News Column

Gas station rewards program benefits schools, consumers

January 29, 2014

By Sarah Lundgren, The Brunswick News, Ga.

Jan. 29 --Fluctuating gasoline prices are always thorny concerns for motorists, but for gas station and convenience store owners, there's often another concern: credit card fees. When a customer pays at the pump with a credit card, the retailer has to pay credit card companies often far outside their area. Patrick Parker , owner of the area Parker's convenience stores and gas stations, has found a way to give customers lower prices, reduce his company's card fees and make donations to schools -- all at the same time. The system is the Parker's PumpPerks card. It offers up to a 10-cent discount per gallon -- the discount currently is 7 cents -- and works like a debit card. "It helps us avoid the credit card fees. We typically don't make money on it, but it saves our customers and has allowed us to save about $200,000 that we would have sent to credit card companies out of state," Parker said. Since the program was implemented almost a year ago, Parker has been pleased with the money he is able to keep in the local economy. As an added incentive, the card contains a payback for the Fueling the Communities program. "When you sign up for a card, you can nominate any local school you want, and we have been giving a penny for every gallon sold on the first Wednesday of every month," Parker said. "The ( Glynn County school sales tax) is great because it helps build schools, but it doesn't really help with operating them or add to the money it takes to buy supplies, so this is our way of helping schools keep going. We want to support them," Parker said. So far, Parker's has donated funds from the Pump Perks cards to Glynn Academy and Sterling Elementary School . -- Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at , on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322. ___ (c)2014 The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.) Visit The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Brunswick News (GA)

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