Flying J halts use of Visa cards for truck diesel Friday

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 5/24/2007

This sign was posted at the Flying J at Interstate 435 and Front Street in Kansas City, MO. The chain will stop accepting Visa debit and credit cards for diesel purchases at its truck pumps nationwide at 5 p.m. Friday, May 25.

(Photo by David Tanner, Land Line staff writer)

The Flying J will no longer accept Visa credit and debit cards for diesel purchases at truck pumps beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 25.

Customers may use Visa for purchases inside Flying J’s convenience stores, at gasoline pumps and even at RV pump islands.

Daniel Cordner, who oversees sales in Missouri and Illinois for THC fleetcard services, a sales transaction subsidiary of the Flying J, told Land Line Magazine on Wednesday that the change was prompted by Flying J wanting to get out from under expensive per- transaction processing fees from Visa. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, those processing fees are the second highest cost in the fuel retailing business.

“We’re trying to save our customers more,” said Cordner, who said Visa chose not to lower its costly transaction fees. “We are still ready to welcome them back with open arms.”

The change is just one more fuel-related issue for truckers and other drivers preparing for a summer of expensive gas and diesel purchases.

Diesel prices averaged $2.919 as of Thursday afternoon, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The crush of high gas prices is also hurting individual fuel retailers, who lose an average of 2.75 percent of the sale price for every gallon sold for credit card and bank processing fees, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.

The Flying J offers multiple fuel purchase credit and debit cards, Cordner told Land Line, including a Mastercard version that competes with Visa.

Several OOIDA members have contacted Land Line about the Flying J issue.

Michael Corwin, an OOIDA member from Franklin, OH, told Land Line he prefers using his Flying J card because of what he considers relatively low transfer fees. Corwin said each credit card company offers its own advantages.

“The only bad thing I can say is the (Flying J) does charge $1 per ATM transaction,” Corwin said.

Virginia Parker, the Flying J’s spokeswoman, hasn’t returned more than five phone messages and e-mails requesting comment to Land Line Magazine. Parker told Land Line last week that the Visa issue was “complicated,” and an employee in Parker’s office Thursday acknowledged many phone calls recently about the issue.

Public outcry may not matter, Corwin said.

“I doubt the ‘Hook’ will change their minds,” he said.

 – By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

Copyright © OOIDA