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Buying gas in the US without a ZIP code
March 14, 2013
3:29 pm
GS1
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Park at the pump closest to the door.
Go inside and tell them you have a Canadian card.
Either prepay some amount, I choose $100 as my car will never take that much and I have a giant credit limit, or surrender the card till you return.
Go outside and pump your gas, let's say you pump $35 worth.
Some pumps will then spit out a receipt crediting you for the $100 prepaid amount and another for the $35 purchased amount, some will put it on one receipt as a $35 charge, and some will require you to go back inside to complete the transaction, where you will get one of the two types of receipts just listed.
Or you need to go back inside to retrieve your card and pay for what you purchased and get a receipt for the $35 charge.
When you get your credit card statement some will show the $100 credit and the $35 charge and some will show just the $35 charge.

Am I ever worried about leaving my card with the attendant? No, because I typically only buy gas at truck stop type outlets, RaceTrac, Pilot, Flying-J, TA, etc. I also check my transactions fairly frequently so would notice if something was amiss.

Greg

March 15, 2013
8:31 pm
kanaka
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GSmall99 said

Park at the pump closest to the door.
Go inside and tell them you have a Canadian card.
Either prepay some amount, I choose $100 as my car will never take that much and I have a giant credit limit, or surrender the card till you return.
Go outside and pump your gas, let's say you pump $35 worth.
Some pumps will then spit out a receipt crediting you for the $100 prepaid amount and another for the $35 purchased amount, some will put it on one receipt as a $35 charge, and some will require you to go back inside to complete the transaction, where you will get one of the two types of receipts just listed.
Or you need to go back inside to retrieve your card and pay for what you purchased and get a receipt for the $35 charge.
When you get your credit card statement some will show the $100 credit and the $35 charge and some will show just the $35 charge.

Am I ever worried about leaving my card with the attendant? No, because I typically only buy gas at truck stop type outlets, RaceTrac, Pilot, Flying-J, TA, etc. I also check my transactions fairly frequently so would notice if something was amiss.

Greg

I use Costco as much as possible when driving in the US. The pumps in Washington and Oregon don't ask for Zip Code.

March 20, 2013
9:43 pm
woofn
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Suggest that you call you cc number.
I have CDN and US cards that have a non "ZIP" that works for a CDN resident.
Bill

July 28, 2013
12:50 pm
kilarney
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We just got back from california and nevada. All the pumps required a zip code. I am not sure if this works for all credit cards but most TD visa cards now allow you to use your postal code slightly modified as a zip code. Just use only the numbers then add two zeros at the end. It worked every time at many different gas station types.
So if your postal code is M4X-2B6 then you would punch in 42600. Its reallly nice your dont have to go inside all the time and wait in line and explain you are from the great white north.

July 28, 2013
4:34 pm
Rick
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I fill up in WA and just use a local zip. I don't think it's a necessity to add an actual zip.

July 29, 2013
7:39 pm
jgclghrn
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Check with your credit card company before you overpay for gas. I did what Greg did in that I allowed the gas station to put more on my card than I actually was able to put in my tank. The gas station put the difference back on my card but I effectively was charged a 5% conversion fee on the difference. The credit card company charged me the U.S.$ -> CDN$ exchange rate plus a 2.5% fee on my initial transaction and then charged this again on the money refunded. I complained and my bank refunded the extra fee. I suggest you never overpay to avoid being gouged.

I had to enter a ZIP code at a Costco in Florida. The attendent told me to enter all 9s and I was able to use my card at the pump. In another situation I just used a local ZIP code I got from a travel pamphlet and it also worked.

July 29, 2013
8:26 pm
kanaka
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From one of my American relatives, he advises that the postal code you enter needs to match the postal code embedded on the credit card magnetic strip. Correct I dont know, as that would mean that every time you moved you would have to get a new credit card issued or up date it some now. I think the onus should be on Amex, MasterCard and Visa. I have contacted Amex and will hit up Master Card too. I think we all should contact them by email or from your internal account access. If they want us to use the card and it is inconvenient and we find an alternative instead of using the credit card, then they loose. Lets put the pressure on, all six off us!

July 30, 2013
6:57 am
GS1
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In my case I am using a US$ card and so do not pay the conversion fee.

Greg

July 30, 2013
7:03 am
GS1
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Jst sent this (less than eloquent) message to BMO *through their website message system) about my US$ BMO mastercard:

"I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that faeature? Or should I simply get a different card?"

Greg

July 30, 2013
10:03 pm
kanaka
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GS said

In my case I am using a US$ card and so do not pay the conversion fee.

Greg

If you are talking about your US dollar BMO MC you are paying to convert your Canadian money to US money to pay it, right?

July 30, 2013
10:12 pm
kanaka
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GS said

Jst sent this (less than eloquent) message to BMO *through their website message system) about my US$ BMO mastercard:

"I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that faeature? Or should I simply get a different card?"

Greg

I just sent a similar one to BMO for use of either US $ or CDN $ cards.

July 31, 2013
8:36 am
GS1
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kanaka said

GS said

In my case I am using a US$ card and so do not pay the conversion fee.

Greg

If you are talking about your US dollar BMO MC you are paying to convert your Canadian money to US money to pay it, right?

I have US$ bank accounts and buy US$ when I feel the time is right. (Sometimes I am right, others time, not so much.) I currently have about $7500 that I bought exactly at par. Not posted par but when I was able to buy one US$ for one CDN$. This amount will cover my needs till next year, when I hope the dollar is in a better place. It is a crap shoot but at least I get to make the decision as to the timing.

When my BMO US$ Mastercard comes due, I transfer from my ING US$ account to my BMO US$ account and BMO automagically pay the US$ Mastercard on the due date. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Greg

July 31, 2013
8:40 am
GS1
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GS said

Jst sent this (less than eloquent) message to BMO *through their website message system) about my US$ BMO mastercard:

"I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that faeature? Or should I simply get a different card?"

Greg

And the response today:

"Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal about your BMO MasterCard account number ending ####. I apologize for the delay in responding.

"Having a U.S. zip code is increasingly becoming a requirement when paying at automated gas pumps in the United States because of the new address verification system (AVS) that many Gas stations have implemented in order to reduce fraud. As Canadian credit cards do not have a zip code, you must pay at the cashier when purchasing gas at U.S. gas stations where AVS is required.

"BMO MasterCard recognizes that this is a significant inconvenience for our customers and is investigating a solution that will ensure a better customer experience.

"If you have any further questions, write to us again or call us at 1-800-363-9992. Thank you for choosing BMO Bank of Montreal for your everyday banking needs.

"Gary xxxxxxx
"Customer Contact Agent, BMO Bank of Montreal"

July 31, 2013
11:00 am
kanaka
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GS said

GS said

Jst sent this (less than eloquent) message to BMO *through their website message system) about my US$ BMO mastercard:

"I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that faeature? Or should I simply get a different card?"

Greg

And the response today:

"Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal about your BMO MasterCard account number ending ####. I apologize for the delay in responding.

"Having a U.S. zip code is increasingly becoming a requirement when paying at automated gas pumps in the United States because of the new address verification system (AVS) that many Gas stations have implemented in order to reduce fraud. As Canadian credit cards do not have a zip code, you must pay at the cashier when purchasing gas at U.S. gas stations where AVS is required.

"BMO MasterCard recognizes that this is a significant inconvenience for our customers and is investigating a solution that will ensure a better customer experience.

"If you have any further questions, write to us again or call us at 1-800-363-9992. Thank you for choosing BMO Bank of Montreal for your everyday banking needs.

"Gary xxxxxxx
"Customer Contact Agent, BMO Bank of Montreal"

Here is mine, so far.

Comment:I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that feature to either BMO US$ or CDN $ Master Card?

Response:
Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal. We are currently experiencing higher than normal volumes which is impacting our response time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will respond to your request within approximately 48 hours. If your request is urgent, please call our Customer Contact Centre at 1-877 CALL BMO (225-5266). Thank you for your understanding and patience.

July 31, 2013
10:18 pm
kanaka
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kanaka said

GS said

GS said

Jst sent this (less than eloquent) message to BMO *through their website message system) about my US$ BMO mastercard:

"I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that faeature? Or should I simply get a different card?"

Greg

And the response today:

"Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal about your BMO MasterCard account number ending ####. I apologize for the delay in responding.

"Having a U.S. zip code is increasingly becoming a requirement when paying at automated gas pumps in the United States because of the new address verification system (AVS) that many Gas stations have implemented in order to reduce fraud. As Canadian credit cards do not have a zip code, you must pay at the cashier when purchasing gas at U.S. gas stations where AVS is required.

"BMO MasterCard recognizes that this is a significant inconvenience for our customers and is investigating a solution that will ensure a better customer experience.

"If you have any further questions, write to us again or call us at 1-800-363-9992. Thank you for choosing BMO Bank of Montreal for your everyday banking needs.

"Gary xxxxxxx
"Customer Contact Agent, BMO Bank of Montreal"

Here is mine, so far.

Comment:I will be travelling in the USA this winter. Last year when I tried to buy gas at multiple stations I was unable to pay at the pump as I did not have a ZIP code that would activate the pump. What ZIP code can I use? If there is not one, when will you be adding that feature to either BMO US$ or CDN $ Master Card?

Response:
Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal. We are currently experiencing higher than normal volumes which is impacting our response time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will respond to your request within approximately 48 hours. If your request is urgent, please call our Customer Contact Centre at 1-877 CALL BMO (225-5266). Thank you for your understanding and patience.

And here is my second response:

Mr. S********,

Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal about using your MasterCard at Gas stations in the US. I apologize for the delay in responding.

Having a U.S. zip code is increasingly becoming a requirement when paying at automated gas pumps in the United States because of the new address verification system (AVS) that many Gas stations have implemented in order to reduce fraud. As Canadian credit cards do not have a zip code, you must pay at the cashier when purchasing gas at U.S. gas stations where AVS is required.

BMO MasterCard recognizes that this is a significant inconvenience for our customers and is investigating a solution that will ensure a better customer experience.

If you have any further questions, please write to us again or call us at 1-800-363-9992. Thank you for choosing BMO Bank of Montreal for your everyday banking needs.

Mark Faulknor
Customer Contact Agent, BMO Bank of Montreal

Just a scripted answer, now lets see how long they take to resolve. While I do travel in the US I have no intention of giving a gas station more $ than what I pump nor do I want to under estimate how much I need. Each state, gas company should want tourism and the extra sales ...... and I dont like the idea of being treated any differently at the pumps in the US compared to what I can do here in Canada.

July 31, 2013
11:07 pm
kanaka
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So take a look here.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e13463053/

Must be a different Master Card at BMO? Lol...

August 2, 2013
7:03 pm
Rick
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GS said

kanaka said

GS said

In my case I am using a US$ card and so do not pay the conversion fee.

Greg

If you are talking about your US dollar BMO MC you are paying to convert your Canadian money to US money to pay it, right?

I have US$ bank accounts and buy US$ when I feel the time is right. (Sometimes I am right, others time, not so much.) I currently have about $7500 that I bought exactly at par. Not posted par but when I was able to buy one US$ for one CDN$. This amount will cover my needs till next year, when I hope the dollar is in a better place. It is a crap shoot but at least I get to make the decision as to the timing.

When my BMO US$ Mastercard comes due, I transfer from my ING US$ account to my BMO US$ account and BMO automagically pay the US$ Mastercard on the due date. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Greg

Sounds like a huge pain keeping a US account, guessing at the exchange rate on when to buy, and transferring funds to pay your bill. I got burned a few times with the 2.5% surcharge from the major credit cards. Once my wife changed her mind on a purchase before we even left the store and was charged to buy it and another 2.5% to return it 5 minutes later. Lost 5% of the price on that deal. Then I found a post on the Amazon VISA on this site. There is NO 2.5% surcharge for converting USD to CDN when you use it in the US or at US online sites. I also have it set up in PayPal for US purchases. Best I can tell, they charge the current exchange rate at the time the charge is posted, which, like any credit card, takes a few days. You can look on their web site same day to see pending transactions....very handy. BoM lost a BIG chunk of my business when I discovered this little baby. Oh yeah...for every 2000 in charges you get a 20.00 rewards credit on your statement. Highly recommending this card to all my friends and relatives that shop in the States. It's issued in Canada through Chase Manhattan Bank. Here's the site:
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/cobrandcard

August 3, 2013
9:56 am
MG
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kanaka said

So take a look here.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e13463053/

Must be a different Master Card at BMO? Lol...

That is hilarious!!!

August 19, 2013
7:25 am
ValueTime
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Take the 3 numerical digits from your Canadian postal code and add two zeros.
Example: L9G 1H4
When asked at the pump for your postal code enter 91400

Yes it's that simple!!!

October 27, 2013
11:41 am
kanaka
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As BMO has just charged me a $35 annual card fee I once again asked about the inability to use their card at some US gas stations. Really....pay $35 for a card that is restrictive to use...really???

Here are a few responses from BMO

July 2013
Having a U.S. zip code is increasingly becoming a requirement when paying at automated gas pumps in the United States because of the new address verification system (AVS) that many Gas stations have implemented in order to reduce fraud. As Canadian credit cards do not have a zip code, you must pay at the cashier when purchasing gas at U.S. gas stations where AVS is required.

If you have tried the above. You may find you will say you want $50 of gas and then ask what happens if your vehicle wont take the $50. My response was a shrug of the shoulders by the gas station operator...in other words pay $50 pump $35 ...tough luck you lose!!!

October 2013

In addition, you can now use your MasterCard to pay at the pump when filling up at U.S. gas stations. If prompted for your ZIP code, simply enter the 3 digits of your postal code and then add 2 zeros.
For example: If your postal code is A2B 3C4, then you would take the 3 digits of your postal code sequentially (234) and then add 2 zeros. Therefore, if prompted, you would enter 23400.

I no longer see the point of having a US$ credit card as I have to pay the exchange rate and the fee to convert from CDN to US anyways to pay the card using US cash (or from a US$ bank account) ...... so is it not just as convenient to have American Express, Visa or Mastercard do the conversion on your monthly statement??

ps. Does BMO advise their customers the methods they need to use before hand?

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