Another reason to buy gas cards for your audit routes

Skimmers!

[consumerist.com]

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Great reminder. I prefer using the gift cards whenever possible. I wonder if Visa, Mastercard, or Amex gift cards also work at gas stations. I bet they do.
Non-gas gift cards process as either debit or credit cards and you have to have enough of a balance on them (ususally $75) for them to be able to put the right hold on them. I would not count on being able to use them at the pump and have it work as intended.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
You guys bring up things I don't even think about. I come here looking for info on one thing, and spend hours reading threads instead of working!! And, I love it!!! Thank you for all of your wisdom!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2015 12:43AM by imsuzie2.
@myst4au wrote:

Non-gas gift cards process as either debit or credit cards and you have to have enough of a balance on them (ususally $75) for them to be able to put the right hold on them. I would not count on being able to use them at the pump and have it work as intended.

myst4au thanks for that because I thought it was just my gift card (got it at an Ace Cash Express). It only had $25 on it and was rejected everytime I tried it. I never thought that it needed a higher balance to be accepted.
I have never had a problem with not having enough on a card. I typically have 5 cards and each with $10 or less. Even with only $3 remaining they still work. I use a combination of prepaid and debit cards and always process as credit.

In fact you can purchase a $10 through the company's website. Why would they sell $10 cards if you had to have $50 or $75 before making a purchase? One would never be able to access that "below the minimum" amount.
Myst4au is referring to NON-GAS gift cards like the Visa Gift Card. Ones issued by the station don't have those irritating "hold" requirements.

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I started buying gas cards. It is just one less thing to worry about. And the cost is reimbursed. Why not?
But do you get the extra gas points on your credit card like I do? Those points add up.
That's a good question - if you buy the gift card at a Gas station, does it count as a Gas station purchase for rewards purposes? No idea.

But I think gift cards are the best idea for gas routes. Not only because of skimmers, but because CC companies might find 3-5 pay at the pump (or more..) transactions in a day suspicious and cut the card off. Plus some stations hold more than $1 and could tie up a low limit credit card (or a debit card balance) really quick.

Somewhere in the Midwest, shopping / auditing full time since 2014. Will use PV-500 for food! smiling smiley
They typically freeze either $50 or $75 on both debit or credit cards and it takes several days for the freeze to get unfrozen. Making multiple purchases on a single card at gas stations in a short period of time is likely to trigger a fraud alert unless you tell the credit / debit card company in advance. Even then, no guarantees.

I suspect that if you use your credit card to buy a gift card at a gas station, that it will accumulate points. Try it and you will know. And if you are not having problems using a credit card, then there is no reason to change. I found out about fraud alerts the hard way (no balance problem, just multiple uses).

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I have used gift cards for about a year. I usually buy them in $50 incriments at the stations. Almost all the stations require cash for them as they are considered cash payments at the pumps. Around here credit card charges are more often then not higher than cash payments. If I use the same credit card more than twice it is cut off by the bank. I can use the gift cards until they is used up. If getting points is important then I believe they can be bought on line and I would assume can be bought with a credit card.

In any case I find them the easiest form of payment.
@Sybil2 Wow. Good question. I did a cursory glance into the Amex Blue card (generally considered the best card for gas rewards) and it APPEARS that they do accumulate the higher gas-level rewards for any purchases at gas stations, not just gas.
Further, I don't think credit card companies have any way of knowing what was specifically purchased from a vendor. They just know that you paid $60 at a Gulf station. Right?

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@LIJake wrote:

I have used gift cards for about a year. I usually buy them in $50 incriments at the stations. Almost all the stations require cash for them as they are considered cash payments at the pumps. Around here credit card charges are more often then not higher than cash payments. If I use the same credit card more than twice it is cut off by the bank. I can use the gift cards until they is used up. If getting points is important then I believe they can be bought on line and I would assume can be bought with a credit card.

In any case I find them the easiest form of payment.

I think there is a lot of confusion at the store level as to how these work.
When I buy a gift card with my credit card, the station is charged the credit card fees. Because the gift card is entirely internal, any usage of the gift card carries no fees.

I've had only one store require that I pay cash for a gift card, which is their prerogative, but ultimately it's no different then if I just paid at the pump (though there might be a minimal difference in processing fees). I just paid with a CC for that location and bought the gift card at the next location with my CC.

I've also had stores that required a minimum purchase for gift cards (I use them for the inside purchase so I don't have to ASK for a receipt, it's automatic), which is stupid. They THINK they're getting charged a fee when they're not.

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@Hoju wrote:

I've also had stores that required a minimum purchase for gift cards (I use them for the inside purchase so I don't have to ASK for a receipt, it's automatic), which is stupid. They THINK they're getting charged a fee when they're not.

I've had the same thing happen. Always goes in the report so they can train the employees.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I visited eBay and Giftcard Granny to see if gas cards could be purchased at a significant discount, and they are selling at higher than face value on eBay and only a .5-2.5% discount on Giftcard Granny. Can someone explain why individuals would pay more than face value for such gift cards?
For some reason I'm guessing scanman can give us the actual reasons. Some off the top of my head are laundering money. Turning some form a payment they can make on eBay into cash. Using stolen payment and turning into something worth cash. And then some people are just dumb.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
If you want to see cards sold at a premium, look on eBay for Visa gift cards. I also suspect that it is some form of money laundering, or a way to get money out of some countries.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
A quick search reveals one really good reason why gift cards sell for higher than face value:
Because the buyer has no intention of paying for the card. They will claim it was never received because sellers will most likely ship by USPS and not follow the seller protection guidelines. The buyer tells eBay it wasn't received and eBay takes the money back from the seller and gives it to the buyer.

TL/DR: Fraud.

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Yes to both. I just did some research and apparently it's a lot of money laundering, some international currency exchange rate profiteering, some credit card rewards games, and some plain old fraud.
Oh, look you also think it's shiny!!!


@imsuzie2 wrote:

You guys bring up things I don't even think about. I come here looking for info on one thing, and spend hours reading threads instead of working!! And, I love it!!! Tahnk you for all of your wisdom!
I have a credit card with a large grocery chain. Whenever I buy gift cards there I get 3-4 times the gas points of normal purchases. Win-win. When I run out the free tank I'm going to fill up with about a 30 cent reduction in price.
If I am going to use one cc for a number of shops, I call the company to tell them what I am doing. Sometimes that works, other times the "system" is the one to put the temp block on the card. A quick call to verify the charges always releases the card for further use.

Try explaining to the rep (especially if off shore), "I am going to this event. At the event I will be stopping at 5 food concession stands and spending approximately $5 for each one, and then a 6th of about $10. These will be valid charges at XXXXX stadium. Can you please read that back??" "No, total charges for all of them will be between $35 and $50 max." Then when the block happens, I just switch cards.

Maybe I need to consider the shops where I am required to buy gift cards and they pay fees...or, redeem all of the gift card rewards I have coming....hugs
I purchase the cards at Vons/Safeway or Kroegers/Ralphs/Food4Less using my Paypal Debit Mastercard as a credit card
That way I accumulate double points for my personal gas purchases (up to $1 off per gallon) and a little extra cash back on my PayPal card.

Currently, the stores sell Shell, Texaco/Chevron and ARCO cards in $25 and $50 amounts.

The other thing I like about using the cards is they always generate a receipt when making a store purchase and I don't have to ask for a receipt for a .79 purchase.
@whiterosie wrote:

I purchase the cards at Vons/Safeway or Kroegers/Ralphs/Food4Less using my Paypal Debit Mastercard as a credit card
That way I accumulate double points for my personal gas purchases (up to $1 off per gallon) and a little extra cash back on my PayPal card.

Currently, the stores sell Shell, Texaco/Chevron and ARCO cards in $25 and $50 amounts.

The other thing I like about using the cards is they always generate a receipt when making a store purchase and I don't have to ask for a receipt for a .79 purchase.

I do gas shops for another MSC get Phillips, Conoco, and 76. Do not need a vest or have to take pictures of nasty bathrooms. I usually do them toward the end of the month. Had one the other day that was right by where I was going anyway. Pure profit. They keep notifying me of another one that is on the other side of the small town the that one was in but for $50.00 less. So I'm waiting.
My gift cards are getting a hit of a $100 pending.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
I prefer the vest, though I find the picture of the vest to be kind of demeaning.
I feel safer wearing it cuz people are idiots and the number of people I see pulling into and out of gas stations while texting is mind blowing.

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