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Survey: Consumers are driven to this fuel payment method

The leading means of purchasing fuel is not cash.

According to a survey of more than 1,600 U.S. consumers from fuel app GasBuddy, 51% of respondents use debit cards as their primary method for purchasing fuel. Although 91% of respondents own at least one credit card, with many respondents (36%) holding as many as three to four credit cards. only 37% of participants use credit cards as their primary fuel payment method.

No preference (5%) proved more popular than cash (4%) or mobile payments (3%). For the 37% who use credit cards as their primary fuel payment method, cash-back rewards are the top reason to use credit rather than debit.

Results indicate the top three reasons respondents use debit cards for fuel payments are that debit cards are easy to use, they receive a discount over the credit price for fuel with the debit card, and "it's just what I'm used to.”

When asked what would persuade them to switch from their current form of payment to a different form of payment for fuel, respondents most frequently cited cash back or better cash-back rewards, followed by a payment method with no interest rates or fees, a payment method that was secure with no risk of theft, and a gas payment method with no credit check. Responses were the same for those who primarily use debit and credit to pay for gasoline.

Adding context to these insights, the nearly 600,000 members of GasBuddy’s fuel payments program, Pay with GasBuddy, fill up an average of 4.5 per month, with the average fuel purchase amounting to more than $30 per transaction. Americans collectively spend close to $1 billion on gasoline per day, according to GasBuddy.
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