If you’re a Canadian and have traveled through the US by car, RV, whatever, you’ve probably noticed pretty much all the gas pumps require a ZIP code. You’ve probably also noticed that a postal code ain’t the same thing. Finally, you’ve probably been frustrated with having to deal with the surly station attendant who doesn’t seem to understand why you can’t use your card at the pump.
Entering 99999 or 00000 doesn’t work, depsite what you may have heard in the ways of sekrit c0d3z, and it’s a bit of a pain to have to make the walk, especially if you’re running short on time to make your flight and don’t want to spend $7/gallon for the rental company to fill it for you. There is, however, a way to enter a zip code that will authorize your Canadian card, and I’ma share it with you now.
Take your postal code (e.g. K2L 2K4), and strip away the letters (e.g. 224), then add two zeroes (e.g. 22400). Voila. You have a ZIP that will authorize properly at the pump, saving a little time and attitude from said surly attendant.
This has worked for me at Shell and 76 stations, and since they all use the same auth back-end, should work anywhere else. As always, ymmv, but it’s a little tip to remember next time you’re in the US.