Man Loses Gas Rewards over Technicality

October 15, 2013, Written By Lynn Oldshue

The state of New Jersey has not allowed drivers to pump their own gas since 1949. This may seem a little shocking to people in other states, but it doesn’t seem to bother long-time Jersey residents.

Atwell Haines, a citizen of New Jersey, has to travel thousands of miles each year for his job. While some of this expense is reimbursed by his employer, it is not enough to reflect the total cost of fuel.

Thus, Haines decided to get a gas rewards credit card to offset some of his expenses. He was distraught to discover that not paying at the pump would mean he would not receive the rewards he was owed.

Haines used a credit card from Pentagon Federal Credit Union, which promised a 5% rebate on gas purchases when you “pay at the pump.” In his mind, Haines always paid for his gas at the pump because he handed his card to the attendant to swipe inside.

When he started assessing his rewards though, he found that the credit card company had shorted him $217 in rewards.

This was the result of a technicality in the way his purchases were coded. In the system, they read as in-store purchases because his card was not swiped at an actual pump. The attendant walked inside and swiped the card in the store. But Haines felt he did pay at the pump because he handed his card to the attendant while standing at the pump.

The credit card company offered to reimburse $100 of the reward money, plus three months of credit on the account. This was not the $217 Haines was owed. The bank then offered to pay half of the rewards Haines felt entitled to, but that was even less than the first offer.

Haines has not made a decision about what to do, but his experience shows just how tricky credit card rewards can be.

Make sure you carefully read and understand the terms of your credit card before using your credit card.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 15, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.