I travel a lot in the US especially when I wish to add to my stock video footage library I sell on Pond5.com. One of the most frustrating things I found was using self-service gas bars and not being able to use my Canadian credit card at the pump because most of the pumps ask for a Zip Code for authorization. Unfortunately the US pumps don’t recognize Canadian postal codes.

In the past I had to go inside the gas bar, wait in line, then pre-pay for gas or they wanted to hold my credit card while I pumped gas- not a good idea. I read a blog post by someone a few months ago on how to bypass the zip code request. I tried it dozens of times and it has never failed.

Just do this: swipe your card as normal at the pump. When it asks for your zip code, key in the number digits of your postal code followed by zeros to make up 5 digits (there’s 5 digits in a US postal code). For example, my postal code is K0H1K0 so I key in the zero, the one and the last zero. Then I add 2 zeros at the end to make up 5 digits: 01000. Then hit Enter if it requests it. Another example, if your postal code is A2B3C4 you enter 23400 plus two zeros and hit Enter. That’s it!

PS. Credit card companies don’t guarantee this will work in every pump but it’s worth a try.

Hope this works for you!

It is very important to have inbound links to your website in order to improve your search engine rankings. Think of inbound links as ‘likes’ on Facebook- the more you have, the more important the search engines think your website is however, there is a caveat. It used to be you could not get enough inbound links. Quality links are more important than sheer numbers. Having a high number of inbound links from meaningless directories can actually have a negative effect on your search engine rankings. Here is a selection of high quality web directories for Canadian websites. Submit your site for free and enjoy quality inbound links:

1. Google

If you haven’t submitted your site to Google already, here is the sign-up page. Use all of Google’s free services to help increase your business listing’s ranking on this most powerful search engine. Use the above link to sign-up to Google then create a free listing in Google Places for Business and create a Google+ Business Page. Don’t forget to submit your sitemap through Google Webmaster which connects through the Google Search Console.


2. Bing

One of the 3 major search engines, submit your site here. Submitting your site to Yahoo! is also done through Bing so this is an important site submission you don’t want to miss. Don’t forget to submit your sitemaps through Bing Webmaster Tools.


3. Yelp Canada

This is a great place to list your site and receive input about your business from customers. Sign-up here: https://biz.yelp.ca.

4. Kijiji Canada

I’ve used Kijiji for years to create a quality inbound link to my website. Posting an ad about your business is free and will expire after a few weeks but you can repost the ad for free. To add your web url (very important) Kijiji charges a small fee- around $5.00 US. It’s worth it for this quality link. Sign-up and create your first ad here: https://www.kijiji.ca.

5. Yellow Pages for Business Canada

Yes, you can get a free listing without paying for Yellow Page advertising. Here’s the sign-up page.

411.ca Canada create a free ad

6. 411.ca Canada

Another place to get a free listing. Sign-up and create your listing: Sign-up here.

7. CYLEX Canada

Check to see if you are already listed. Sign-up and create your listing: Create your listing here.

8. Hot Frog Canada

Create your business profile for free. Sign-up and create your listing: Create your listing here.

9. Canadian Trade Index

If you are a manufacturer this is an important location for listing your business. By submitting your business you can receive a powerful inbound link. If you are not a manufacturer you still may be able to create a free listing. Sign-up and create your listing: Create your listing here.

10. Profile Canada

Another good directory that’s free for Canadian businesses. Create your listing here.

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11. Canada One Directory

Another great directory for Canadian businesses. Create your listing here.