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.
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'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.
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 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.