pay at the pump in puerto rico

pay at the pump in puerto rico

“Para llenar el tanque a la siete, por favor.”

This is one of the first full phrases of Spanish I learned when we moved to Puerto Rico.  The attendant at the Total near our condo was very patient in teaching me how to properly ask for a fill-up.  As proud as I have been to show off my newly acquired skill, I still missed the convenience of simply paying at the pump, as we did in Texas.  Sadly, the gas station is one glaring area where the customer experience in Puerto Rico is vastly inferior to what one would expect in the states.

A big reason for this is the inability to pay at the pump.  In our two years on the island, we have NEVER come across a gas station that offered this option. (though I’ve heard they exist on military installations)  I’ve heard the rationale behind this is to force customers into the store to pay so they can be enticed to make additional purchases.  Of course, this line of reasoning fails to take into consideration the other potential customers who just want to buy something in the store (not gas) and decide NOT to because there is a long line of people waiting to pay for gas.

pay at the pump in puerto rico

Well, you can probably imagine my excitement when I recently discovered that you can in fact pay at the pump in Puerto Rico.  Well, you can at least at the Puma stations via their Fastpay app.  There are two participating gas stations in Rincón and one in Aguada that is conveniently located on the way to Sam’s Club..

pay at the pump in puerto rico

the Puma station in near Stella beach in Rincón

So far, I found that the app works great.  Using your location, it shows you the closest participating gas stations.  Once you arrive, click “Pay” and then scan the QR code on the pump.  It asks you how much you want to buy and since I generally want to fill up, I select $40.  Any unused amount will be refunded back to your credit card.

There is another app called Gasolina Movil which is probably worth installing as well since it supports a handful of Shell and Gulf stations across the island in addition to Puma.  It’s also encouraging to see that Total has come out with its own app called Total e-wallet.  Unfortunately, support for it has not yet been rolled out to the west side of the island yet.

In the meantime, Puma FastPay is the clear winner in this space.  Not only is it the most mature app that smoothly enables pay at the pump in Puerto Rico.  But, you also receive a 2 to 3 cent discount per liter when you use the app, depending on how much gas you buy!

conclusion

I love finding workarounds here in Puerto Rico to recreate the conveniences we enjoyed in the states.  It’s like having your cake and eating it too!

4 comments

  • Interesting, I will have to try out those apps, thanks for posting that! Ha, my husband loathes going inside. When we first got here we were told the lack of scanners was to prevent cc fraud with cc skimmers. It has become a problem in the US but I tend to believe it is to increase sales. In our area, gas stations open and close all the time, it’s gotta be tough competition out there.

    • I don’t know what the reasoning is for certain, but going inside isn’t completely safe either. I believe I had my card number swiped at a Wendy’s. A few days after I ate there, I started seeing charges at department stores in NY on my card! Thankfully, citi reversed all those charges and sent me a new card…

      • Hmm, that’s alarming. Did they swipe the card at Wendy’s for you or did you do it yourself?

        • They swiped it for me…

          That said, I use my card without hesitation where it is accepted and have only had this one incident in two years on the island.

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