How to Use Your Phone to Pay for Gas

Pay for gas with a smartphone
Sauko Andrei / Shutterstock

With smartphones, you no longer have to put your credit card in a dirty machine to pay for gas. You can use several methods to pay with your phone. We will show you how.

The two different methods are to physically put your phone in contact with the pump or to pay from an app. With the contactless payment feature, your phone basically becomes your credit card and you just need to tap it on the contactless reader. The latter consists of paying from an application in the comfort of your car.


NFC is a feature of many smartphones that allows devices to communicate over a short distance. In the case of mobile payments, NFC is used to securely transmit payment credentials. Your phone replaces your credit card.

To use tap-to-pay at gas pumps, you need to keep an eye out for certain logos. The upper logo in the image below is for universal “contactless payment” systems. This applies to smartphones and smartwatches with mobile payment capabilities, but also to some credit cards and other devices.

The two logos at the bottom of the image above are more specific to smartphone platforms: Google Pay (Android) and Apple Pay (iPhone and Apple Watch). However, these will both work if you also see the universal contactless payment logo.

iPhones and Apple Watches can make mobile payments with Apple Pay. The setup process is simply to add the desired credit card to the app. From there, you can connect your Apple device to the gas pump to make a payment.

RELATED: How to set up and use Apple Pay on an iPhone

Android devices have a few more options. The first choice is Google pay, which is available for all Android devices with an NFC chip installed. There are also mobile payment apps from manufacturers like Samsung Pay, but they’re limited to devices from that specific company.

RELATED: What is Google Pay and what can you do with it?

Google Pay is also available for iPhones, but mobile payments only work with Android devices. As with Apple Pay, the process is simply to add a credit card to your account, after which you can connect your phone to the gas pump.

Mobile app

Pay for gas from a smartphone
Margarita Young / Shutterstock

Touching your phone to a gas pump to pay sounds pretty futuristic, but there’s actually an even newer method available at many gas stations. Rather than physically pressing your phone to the reader, the entire payment process can be done in your car.

Many gas stations now have apps that let you select your gas pump number and choose a payment method without having to get out of your car. The only physical interaction you need to have with the pump is to choose a grade of fuel and put the nozzle in your vehicle.

RELATED: How to pay for gas without leaving your car

We mentioned Google Pay for contactless payment, but it can also be used for this method. The Google Pay app brings together a few chains of gas stations that support this feature. The whole process can be done through the Google Pay app.

gas station applications
BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Shell

If you don’t want to use Google Pay, you have the option to download an app from the gas station chain. Many popular American gas chains have their own apps for this feature.

With these methods in mind, you no longer need to take your wallet or purse to the gas station. Of course, not all gas stations support these standards yet, but their number is increasing every day.

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