he had a credit card cloned and then used up to the max, causing him no end of problems with the banks and huge charges ringing home to try and resolve the problem. It is now very rare for such a scam to be worked over here, since the introduction of the much more secure Chip and PIN system.
 

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One solution is to leave a cash deposit with the attendant, then fill up, get your cash back and pay with credit card. It is a royal PITA.

What happened to the good old days when a uniformed pump jockey would come out to your car, pump the gas, clean your windshield, and check your oil? Then you would hand him a five dollar bill for the fill up and get change back.
 

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On my October trip some stations needed the Zip and I paid cash either leaving enough to cover the fill or just getting $10.00 depending on how far I was planning to ride that day. Some stations were OK with just swiping the card.



Up here I have had problems filling up more than once a day. For the second fill up I have to go into the station and sign.
 
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