Image from CreditCards.com
Many people think oil companies, who drill, extract, ship, and sell crude oil are the ones making billions of dollars. That's true. They do all the exploration, development, and hard work to bring the oil above ground. However, there are other players who don't even do any work and get paid on every gallon you buy.
Banks earn billions in swipe fees every year, just for purchases you make at the gas pump. The gas station isn't making much, nor is the convenience store, so besides the oil companies, who's getting their hands in the pie?
First- the government. We all know that all we're sure about is death and taxes. The government taxes everything- they don't do any extraction, processing, etc, they just take a tax. So who else does nothing and takes from the pockets of motorists and gas stations? Banks.
Did you know that in 2011 the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) estimates that swipe fees cost business (and thus consumers with higher priced goods) over eleven billion dollars? Holy smokes. The cost of taking credit cards is sky high, and its making prices go up for everyone- no matter if you pay cash or credit.
So not only does government love higher gasoline prices (they collect more tax!), but so do banks, who also charge a percentage- Visa and Mastercard make out very very well and its costing us all at the pump.
Now that the Department of Justice has sued Visa and MC, stations can offer a discount to those paying in cash, and many times that adds up to a 5-10c/gal discount! And according to NACS, that's exactly what it costs stations to pay those fees. With a whopping 70% of Americans willing to drive five minutes to get a lower gas price, why not pay cash and save up to 10c/gal?
Banks have attempted to charge consumers to use debit cards. It didn't work. What if banks made cardholders pay to use credit cards? It wouldn't work- but that's what they're doing- just indirectly! It's a sad state of affairs when Americans and Canadians continue to allow banks to take our gas money out of our tanks and into their pockets.