Know before you swipe: Some gas stations increasing holds on cards, reports say
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re On Your Side with a warning about your debit or credit cards being charged more than you bargained for at the gas pump. You may want to check your bank account after you fill up because that credit card hold some stations charge is getting bigger. It’s only adding to the pain at the pump.
The Wall Street Journal reports gas stations are putting a bigger pre-authorization hold of up to $175 when customers swipe their debit and credit cards at the pump.
Visa and Mastercard raised the hold limits earlier this year.
Why does this happen? The WSJ reports banks allow merchants to use these holds to make sure customers have enough money in their own account to settle the payment when the transaction is complete. But sometimes these pre-authorization holds can stay on your account for days, depending on the gas station.
“Some of them come off very quickly within a day or so but some of them are on there for as much as a week and if you are on a little bit of a tight budget like most of us are these days with everything being more expensive that could be a real problem for you,” Clay Ingram with AAA of Alabama said.
You may never notice these holds unless you check your bank account.
How do you avoid them? AAA says its best to go inside and pay with cash or card and have the clerk set the amount you want to pay.
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