How To Get Gas With A Debit Card With No Money? (Do This!)

How To Get Gas With A Debit Card With No Money

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend how to get gas with a debit card with no money? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Gas is becoming increasingly expensive. This has made it exceedingly difficult to be able to afford gas at the pumps.

In fact, everything has become more expensive. As a result, a lot of people’s checking accounts are running pretty low. It is not uncommon for people to have cash in their account, but not enough to cover the ‘reserve’ fee that many gas providers require during a purchase.

On this page, we are going to walk you through how to get gas with a debit card with no money. This information should cover you for the short term i.e. allow you to purchase gas now. You then pay it back in a couple of days.

We Are Not Advocating Doing Anything Illegal

First things first, we do want to point out that we are not advocating that you do anything illegal here. We are not advocating the idea of stealing gas.

Our goal here is to allow you to purchase gas today, even if you do not have any cash on your debit card. Essentially, our goal is for you to kick the can down the road just a couple of days for when you can get money back into your checking account.

This means that, sooner rather than later, you are going to need to pay for the gas that you purchase using these methods.

You should also bear in mind that these methods are not infallible. This means that they may work for some people, but they may not work for others.

Yes. We know that there are methods out there that are not exactly above board. However, we suggest that you avoid them. Surprisingly enough, it is actually a crime to steal gas!

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You May Be Able To Purchase Gas With Only a Little Cash In Your Account

In the United States, the vast majority of gas sales happen at the pump. This means that you will swipe your debit card, and then you will start to fill up your tank.

It is pretty easy, and it means that you aren’t going to have to walk in and actually talk to anybody.

Of course, allowing people to fill up their vehicles before they pay can invite theft. Because of this, when you swipe your debit card, the gas station will put a hold of about $100 on your account. So, even if you are planning on purchasing $20 in gas, $100 is going to be set to one side.

Of course, once you have finished the transaction, the gas station will take the money that you have put to one side and ‘refund’ anything that you didn’t spend.

So, in this case, you will be charged $20, and the $80 will have the hold released in just a couple of hours.

Now, this is all well and good if you actually have $100 sitting in your checking account. However, as we said at the start, a lot of people are going to be sitting pretty close to the edge.

Not everybody is going to have $100 to spare (or whatever hold the company is planning on putting on your account).

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There are a couple of ways around this.

Firstly, some gas stations will have a screen that allows you to pre-pay for your gas. You tap a couple of buttons, tell the gas station exactly how much gas you need, and you will pay for it.

No money will be placed on hold. This is because you are paying for the gas in advance.

If the gas station doesn’t allow you to select exactly how much you can pay at the pump, then you can go in and talk to the cashier.

The vast majority of them will allow you to state exactly how much gas you wish to purchase, and they will set up the pre-pay for you.

Obviously, this is a method that is going to require you to have some money in your checking account. We are running on the assumption that your checking account isn’t running completely empty.

For most people, being able to fill up their tank with a few dollars of gas is going to be worth it. Very, very few people will have completely empty bank accounts.

They just do not have the funds to cover the massive hold that most gas stations are putting on hold.

Our next method will potentially allow you to buy gas, even if your checking account is empty.

Run Your Debit Card As Credit

This is a method that is going to vary depending on the gas station that you head to. Some will allow this method, while some will explicitly forbid it. You won’t know until you get to the pump.

Thankfully, you won’t be filling up your gas tank until you know that this method has actually worked.

Some gas station pumps will allow you to choose between a debit card and a credit card on the payment selection screen. Even if you are paying by a debit card, we suggest that you select credit.

With most gas stations, if you select ‘credit’, the gas station won’t charge you for the gas right away. In fact, it is not even going to be putting a hold on your account.  You are able to fill up the tank as much as you want.

Although, before you think that this is going to be your ticket to free gas, it isn’t. You are going to get charged eventually. Within the next few days, the gas station is going to request a payment from your account.

If you do not have the money sitting in your account, then your checking account is going to end up in the negative. Depending on the bank that you use, this could result in you having to deal with some rather substantial fees.

In our opinion, this is a method that should only be used if you know that you have cash heading into your account within the next few days.

A lot of people will use their debit card as a credit card shortly before they get paid. It means that they can buy necessities now (including gas).

We do want to point out that this is a method that could potentially work on pre-paid debit cards. This means a debit card that is not tied to a checking account at all.

There are some people that will use that in a bid to get gas. However, in our opinion, this is something that could be teetering pretty close to the edge of theft of gas, particularly if you have no plans to top up your pre-paid debit card again.

For that reason, we do recommend that you avoid it. Although let’s be honest, if you do fail to pay the cash back, having a prepaid debit card isn’t going to stop you. A lot of them are going to be tied to your name and address anyway.

Honestly, even if you do have cash available on your debit card, we do suggest that you run it as credit as much as possible.

For starters, there is no need for you to enter your PIN. This could lower the risk of you being the victim of a scam.

Secondly, there are some people who have discovered that the pre-authorization doesn’t fall off right away.

This means that if you run your card as a debit, you may be left without the funds that you need for a rather substantial amount of time.

Talk To The Cashier

So, what happens if the gas pump doesn’t allow you to select ‘credit’ for your debit card? Does this mean that you are out of luck? Nope!

You can always go in and talk to the cashier. You can ask them if you can run your debit card as a credit card instead. Most of them will say yes.

However, there are some gas stations out there (normally the smaller ones), that do prefer to run a pre-authorization instead. As we said, there is no guaranteed way to get gas without money in your checking account.

You may have to talk to multiple gas stations before you find somewhere that is able to help you out. We promise you, there will be at least one that you can use.


If you do not have money available on your debit card, then your best bet is to check whether the gas station will allow you to run the card as a credit instead.

Do bear in mind that, eventually (normally within a couple of days), the gas station will charge you for the gas that you have purchased.

This means that you are going to need to have the cash sitting in your checking account. If you don’t, then you may end up dealing with substantial charges.

We do not recommend that you use any other method for getting gas without cash available. 



Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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