Can You Use a VISA Gift Card for Gas? (Do This Instead!)

Can You Use a VISA Gift Card for Gas

Do you know if you can use a VISA gift card to buy gas? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

VISA gift cards are those cards that are kind of designed to be the one-size-fits-all gifting options. While there are many popular gift cards out there, most of them are brand specific, while a VISA gift card is supposed to be spendable anywhere.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to gas. 

In many cases, you won’t be able to use your VISA gift card at the pump because gas stations use what is called a “precharge”. After all, the system has no idea how much you are about to pump, so the precharge may be more than what is on your gift card, ultimately declining it. 

How to Pay for Gas with a VISA Gift Card

There is one primary way that you can use your VISA gift card at a gas station to make fuel purchases and a number of “it might work” examples that you can try as well, depending on what kind of tech you are using and the gas station that you stopped at. 

The first and most obvious method is simply to go inside the store and pay for your gas. Inside, there is no pretransaction, so long as you tell the cashier how much gas you want to pump and on what pump number. 

For the vast majority of your trips to the gas station with a VISA gift card, or any gift card for that matter, you will have to go inside and pay.

Paying for gas with a VISA gift card is the same as paying for anything else inside of the store. 

The rest of the methods on this list are purely workarounds, as the above method for paying for gas is really the only way to directly pay with a VISA gift card. 

Read also >> Do Gas Stations Cash Checks (UPDATED List)

Digital Wallet

There are some digital wallets out there that you can add funds to with a VISA gift card. Apple pay is not one of them because well, it’s Apple and that’s just what they do.

Other digital wallets are a possibility, however. 

Since many gas stations are switching over to “tap-to-pay” systems, it’s becoming easier and easier to simply hold your smartphone up to the pump and pay.

Either that, or there is a QR code on the pump that you can scan and funds are directly debited from your account. 

Of course, just because you’re not using a debit card and going with tap-to-pay, doesn’t mean that the gas pump isn’t going to still run you through a pretransaction.

If your VISA gift card adds $25 to your account but you still don’t have enough in your Checking account, the transaction will still be declined. 

Sure, it’s not exactly paying with a VISA gift card, but since the only other alternative is to take your card inside, it’s a viable method for just adding funds to your account through the VISA gift card and paying that way. 

Walmart App

There is more than just the Walmart app out there that is designed to save you money at the gas pump through a monthly membership plan. However, Walmart is one of the most prevalent. 

Normally, with the Walmart app, you can pull into any Exxon, Mobil, Murphy’s, or Walmart gas station and use a number of different methods to pay at the pump. The Walmart app works just like a digital wallet, such as Apple pay, which makes things a lot easier. 

A Walmart wallet can be funded by adding a VISA gift card to it and used just like any other card in your Walmart wallet. You can only have four cards on your Walmart membership account, however, so don’t overdo it. 

You have five choices in gas stations where you can use your Walmart app to pay for gas. Since it saves you $0.10 per gallon, it’s a membership worth getting if you use a lot of gas, especially now, while the gas prices are so high. 

Unfortunately, Walmart hasn’t gotten around to streamlining the process, so how you use the Walmart app at any one of the above gas stations is different, depending on which one you choose. 

At Exxon, Walmart, and Mobile gas stations, using a VISA gift card through your Walmart app is the easiest, so long as the gas stations have equipped their pumps to handle the technology. 

You simply pull up to the pump and open your app (which will ask you if you want gas here because the app uses location services and knows when you are at a participating store). With the app open, all you have to do is type in the pump # that you are on.

Once the Walmart app has your pump number, it will turn on the pump for you and allow you to use your VISA gift card to pay. You will be limited to the amount of money on your card. 

At Murphy’s and Sam’s Club gas stations, it’s a little different. You will have to open the app and select “fuel savings” to open up the gas portion of the Walmart app. Choose the station that you are at and you will be given a “member #” to enter. Once the number is entered, you can pump gas. 

Crypto Wallets

This method is the least likely method used since spending crypto on physical services is yet in its infancy. However, it is an option if you own Bitcoin.

The only drawback is that there are so many cryptocurrencies out there while most places that do take crypto, only accept Bitcoin. 

You also have to have the right crypto wallet, as most of them don’t allow you to spend like a traditional digital wallet. Most crypto wallets are for storage only.

Fortunately, there are some exchanges or wallets that will allow you to purchase Bitcoin with a VISA gift card, like Paxful.

Once you’ve purchased the Bitcoin with your VISA gift card, you can go and spend it on whatever gas stations accept Bitcoin as payment.

While that number is rare right now, it is steadily increasing, with more and more retail chains and gas stations accepting crypto. Some accept more than just Bitcoin as well. 

Visit the ATM at the Gas Station

While the number of ways that you can physically and directly use a VISA gift card to pay for gas is limited to one, there are the above-mentioned methods to consider as well. Also, you can always elect to pay a visit to the ATM.

Most gas stations have ATMs and the only unfortunate thing about them is that they usually charge a pretty hefty usage fee.

VISA gift cards are accepted at many ATMs but not all. You need to look for the Pulse, NYCE, Plus, or Star logos on the side of the ATM. 

If you see any of the four, you can withdraw cash directly from your VISA gift card up to the amount that is preloaded on the card.

Once you withdraw the cash, you can use it to pay for gas. It’s not the most high-tech option in the world but if all you want is $25 worth of gas, it’s just about as effective as anything else. 

These ATMs will usually take about $3 in fees to pay for the transaction, so it’s important to keep that in mind. If your VISA gift card holds $50, you won’t be able to withdraw $50 because of that extra fee. 

Read also >> Can You Use a Kroger Gift Card for Gas? (Here Is How)

How the Gas Pump Works

Pumps are more advanced than you may realize. The pump predetermines how much money is going to be used for the transaction and is essentially guessing how much gas you can take on a given transaction.

Most of the time, this value is set at $75 but you may find that some gas stations precharge more and some precharge a little less. This precharge is also a hold.

The funds in your account are held until the moment you hang up the gas nozzle and the transaction is settled.

Read also >> What Kind of Gas Does an RV Use? – All Facts You Should Know

Banks that are behind the funding of gift cards won’t allow overcharges. If you have a $50 gift card, a gas pump may determine that for a full tank, you need $75. So, you are precharged $75 and the amount that you don’t spend is sent back to your account. 

It’s not a matter of the gas station not accepting your card just because it’s a VISA gift card or it isn’t recognized as a form of payment at the gas station. It’s only because the pretransaction amount probably exceeds what you have on the VISA gift card. 

Why Visa Gift Card Does Not Work At Gas Station >> Check out the video below:

All Things Considered

While the ways in which you can directly use your VISA gift card to pay for gas are extremely limited (just one), there are other ways that you can indirectly use your VISA gift card to pay for gas. 

Thanks to tap-to-pay, the Walmart app, and the growing popularity of crypto, there are more ways than one to use a VISA gift card to fill up your tank. 


Marissa K.

Hi! I'm Marissa. A personal finance nerd, content writer, and Managing Editor. I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to save, make and invest extra money. So, helping you to live your dream life!

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