Monday, April 13, 2009

Which Gas Is Cheapest?

 
Here's three photographs of gas station signs. The one on the left was taken in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and the two on the right were taken in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The Bethesda gas stations are one block apart.

Assuming that the photos were taken on the same day (Wednesday, April 8, 2009), which station has the cheapest gas if you pay by credit card?



14 comments :

  1. Sunoco is cheapest using today's values for currency conversion and if you pay with a US credit card. If you use your Canadian card, there will be a charge for currency conversion that will probably bring it closer to the cost in Canada.
    Albert Macfarlane

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  2. The obvious answer is the Shell -- but there has to be a trick here, or you wouldn't be asking the question ;-).

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  3. "Sunoco is cheapest using today's values for currency conversion and if you pay with a US credit card. If you use your Canadian card, there will be a charge for currency conversion that will probably bring it closer to the cost in Canada."

    There is another conversion you may have to do, involving the communist metric system vs. freedom loving USA gallons.

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  4. Mea culpa -please change post # 1 to SHELL. I had in mind Sunoco was only in the US of A - it certainly doesn't exist in my neck of the woods

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  5. Heh. I was in Toronto last week, and when I was driving back to the US I stopped for fuel. I knew I had about 350 km to the border, and on the highway my car gets about 28 miles per gallon; I had a quarter of a tank of gas already and I wanted to put in just enough to cross the border, since the US gas would be cheaper. By the time I'd finished converting km to miles and gallons (but imperial or standard gallons?) to liters and back again, my ears were smoking and I'd already filled the tank and the question was moot.

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  6. Bayesian Bouffant, FCDMonday, April 13, 2009 4:32:00 PM

    bp is British Petroleum - do they have a discount for colonies which did not rebel?

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  7. Canadian dollar's worth about 82 cents, and a liter's close enough to a quart for me to estimate using one-to-one correspondence. 84.7 per liter then is about $3.39 Canadian per gallon, and 82 percent of that is ~$2.78 per gallon U.S.

    Adding back the 5 cents per gallon cash discount on the Shell gas, since we're paying by credit card, that's $2.13 for regular unleaded (which I'm assuming is what the Canadian station's advertised price is for).

    BP at $2.39 for regular unleaded comes in between Shell U.S. and Sunoco Canadian.

    Good, or is there something I've missed?

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  8. Bayesian Bouffant, FCDMonday, April 13, 2009 4:44:00 PM

    Converting liters to gallons and Canadian dollars to real dollars, I come up with $3.90 USD per US gallon for Sunoco. The other two stations are already listed in those units. That means we just have to factor in foreign transaction fees on the credit card.

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  9. Bayesian Bouffant wrote: Converting liters to gallons and Canadian dollars to real dollars, I come up with $3.90 USD per US gallon for Sunoco.I'm thinking that to obtain USD you converted from Canadian using the inverse of the correct factor. The Canadian dollar is worth less than one U.S. dollar, so a gallon of Canadian Sunoco should be worth less, not more, than approximately $3.39 per gallon (four times the Canadian liter price) in U.S. dollars, yes? Or am I the one who has it backwards?

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  10. Yes, you're right.

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  11. 4/8/09 ==> C$0.847 = US$0.6842
    1 litre = 1/3.78 US Gallon

    Sunoco Petrol = US$2.586/gallon
    For a US traveler it cost more to buy gas in Canada than in the US, even excluding currency surcharge on the credit card

    Shell is the cheapest, and even Shell top-grade gas is cheaper than Sunoco ordinary and BP Silver

    If a Canadian traveler were in the US that day he'd have been in the money even he had paid a currency surcharge on his credit card of upto 24.2%

    Now we will wait for Larry to pull the rabbit out of the hat and surprise all of us.

    -Truti

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  12. Aren't the advertised prices for cash only, and payment by credit card attracts a higher price?

    So I'm guessing that the most expensive advertised price ends up being the cheapest if paying by credit card.

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  13. I don’t know about Canada, but in the US, it is illegal to put a surcharge on credit card transactions. You can offer a discount for cash, but you can’t charge a credit card user more than the advertised price. So, the advertised prices on the US stations are exactly what you would pay (sans any currency conversion fees that might apply if you’re paying with a Canadian credit card).

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