Gift Cards for Gas Station Purchase

I am getting ready to spend several weekends doing gas station shops. I know if I try to use my personal debit/bank card it will decline it after the 2nd or 3rd small gas purchase. I was thinking of getting a Visa gift card and using that for the gas and the inside purchase, which is usually either a candy bar or something under $1. Has anyone done this before and how did it work for you?

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Depends on the client. For some, you are supposed to pay cash inside the store.

I use a gift card at the pump.
I suggest a branded gift card instead of a Visa gift card if allowed (check your guidelines). A visa gift card will operate just like a regular visa at some locations, so they may put a large hold on the card and eat up the balance. That won't happen with a branded gift card.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Also a Visa gift card may also lock after 3 or 4 uses at a gas station where the branded gift card won't.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
A Visa gift card also usually charges a fee per month to have it while the gas station gift card does not. Also, several brands give you the cash discount for using the gift card so your funds go a bit further as well. Occasionally some stations will make you pay cash for the gift card rather than using your debit card to purchase it so make sure that you either have the cash on you or time to go to another station to get it. I do a ton of gas stations per month so using the gift card not only saved me calls to my CC company but also makes sure that I don't overspend as I don't put them on my credit card but rather use cash for the gas portion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2019 06:31AM by KarenMSW.
I do prepaid bank card shops and it is explained that for their prepaid Visa cards a hold of $50 is placed on a gas purchase and may not be released for up to 10 days. For your debit card, a hold of a $1 is placed. I also do Overdraft services shops at the same bank and it is disclosed to me that gas charges may be paid even if they overdraft the bank account.

I use the gas branded cards for one set of audits that I do. I have two debit cards, ie two bank accounts, so I don't have problems with the card being declined.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
@panama18 wrote:

Pay cash in the store and use the gas company's gift card at the pump.
*- If allowed by the client. (There is at least one that does not allow)
Use company branded gift cards at the pump and cash in the store. If you get gas rewards at any Kroger branded store, buying your gift card there is a great way to boost your gas points.
If you use a gift card you will also avoid the risk of having your credit card compromised at a gas pump that has been tampered with to steal cc info.
I just have never managed to get a gas station pump that would accept a gift card.

Most of the stations I do are quite old (think: don't even HAVE card readers on the pump), and their technology won't read the gift cards. Even branded ones (I've seen signs on pumps: "If you're paying with a gift card, you must prepay with the cashier" ). They evidently don't read prepaid debit cards, either (I've tried Visa, Mastercard, and American Express -- none worked, not even ONCE. Grrrrrr!)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2019 08:17PM by ceasesmith.
The audit I do is for one particular brand. I am required to use either that brand gas card (credit or prepaid) or a credit card. Using a debit card would result in an automatic rejection of the shop.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
@whosear wrote:

Using a debit card would result in an automatic rejection of the shop.

Uhhhh. I hate to break it to them but if you run your debit card as credit they have no way of knowing.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:

I suggest a branded gift card instead of a Visa gift card if allowed (check your guidelines). A visa gift card will operate just like a regular visa at some locations, so they may put a large hold on the card and eat up the balance. That won't happen with a branded gift card.
This honestly is one of the best tips that I have heard in 20 years of shopping.
I have done 1000's of gas station shops and audits. I have around 10 major credit cards. I used to have to rotate them throughout the day. Now, I just buy $100 gift cards (branded from the grocery store). You also get the cash price, not the credit price. win-win
I'm not taking the chance. Funny thing is, I have to buy the branded gas card at the grocery store. I can't get it at the gas station.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
At my location, certain convenience store branded gas stations do not sell the oil company cards. They tie debit cards into their Rewards card.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
I call my bank and let them know that I will be making small purchases at several different gas stations. If they ask, I give them the locations. This has worked for me, and I'm not out the gift card fee.

ETA: I also add this info in the notes section of the shop.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2019 12:25AM by HonnyBrown.
Branded gift cards don't have a fee.....

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@HonnyBrown wrote:

I call my bank and let them know that I will be making small purchases at several different gas stations. If they ask, I give them the locations. This has worked for me, and I'm not out the gift card fee.

ETA: I also add this info in the notes section of the shop.

What do you add to the notes section?
I find that the bank isn't the one responsible for shutting down my card after 3 or 4 uses in one day. They always blame the gas stations CC processor.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Hoju wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

I call my bank and let them know that I will be making small purchases at several different gas stations. If they ask, I give them the locations. This has worked for me, and I'm not out the gift card fee.

ETA: I also add this info in the notes section of the shop.

What do you add to the notes section?
I find that the bank isn't the one responsible for shutting down my card after 3 or 4 uses in one day. They always blame the gas stations CC processor.

That’s correct. The stations are using the same system and will usually lock by the third swipe of the same card on the same day. That is why I used to have to rotate credit cards.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2019 10:06PM by SoCalMama.
I think that's why the Maritz clients ask if you used the card within 24 hours.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Hoju wrote:

I think that's why the Maritz clients ask if you used the card within 24 hours.
Correct.
:/ The ones I do still charge the credit price if you use their gift card.

I had initially assumed that I would get the cash price, since I obviously paid cash to get the card and it is THEIR card, so it doesn't cost them a cent for me to use it. Nope. Credit price at every station I have used them at.
I buy them at the gas station as that visit's required in-store purchase. It kind of lets me double-dip ... I get reimbursed for my in-store purchase (part of the cost of that card) AND I get reimbursed for the gas purchase at the next shop.

This method has never been questioned by QA and I have completed dozens of this brand's shops in the past year. grinning smiley
For anyone who has access to Scrip (schools and nonprofits act as a middle man to buy various gift cards, you get to use a percentage of the purchase price for that organization) - most major gas brands are a part of that program and you can use your rebates to apply to things in that organization (like tuition, etc.).
I thought it was the bank that shuts down the card. Also, the most gas stations I have done in one day is 4.

@Hoju wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

I call my bank and let them know that I will be making small purchases at several different gas stations. If they ask, I give them the locations. This has worked for me, and I'm not out the gift card fee.

ETA: I also add this info in the notes section of the shop.

What do you add to the notes section?
I find that the bank isn't the one responsible for shutting down my card after 3 or 4 uses in one day. They always blame the gas stations CC processor.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I used to have all of the problems using debit/credit cards that several others have mentioned earlier in this thread. I work in the Los Angeles area ... and when I use the branded gift cards (which can be purchased at my local Best Buy, among other locations), I have never had a problem at the pump. There have been a few times along the way where I was unable to use the gift card for the retail purchase ... but, literally, I can count those times on one hand. The best part is that the use of the gift card automatically prints a receipt showing the current balance on your gift card, so that you don't have to risk your anonymity by using cash and then asking for a receipt for some insanely small purchase. Have fun!! I enjoy the gas station shops here in LA because, normally, they can be done in evening and night-time hours when I'm not at my full-time job.
Once upon a time I could fool the system into letting me use my debit card at several locations in one day. Three stations: credit, credit, debit/pin... then use the debit card at an ATM. Repeat the sequence, up to three times. I would not trust that method any more. Last year I had a card blocked until the next business day for that. Thankfully I had cash on hand to buy a gift card and handle inside purchases since I couldn't even use an ATM.

Now I buy a gas card before a route or at the first shop on a route. Our local grocery store does not carry gas cards other than their own brand and a brand of Midwest convenience stores they have a "fuel saver points" relationship with. Dollar General did not have them, either. I had to buy the gas cards at the stations themselves. For green sign shops it is least awkward because you are supposed to make a purchase and announce yourself before buying gas.
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