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Can You Manually Enter Your Credit Card Number at a Gas Station?

Have you ever had the super-frustrating experience of your card not swiping effectively at the gas pump? This can be infuriating when you’re in a rush!

That might make you wonder can you manually enter your credit card number at a gas station?

In today’s post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about this topic. Stick around!

Updated April 2024
Fact checked by John Wayman
Man trying to enter credit card info at Gas Pump

The short answer is:

  •  At the pump: probably not
  •  Inside the station, with a cashier/attendant: probably yes

Details on why: At the pump

You’re very unlikely to be able to manually enter credit card information at the payment gateway / physical terminal located at your pump. The card reader will simply not have this option. This is intentional to prevent a type of fraud know as “card not present.”

Gas stations (and credit card companies) are trying to prevent a someone who has stolen your credit card info, but not your card, from being able to steal gas.

Details on why: Inside the station – with a cashier/attendant

The Point-of-Sale system inside the station will likely allow the cashier/attendant to manually enter payments. They are allowed to do a manually entered transactions, since they can verify:

  • Customers card information
  • Physical possession of the card the customer is trying to use
  • Customer’s identity
Can you manually enter your credit card number at a gas station

Other Questions You Might Have About Credit Cards At Gas Stations: Answered

Can Gas Stations Manually Enter Card Numbers?

Yes, gas stations can manually enter card numbers, but this practice may vary by location and is subject to the gas station’s policy and the payment processing agreements they have. For security reasons, manual entry is often discouraged and may only be allowed under certain circumstances, such as if the card’s magnetic stripe or chip isn’t working.

Can Gas Stations Type in Card Numbers?

Similar to manual entry at the register, gas stations have the capability to type in card numbers manually. However, due to fraud prevention measures and PCI compliance standards, this is typically not the preferred method for processing transactions and may be restricted.

What Stores Can I Enter My Card Manually?

Most retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses can manually enter your credit card number if there is an issue with swiping or inserting your card. However, they must follow strict security protocols when doing so to protect your information and remain PCI compliant.

How to Manually Enter Credit Card Number at Gas Pump?

Most gas pumps do not allow customers to manually enter credit card numbers due to security risks. Transactions at gas pumps usually require you to insert or swipe your card. If you encounter issues with your card at the pump, you may need to go inside and have the attendant process your card manually.

Can You Type in Credit Card Number at Gas Pump?

Typically, you cannot type in your credit card number at a gas pump. Gas pumps are designed for physical cards to be swiped or inserted for chip transactions. This is to ensure the security of your card information during the transaction.

Can Stores Type in Your Card Number?

Yes, stores can type in your card number manually if necessary. This might happen if your card cannot be read automatically by the card reader. However, store employees are usually trained to handle such information securely and may require additional identification to process the transaction manually.

Can I Buy Gas with Just My Credit Card Number?

Buying gas with just your credit card number, without the physical card, is generally not possible at the pump due to security measures. If you need to purchase gas and cannot use your physical card, you might be able to go inside the gas station and have the attendant enter the card number manually, assuming they verify your identity and comply with their store’s policy on manual card entries.

Are you interested in other credit cards? 

Check out our credit card hub!:

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ways to pay for gas other than a physical credit card

Other ways you can pay for your gas

There are various payment methods to pay for gas other than with cash or credit card. You can pick whatever method suits you best if the gas station accepts it as a method of payment.

Digital Wallets

Cashless payments are now part of everyday life. They save you the hassle of carrying around cash. They make payments faster, safer, and more efficient. They also save salespeople the time it takes to manually enter a credit card transaction. However, you might still need to use cash in some places.

While you might not carry around cash everywhere you go, you definitely can’t go out without your phone. Apple Pay and Google Pay are safe, secure, and fast. It’s all on your phone and can be done with a tap of your finger.

Setting up your wallet is a one-time process. You just add your credit card information to Apple Pay or Google Pay app.

When it’s time for your payment, all you need to do is scan a code or touch the NFC reader with your phone. If the gas station supports this kind of payment, you’ll spot the Contactless Payment symbol.

Debit Cards

In some instances, when a customer’s card is not working, your debit card may actually still work – don’t forget to try your debit card too! Remember this is simply a way to access money in your checking account. You can generally use it the same way you use your credit card, but may need to enter a pin number you have previously set up to complete manually entered transactions.


While of course, this won’t work at fully automated gas stations that only have card readers at the pump, like many small stores, if there is a store and a gas attendant you will likely still be able to pay in cash. The attendant can also help you manually enter credit card payments by using your card details.

Mobile Apps

Gas station chains around the US now offer online payment for your gas via each chain’s mobile app. All the apps are available for both iOS and Android devices. You can almost always complete this payment right on your phone at the gas pump.

While not all gas stations support this payment method, the number continues to grow each year. Cashless payments are the future! So, these apps are here to stay. These apps include:

●     Shell

●     Exxon Mobile

●     Chevron

●     BPme: BP & Amoco Gas Rewards


To Sum Up

You can manually enter your credit card number at a gas station if there is a gas attendant/cashier, who will need to do the actual entry. Any gas station that has old POS registers or manual credit card readers will allow you to do that inside with the cashier/attendant. You almost surely won’t be able to manually process credit card transaction at the gas pump, though.

However, some gas stations don’t allow this kind of payment to avoid dealing with stolen cards. In addition, some fully automated gas stations don’t have this option.

You can use digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay to pay for your gas. Digital wallets are safe, efficient, and fast. You can also use the mobile apps of some gas station chains.

    Editor's Note:

    At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions are our own and have not been provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.