Americans' payment preferences for gas: Credit cards lead the way
July 21st, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Americans' payment preferences for gas: Credit cards lead the way

After a period of rising gas prices, the United States has recently experienced a significant drop in gas prices. But how do Americans prefer to pay for their fuel refills?

A recent study conducted by YouGov Surveys: Serviced reveals that overall Americans are most likely to use credit cards when purchasing fuel (36%).

Debit cards follow closely behind, with approximately one-third of Americans opting for this method (32%). Cash, though, remains a prevalent payment option, chosen by 21% of consumers, while mobile payment apps (5%) and gas/fleet cards are less commonly used (3%).

Americans over the age of 55 are most likely to prefer paying via credit cards, an option favored by more than two-fifths of these consumers (44%), while younger consumers are more likely to pick debit cards (34%).

The middle group (35-54-year-olds) are as likely to either use their debit or credit cards to pay for gas (31% each).

Convenience is the biggest factor determining the mode of payment (60%). Over two-fifths of all Americans who drive also use their preferred payment methods because it’s widely accepted at gas stations (45%) and simply because it is their personal preference (44%).

Security and fraud protection (30%), availability of discounts and rewards (28%) and budgeting and tracking expenses (24%) are some of the other reasons why Americans use a preferred payment method.

Fewer than two in ten consumers (15%) consider lower transaction costs when choosing their preferred mode of payment. This relatively low percentage is seen across all age groups, although younger Americans are slightly more likely than older consumers to pick lower transaction costs as the reason why they use their preferred payment method – 19% of 18-34-year-olds, 13% of 35-54-year-olds and 14% of 55+.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on June 23-26, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,205 adults in the United States (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region and race to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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