Wawa Touting 'Same Price, Cash or Credit' Gas in N.J.

Launches marketing campaign including radio spots, billboards, banners, signs

WAWA, Pa. -- Wawa Inc. wants people to know it charges the same price whether people pay for gasoline with cash or credit, said The Press of Atlantic City. The chain has launched a marketing campaign in New Jersey touting its same-price policy, including radio spots, billboards, banners and signs along pumps in the region.

Wawa is not alone among retailers offering gasoline at the same price for cash or credit, although the marketing campaign is unique, as is the chain's size in the region--including more than two dozen gas stations in southern New Jersey.

Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce told the newspaper that the company started its campaign to alert customers of sometimes confusing policies at other fuel retailers that offer different prices depending on payment method.

Payments with credit cards cost gasoline sellers more money than when customers pay with cash due to transaction fees imposed by credit card companies, typically from 2% to 4%. To encourage cash purchases, some retailers offer discounts when customers use cash.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs says stations must clearly mark prices if they differ between cash and credit, said the report.

Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association, said gasoline buyers should be aware that same price cash or credit policies do not necessarily equate to the lowest price. Customers may actually be paying more for cash transactions than they would otherwise, he said.

"The whole thing about gas is to get people inside the convenience stores. That's why they work on such small margins," he told the newspaper. "If one out of three people goes inside and buys a cup of coffee, they make a buck. You can spend $30 on a gasoline purchase and make a buck."

At Wawa, the company has been increasingly adding gasoline to its business model since it opened its first gas station in 1996, said the report. For the first time last year, it had more fuel stores than nonfuel locations, Bruce said.

The Wawa, Pa.-based  company operates 594 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, of which 311 sell fuel. In New Jersey, there are 137 stores in which 98 sell fuel, Bruce said.