Bye-Bye, Charge It

Few marketing gimmicks have ever been able to touch the gasoline credit card. With more than 36.4 million such company-issued cards in the wallets and purses of American motorists, stopping for a fill-up has rarely been much tougher than pulling into a station, whipping out the plastic and announcing, "Charge it!" The gasoline credit card was, indeed, one of the first mass-marketed charge cards, appearing as long ago as 1914 when Texaco, then a young company, began distributing them to customers.

Now, when oil companies are looking for new ways to lure drivers to...

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