Buy Gas Now, Pay Later: How to Buy Gas On Layaway – The Motley Fool

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by Maurie Backman | Published on March 23, 2022
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You may have more flexibility than you thought in paying for gas.
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It's no secret the cost of gas has soared this year. The combination of general inflation and the Ukraine conflict has created a scenario where consumers are feeling the pain at the pump.
For several weeks now, gas has been averaging well over $4 per gallon across the nation. While prices could fluctuate over the next few weeks, they might also climb as summertime nears — something that tends to happen outside of periods with rampant inflation and a major crisis overseas.
If you're having trouble covering the cost of gas, you're not alone. But you may have more options for paying for it than expected.
Many people who fill up their tanks pay for their purchases outright in cash. Sometimes, that even results in a discount.
Those who don't want to pay cash, or can't do so, can charge their gas purchases on a credit card, and if need be, pay off that balance over time. But doing so means accruing interest charges that can really add up. Now, there may be a better way to pay for gas over time — using a "buy now, pay later" plan, or BNPL plan.
BNPL plans have existed for a long time. They're commonly used to finance large purchases like electronics or furniture.
In recent years, consumers have increasingly turned to BNPL plans for smaller purchases as well. And now, one BNPL provider is allowing consumers to pay for their gas purchases in installments.
Klarna, a major BNPL provider, has partnered up with Chevron to offer customers the option to buy their gas now and pay for it later. To take advantage of this offer, customers can use the Klarna app to buy a digital in-store card for $75. That money can then be added to an Apple or Google wallet, which consumers can tap to pay at the pump. Meanwhile, that $75 purchase can be paid off over time — specifically, in the form of four payments due over a six-week period.
The upside of using BNPL plans is not accruing interest on your purchases. And this applies here as well. As long as you stick to your six-week payment plan, you won't accrue interest or fees to pay for your gas in installments. But if you don't keep up with your payments, interest and fees will apply.
Now if you have a very fuel-efficient car, and you don't drive that often, getting a $75 card that you pay off over time may not make sense. If, for example, you only tend to spend $15 to $20 a week on gas even with prices being higher, then the Klarna-Chevron offer may not do much for you.
But if you do drive often, to the point where you're now spending $75 a week on gas, and money is tight, then paying off that purchase with a BNPL plan could be a wise choice. Just make sure to commit your payment schedule to memory and keep up with it to avoid costly interest and fees.
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Maurie Backman is a personal finance writer who covers everything from savings to retirement to healthcare. Her articles have appeared broadly on major outlets such as CNBC, MSN, and Yahoo.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
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