Here's Why You Shouldn't Use Your Card To Pay For The Cab


Photo: Katya Wachtel for Business Insider

You may think it’s a great deal to use your credit card on taxi cab fare, especially since many American cities now offer the ability to pay fare with any major type of plastic, but you’d be mistaken.I was mildly horrified earlier today, when a cab from the Houston airport (which cost $52, by the way — Supershuttle next time!) told me accepted credit cards — and then when it came time to pay, it was like re-entering the Stone Age.

The driver literally had to call in my card number from a mobile phone, and then wait for verification that payment had been processed, and then I had to fill out a form confirming all of the amounts, at which point he swiped and scratched my card up using an ancient carbon-copy swiper from the 1980s.

This whole process took about 10 minutes (time is money) and if I could re-do the experience, I’d have just paid cash and forgotten about the trivial number of reward points I’d earn by using my credit card instead.

Also, this is purely anecdotal, but when I was living in New York there were several times where I swore the cab driver added on a tip larger than what I had agreed to. But being jet-lagged and distracted, I didn’t notice.

Once in Fort Lauderdale a cab’s card machine was down, so I had to wait 20 minutes for the system to reboot, and then reboot again. (I’d neglected to take cash out at the airport ATM when I landed, which is what I should have done — never place complete trust in your cards, because there is always a time and a place where cash will save you.)

Aside from these personal stories, in some cities you’ll be charged a transaction fee for using a card instead of cash. I guarantee you the $3 to $4.50 fee far outweighs anything you are getting in cash back or rewards points.

Long story short: when you take a cab, have a roll of twenties ready. Leave the card in your wallet.

— provided by Outlaw

P.S. Is there room in your wallet for a shiny new credit card? Of course there is. Check out Outlaw‘s newest lucrative card deals from American Express, Discover, HSBC, and other top issuers. No annual fee, and awesome rewards — click here to check them out.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.