Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Here’s something that isn’t super fun to think about. Security. But it’s important to consider, especially around the holiday season. Recently, my brother was telling me about a very sincere-sounding email he received from his boss, who was asking him to purchase $400 worth of iTunes gift cards and to send her the confirmation codes from each. Something about this request seemed unusual, so he took a closer look at the email address and noticed that although it included his boss’s name, the address domain was Gmail and not that of his organization. That was a red flag. Scammers are out there, and unfortunately, they kick into high gear in November and December, when more people are traveling and purchasing items online.
This story made me think about another common scam, called “skimming.” Have you heard of this before? It’s tricky, and like all scams, feels incredibly violating when it happens.
A skimmer is a small, illegal device that’s attached to the card reader, commonly on gas pumps or ATM machines. Once you swipe your card on a payment portal that has a skimmer, your data is pulled and passed on to whoever is operating the skimmer.
They can then use your credit card as a form of payment or worse, if you’ve paid via debit card, they’ll have immediate access to all of your available funds. Yikes. That’s a big reason to always pay with a travel rewards credit card (well that and the miles & points you can earn).
How to Protect Yourself From Skimming Scams With Chase Pay & Samsung Pay
Luckily, there’s a way to avoid skimmers at the gas station. You could always go inside to pay at the register if you aren’t comfortable paying at the pump. But that’s tedious, and let’s be honest, who wants to spend the extra time waiting in line?
There’s a better option – with both Chase Pay and Samsung Pay you’ll have the ability to use a digital wallet to buy gas. By paying for gas with your mobile wallet, you don’t actually need to enter your card into the reader.
How to Use Samsung Pay at the Pump
I’ve found two helpful tutorials that show how you can use your mobile wallet to pay for gas. Here’s the first one for Samsung Pay. This is a particularly helpful tutorial because you’ll need a card without a magnetic strip (like a hotel card) to get this trick to work.
How to Use Chase Pay at the Pump
And here’s the tutorial for using Chase Pay at the pump.
Comparing These Two Mobile Wallet Options
Chase Pay Limitations: It’s important to remember that Chase Pay only works with select gas stations. They have a full list of gas stations that accept Chase Pay mobile wallet listed on their website. It looks like Shell is the only participating gas station at the moment. Reviews on this mobile wallet are mixed – understandably, when you’re on a long road trip, it’s tough to plan out refilling at a Shell station if there isn’t one immediately available when you need it. On the other hand, if you’re commuting to work or need to fill up when you’re in town, it’s easier to plan in advance and make it to a Shell station.
Chase Pay Benefits: A huge benefit of Chase Pay is you can often take advantage of frequent promotions, like the one we wrote about a few months ago. And Chase Pay is frequently one of the Chase Freedom card’s 5% cash back quarterly bonus categories.
Samsung Pay Limitations: This feature is only available on Android devices. For iPhones and Apple devices, you can use Chase Pay.
Samsung Pay Benefits: Samsung Pay does have a rewards program and you can link Samsung Pay to the Exxon/Mobil Speedpass app and rewards program. But one of it’s best features is it runs on technology that works with older credit card readers. So you can use it almost everywhere that your credit card is accepted. But, as you saw in the video, using it to pay at the pump it a bit more complicated.
Advanced security might be the biggest benefit of Samsung Pay. Samsung recently explained the security walls around Samsung Pay and it sounds like it’s virtually impossible for skimmers to steal data with this payment method. There is a digital token created and encrypted for every single transaction. This is a single-use token that comes with a certificate and it passes through several different layers of security. That means your card number is never actually sent to the card reader, so no one (including merchants and retailers) can see the data that’s on the card.
Had you ever heard of skimming before? Or worse, have you actually been a victim? Would you be more likely to buy gas via your digital wallet because of this? Tell me what you think in the comments below!
To make sure you never miss valuable travels news and tips, sign up for our email newsletter!