In Florida, if you pay at the pump with a credit or debit card you might pay an extra .05 to .12 cents for every gallon, just for the convenience of paying with plastic. That’s not a bad thing, if you know what’s coming, but not every gas station makes its policy known, much less do they post the price difference on their sign.

When you consider that for the first time in history a majority of us pay with plastic, that means some stations are raking in some hefty revenue for the privilege of using your card at the pump.

Following a raft of consumer complaints Florida lawmakers are working on a bill which will force gas stations to post their highest possible price (the one you might pay if you use your card, for instance) and also post a sign in clear view for drivers letting them know they might be charged more for using a credit or debit card.

This makes good sense to us, especially since we too, prefer to pay with plastic. We don’t mind paying a little more to use our card, we just want to make certain we know exactly how much you’re going to charge us before we commit ourselves. It only seems fair. Grocery stores have to put a price tag on their bananas, so why shouldn’t gas stations do the same thing?

Florida lawmakers say posting one price on a sign at the road and then charging a higher price at the pump is a deceptive business practice. Their new bill, two versions of which are moving through both state houses right now, would put an end to this practice immediately. The Florida Petroleum Council has said it is on-board with the new bill since it doesn’t seem as if it will burden small gas station owners.

That’s good news for drivers and bad news for those station owners who thought they were being tricky.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /