Can You Use a Credit Card with Your City’s Parking Meter?

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creditcardparkingmeter

shutterstock_113478955What happens if you need to pay for a parking meter, but you don’t have any quarters? In some big cities, that’s not a problem. Simply pull out your debit or credit card and swipe. Major cities like Los Angeles now report that, not only are credit card parking meters growing in popularity, but for the first time the city has made more from plastic than from cash.

Variable Parking Costs

According to the Los Angeles Times, convenience isn’t the only benefit associated with parking meters that accept credit cards and debit cards. It’s possible for the meters to also change parking costs quickly and easily. In fact, parking costs can change hour to hour.

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Because the parking meters are digital, and can register how many cars are parked, it’s possible to see how much demand there is for a parking spot — and adjust prices accordingly. If demand for parking spaces is going up, so, too, does the price. If you want a better spot, you might have to be willing to pay extra for it. This system also means that if you come at the wrong time, you could end up paying more for the spot than the person who had it before you.

These meters are popping up more and more, largely due to the fact that fewer people carry cash. It is easier, in many cases, just to swipe a credit card. This system makes it easy for you to pay for parking, even if you don’t have coins, and it also makes it easier for cities to collect payment for parking, and possibly even charge you more for it.

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Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in financial topics. Her work has appeared in numerous media, online and offline. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds.