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Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

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Raymond Terrace...
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Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

I know this might seem like a dumb question to some, but a thought did occur to me. Can you pay for petrol at the pump with out of state and international credit/debit cards, or do you have to go into the office and pre-pay before filling up? Where I live in Australia we fill up then pay - there's no pre-pay option. Any info appreciated.

Vancouver
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1. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

You will have to go inside and pre pay with your international credit card or cash. I am Canadian and my card rarely works at the pump due to the fact that that most pumps ask for a zip code.

Fortaleza, CE
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2. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

I think it'll depend on the card and the network it's a part of. Even if you pay at the pump, you'd need to insert your card and have it approved before pumping gas (we don't say petrol). If it doesn't work, go inside (in fact you'd probably get a message at the pump to "see attendant"). So, no need to guess in advance. There are some states-- Oregon and New Jersey are two I know of-- where by law you can't pump your own gas.

Edited: 10:28 am, January 11, 2013
Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

p.s. I have a credit card with an overseas mailing address. I'm asked for a zip code at pumps in Californai, too, and as I recall one could enter any zip code (i.e., it's a marketing nnot a security question). The first time you try it, you'll know.

Edited: 10:29 am, January 11, 2013
Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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4. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

Almost all gas stations in the US are "pay at the pump", except strange areas where "self-serve" gasoline is prohibited.

I can't see why a debit card wouldn't work, assuming you use a 4 digit PIN and it is part of a bigger network. My debit card has worked all over the world no issues.

Lake Macquarie...
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5. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

Vicki, when I tried, the process required entering a zip code (postcode) and it wouldn't accept it. We'd usually do it two ways. I'd get the wife to go inside with a card or I'd leave some cash there as a deposit. Used to leave the card with the attendant, but decided that the capacity for card fraud was too great to keep doing that.

I know it's a bit of an irritation, but in Oz I'm amazed that we still allow people to fill up and then go in to pay, what with all the drive-off's that occur.

It was so funny the first time I encountered the pre-pay protocol. Here I was with the nozzle in the fill neck, waiting and waiting. I was starting to get irritated by the delay and one of the people we were travelling with went in to see what was the problem. They stuck their head out the door and yelled " How much do you want?". I replied "How the hell do I know THAT? I'll let you know WHEN I've filled it up!". We'll that didn't work. The friend gave them his card and then all was fine.

Some places you might have to "buy" say $50 worth with your card and then when you're finished, go back inside again to get a credit on the unused fuel. That was the way I had to do it in Las Vegas. Much easier if one person presents a card and the other fills the car.

Raymond Terrace...
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6. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

When there are two people travelling I can see that as being a good solution, but I'm travelling on my own. I certainly won't be leaving my card with the attendant while I fill up - like someone else says, the incidence of credit card fraud is too high to take that risk. Guess I'm going to have to suck it and see.

I am aware that Americans use the term 'gas' instead of petrol, but as I'm Australian I fail to see why I need to follow that protocol. Even when I was a US resident I still used the term 'petrol' instead of 'gas'. People always knew what I was talking about.

Lake Macquarie...
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7. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

Vicki, If travelling solo, it might be an idea to just leave enough cash at the till to cover the security deposit, then when you come back in you can use your card for the full transaction. That solves the problem of leaving your card with the attendant.

I own an LPG conversion supply company (been selling parts to Muswellbrook Taxis for 20 years) and I still booboo every time someone in Hawaii asks me what I do for a living. They look puzzled when i say I convert cars to gas, then I have to correct that to say "propane".

I know what you mean. Gas is gas and petrol is petrol. After a few days, I start talking "Pidgin American". I've found that I have to swap greetings to "Hi" or "Hello" instead of the usual "G'day" or "How yer' ga'an", because I'm never understood. As for "Coke" and you'll know what I mean. The server looks at you like you're wearing a wire for the DEA. "Oh, you mean a Coca Cola!". It IS great fun encountering the differences in "English".

Anyhow Vicki, have a great time in paradise. I'm sure you'll love it. It's such a picturesque location, but the people really are the winning ingredient.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

This thread made me laugh as I recall my first visit and asking at the Factory Outlets for the nearest 'petrol station'.

3 sales people later, another Ozzie shopper said try 'gas station'. Sorted that one out to arrive at 'gas station' and pump wouldn't pump 'gas', what the heck right, friendly local tells me I have to pre-pay, but how much? Rental car so no idea. I have a guess at $50 and the cashier looks at me like I'm daft, but none the less takes my money. $35.00 later and car full to the brim I sheepishly ask for my change.

Oh well,guess it's all a learning curve, Enjoy your stay.

Raymond Terrace...
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9. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

Thanks all for input.

FYI I used to live in Hawaii so I'm not a first time visitor, but even when I lived there I never called petrol 'gas' and I never really had any problems. Also, the reason I asked this question was because when I lived in Hawaii I had an Hawaiian bank account and a US credit card, so all I ever did when I wanted petrol was to swipe my card, enter my zipcode (96815 - I still remember) and off I go. I went to San Diego for a weekend, and I had to go into the office to pre-pay because my Hawaiian bank credit card wouldn't work. So I figured if an out-of-state card wouldn't work, I guess an international one wouldn't, so I thought I'd ask in case things had changed. They obviously haven't. At least I know what to look forward to re 'motion lotion' for the 'jam jar' (car).

Birmingham, Alabama
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10. Re: Honolulu Petrol Station Protocol

The zip code thing is for security, not marketing. Almost all pumps require them now for credit cards, and I often see notes that international visitors should come inside the station first.

As has been said, I expect a debit card with a 4-digit pin would work (not the same as a chip and pin card, and I am not sure about those.)

If you want to pay cash, you may have to go inside and ask the attendant to start the pump (occasionally there is a call button outside for the purpose.)