With gas prices rising, the standard credit card hold is going up, way up!
Visa and Mastercard have both authorized gas stations to place a hold of up to $175 on your credit or debit card when you fill up at the pump.
While it’s only a credit card hold, and the charge gets reconciled to the actual amount, the time it takes to happen could be long.
Some gas station credit card systems could be a few hours to a few days.
“When you set a hold that is a high number, it increases the likelihood that a consumer will overdraft because of that hold,” Jeff Lenard, of the National Association of Convenience Stores told the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
“However, if you set a number that’s too low, you also risk not getting paid for that transaction.”
How Get Around the Gas Station Credit Card Hold?
According to Kelly Blue Book, there are two things you could try.
- Go inside and pre-authorize a smaller transaction. It cuts out the convenience of paying right at the pump, but if you tell the clerk to only charge you $40, the only amount debited at that time will be the $40.
- Forgo the credit card or debit card altogether and just pay cash. Again, it requires going inside the gas station, and cuts down on the convenience, but keeps the credit card headaches away.