Man, expensive fuel has all sorts of unexpected impacts. People stealing four thousand gallons of diesel in LA. More people running out of gas on the side of the road. More four-day work weeks. And now, ta da, gas stations that don't accept credit cards.
Well, there's at least one station that doesn't: a small shop in Charleston, West Virgina, according to the AP. The problem is the way that credit companies get their money, which is a percentage of the total sale (that's why there's usually a $5 minimum purchase, so the store can make at least some money after the credit company has taken their chunk). The problem for gas stations is that higher gas prices mean that the credit companies are getting more pennies per dollar sold. Sadly, for the station owners, the station's mark up is a set amount (the AP says around 11 or 12 cents a gallon) and so doesn't grow when the price climbs. With $4 gas, the credit card companies get about 10 cents a gallon. It's easy to do the math and see that the station owner isn't exactly rolling in dough here. While the AP could only find one station that has banned plastic money, a lot of station owners are not happy with the way things are headed. Don't be surprised if this trend grows right along with gas prices.