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The Secret Trick to Using Your Canadian Credit Card at a U.S. Gas Pump

Filling up your gas tank isn’t the most thrilling activity, especially when you’re out of the country. How annoying is it always having to go inside to pay? Wouldn’t you rather just tap your card and get back on the road as you do in Canada?

Did you know that you can use your Canadian credit card at a U.S. gas pump?

Yes, you heard that right. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY INSIDE ANYMORE! Unless you’re craving a soda and some human interaction, you’ll want to save this handy trick for paying at the pumps. 

Ditch the U.S. zip code nonsense

The pumps always ask you for the zip code associated with the billing address on your credit card. Sure, you have your postal code memorized, but that won’t work. We use letters and digits in Canada and they use only digits in the States. You try the zip code of the resort you’re staying at. Nope, denied. Frustrated, you inevitably end up inside, standing in line with the other fidgety tourists waiting to pay for gas.

Pay at the pumps like a pro!

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Time to swipe that shiny Canadian card with pride! When the machine asks for a zip code, try entering the three consecutive numbers of your postal code followed by two zeros.

For example, the postal code M5J 1E3 translates into the zipcode 51300.

Every credit card company is different, so what works for one card might not work for another. Try it out on your next gas purchase in the states!

Do you have any travel hacks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Britney Claveau
I love take-offs and I'm a fan of any destination near water or the mountains. My favourite trips have been road trips: inhaling fresh air through the Canadian Rockies and sipping tea along the grassy switchback alps of Switzerland on route to fairy tale castles in Germany. I'm not a light packer, but I'm slowly working on my technique. Right now I live out my travel dreams vicariously through writing about them.
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