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Debit/Credit card question

Posted on 08/31/2013 6:21:15 PM PDT by Maine Mariner

I am getting ready to write a letter to the Attorney General of Maine asking his office to investigate how companies put hold on debit/credit cards.

During a recent trip we used a prepaid AAA debit card; we purchased gasoline for $29.00 and paid at the pump. After our purchase we checked our statement and the company put a hold of $75.00 on the card. We have a receipt for $29.00. A couple of days later the $75.00 dropped off and our card was debited for the actual amount of the purchase. I understand a company can put a hold on a card, but the story gets worse, much worse.

On August 28, my wife went to purchase gasoline using that same AAA card and swiped the card at the pump. She saw that it was to be a credit purchase and not wanting a $75.00 hold CANCELLED THE TRANSACTION. She purchased no gasoline with that AAA debit card. Well, you guessed it-a mere swipe of the card automatically has put a $75.00 hold on our card. As of 8 pm on August 31 the hold is still there. Here is my question to anyone that can help. What right does a company have to put a hold on my money when NO purchase was made?


TOPICS: Travel
KEYWORDS: creditcard; debitcard
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1 posted on 08/31/2013 6:21:15 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: Maine Mariner

I understand putting a hold on a credit card (not a debit card) when you rent a room or a car, but for a retail purchase? Doesn’t make sense to me.


2 posted on 08/31/2013 6:23:53 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Maine Mariner

Pay in cash. Convenience has its penalties.


3 posted on 08/31/2013 6:23:54 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Maine Mariner

Use of the card constitutes agreement to the terms. They put the $75 hold on to cover the potential cost of the gas. Only way around it is to go inside and have them put a specific amount against the card.


4 posted on 08/31/2013 6:24:01 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Maine Mariner

Pssssttt,

Get rid of ALL the friggin cards and pay CASH.

CASH IS KING.

I have NO checking, saving, credit card or other accounts.

You need to see how these vermin slobber after me for my business.

If you think the holds are something, you need to understand how they up and down the interest rates on your accounts.


5 posted on 08/31/2013 6:27:33 PM PDT by ConradofMontferrat ( According to mudslimz, my handle is a HATE CRIME. And I HOPE they don't like it.)
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To: Maine Mariner

Creepy. I’d stop using that prepaid card and get a bank one, even from a sucky bank (which most are). At least they don’t do that.


6 posted on 08/31/2013 6:28:36 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Maine Mariner

It’s not the card company its the place you got gas from, they are the ones putting the hold.


7 posted on 08/31/2013 6:29:14 PM PDT by aft_lizard
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To: Maine Mariner

I use a debit card regularly. A lot of times they will put a one dollar hold/charge on it before the whole amount is applied several days later.

I have never had a charge larger than the actual amount of the debit placed on it.


8 posted on 08/31/2013 6:29:22 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Maine Mariner

By the way, jumping onto the thread: what about when you leave a debit card as your card at a hotel? They put a hold on your card that lasts longer than your stay. How to avoid that? Would leaving cash be better, because they have to give you back your cash when you leave?


9 posted on 08/31/2013 6:30:17 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Maine Mariner

the gas station does that because it has no way of knowing in advance, when it authorizes your purchase, how much gas you are going to pump into your car

so it actually makes sense

they then only actually bill your credit card for the amount you do in fact pump.

if you don’t want that hold to show on your account, you can go inside and have the attendant charge your card for a specified amount in advance (or most gas stations will agree to hold your card inside while you go and fill you tank, then you go back in and sign and pick up your card).

so you do have a way around this problem.


10 posted on 08/31/2013 6:30:39 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (E)
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To: Maine Mariner

Barrack Obama thanks you for the $75 donation.


11 posted on 08/31/2013 6:31:42 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Yaelle

All cards do it. You just won’t notice it unless you monitor it closely.


12 posted on 08/31/2013 6:32:43 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

I agree with your observation. However, there was no purchase. Immediately after my wife swiped the card she cancelled the transaction. No purchase was made.

And yes we now know to go inside and have a specific amount put against the card.


13 posted on 08/31/2013 6:36:35 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: aft_lizard

Yes, we understand that.


14 posted on 08/31/2013 6:37:26 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: Maine Mariner
The terms vary by card and merchant but basically they put the hold on the maximum amount they will sell at the pump before you pump gas. That way there is no problem with the transaction being declined after you have the gas in your car.

If you have ever been to a station where the hold is too low then you have to do multiple transactions if you have a vehicle with a large tank. That's a pain too.

There's an overview of the whole process and problems at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_hold

15 posted on 08/31/2013 6:38:14 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: Maine Mariner

It’s common. The places I buy gas have stickers on the pump indicating that a hold may be placed on your card. They indicate it is the bank and not them...it makes a little sense. In a sense it’s an odd debit purchase because you’re authorized before the amount of sale is known, which defies the concept of a debit purchase. USAA does not seem to do it.


16 posted on 08/31/2013 6:39:18 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: ConradofMontferrat

If you have no cards, how do you travel? How do you reserve a hotel room or rent a car?


17 posted on 08/31/2013 6:39:32 PM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: Yaelle

By the way, jumping onto the thread: what about when you leave a debit card as your card at a hotel? They put a hold on your card that lasts longer than your stay. How to avoid that? Would leaving cash be better, because they have to give you back your cash when you leave?


It is better to tell them to take the entire amount for your stay off your debit card at check-in. Then tell them you’ll leave $50 toward any incidentals you might run up.

You likely will NOT use anything that will cost but every hotel requires an open card or cash toward “incidentals”.

I used to run a hotel & for the last 10 years I’ve stayed in a new hotel every night for work. So I’ve experienced a lot at hotels. This is the best way I know of.


18 posted on 08/31/2013 6:42:23 PM PDT by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: Maine Mariner

Without human intervention, analytical software flags certain transactions as suspect and may impose rejections, delays, holds, and such as a result. The lengthy cardholder agreements and various laws and regulations permit the practice, as annoying as it can be.


19 posted on 08/31/2013 6:43:00 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: andyk

I understand that it is common. But again no purchase occurred. The card was swiped; the transaction cancelled. No gas was pumped; nozzle was not removed from the pump.


20 posted on 08/31/2013 6:43:20 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

I use my AMEX for the sky miles. Over the years we have gone to Hawaii (3 x’s), Japan, Costa Rica, Niagara Falls, Chicago & St. Martin (2x’s) for between $5 and $60 (foreign tax) per round trip.


21 posted on 08/31/2013 6:43:58 PM PDT by Tea Party Terrorist (Those who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Maine Mariner

It depends upon which gas station you use. I recently drove from NM to Ames, Iowa, using a debit card all the way. Some gas stations did the $1.00 charge to make sure the card worked and others just pre-authorized $75 at the pumps as you experienced.

There’s no way around it unless you go inside and say $25 on pump 4. Then they put the purchase through immediately.


22 posted on 08/31/2013 6:44:01 PM PDT by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: leapfrog0202

Yes, your point is well taken and we will do that in the future. But what I am upset about is that NO purchase occurred. The card was swiped; the transaction cancelled.
The nozzle was not even removed from the pump.


23 posted on 08/31/2013 6:46:36 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: Yaelle

most hotels don’t really charge your card at all if you show up by 6 pm, and then you can pay however you want. if you reserve the room by card and then don’t get there till AFTER 6 pm, that’s when they charge your card. although i have arrived after six, and the charge really isn’t sent thru till 5 am or so.
so if you got charged it means you were late.


24 posted on 08/31/2013 6:48:30 PM PDT by SendShaqtoIraq (Teresa Davis)
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To: Tea Party Terrorist

I use cards too but the gas thing is a no win deal. I can see where they are coming from.


25 posted on 08/31/2013 6:49:28 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Maine Mariner

It’s a common practice.

I was on a trip one time and using American Express prepaid credit card. Bought gas at one station with the card, then stopped at a place to eat later that day and tried to use the same card and it wasn’t accepted. Luckily I had more than one card to use.


26 posted on 08/31/2013 6:49:31 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( ==> sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: Maine Mariner

Many credit card agreements with retailers involve a means to modify the original transaction with an upcharge for a gratuity or additional authorized charge without swiping the card a second time. Those agreements provide a hold amount for prepaid debit cards when swiped, and a time limit to submit the additional charge for all cards. You are subject to the terms of hose agreements if you choose to pay at those retailers with your card.


27 posted on 08/31/2013 6:53:12 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: Maine Mariner

Once we drove from Florida to Oklahoma. We stopped at a motel and I gave them an American Express Gold Card. This was back in the early 80s and it actually meant something then.

Anyway the clerk swiped the card with one of those manual slides they used to use. She then phoned in to make sure it was good before letting us stay. I had never had anyone do that before or later. Maybe they do it after you leave the office, I don’t know but it irritated me a bit.


28 posted on 08/31/2013 6:56:25 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

Paying in cash enables tax evasion and payment ‘under the table.’ Real tax reform won’t happen until enough voters feel the wrath of the onerous tax burden.


29 posted on 08/31/2013 6:57:34 PM PDT by posterchild
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To: SendShaqtoIraq

I’d be paranoid that they’d keep my cash and still charge my card. Have you not had any problems?


30 posted on 08/31/2013 6:58:55 PM PDT by posterchild
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To: Maine Mariner

I haven’t researched this particular issue, but as a general rule, you have FAR fewer rights with a debit card than you do with a credit card. I’d never have a debit card tied to my bank account. (I can see a limited utility for the prepaids).


31 posted on 08/31/2013 7:00:27 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: ottbmare

Not sure how one would buy a plane ticket either.

Maybe s/he doesn’t travel.


32 posted on 08/31/2013 7:04:24 PM PDT by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
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To: Maine Mariner

When you use a card at the pump it charges you $1 to ensure the card is valid. The remainder of the purchase hits a while after you pump.

I avoid the hassle and just go inside and pay with my card so it all comes out at once with no “hold” on it.

But cash is better!


33 posted on 08/31/2013 7:09:22 PM PDT by rfreedom4u (I have a copy of the Constitution! And I'm not afraid to use it!)
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To: Maine Mariner

Generally, the gas pump has a sign that this is a possibility, just like when you rent a car for a week a two week hold is on the card.
These actions are customary.


34 posted on 08/31/2013 7:09:56 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: svcw

Is this exclusive to prepaid?. I have a debit/credit card and have never dealt with this...to my knowledge.


35 posted on 08/31/2013 7:16:32 PM PDT by KittenClaws ( You may have to fight a battle more than once in order to win it." - Margaret Thatcher)
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To: faithhopecharity

What really makes sense is for them to charge the actual amount of purchase. They clear what they want in advance and adjust the amount when the purchase is complete. In fact link the pump to the purchase amount charged on the card.


36 posted on 08/31/2013 7:20:53 PM PDT by morphing libertarian
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To: svcw

Ir takes 5 minutes to pump gas and two weeks to rent a car for two weeks.


37 posted on 08/31/2013 7:21:39 PM PDT by morphing libertarian
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To: KittenClaws

I have never had a prepaid card, so I can not say.


38 posted on 08/31/2013 7:22:24 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: morphing libertarian

I do not know what you mean.
The point of my post was holds are customary, tried to use examples of holds.


39 posted on 08/31/2013 7:23:20 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: svcw

Me either. That’s why I asked.


40 posted on 08/31/2013 7:23:54 PM PDT by KittenClaws ( You may have to fight a battle more than once in order to win it." - Margaret Thatcher)
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To: svcw

You compared a rental car for two weeks to pumping gas for 5 minutes. No need to hold anything on pumping gas.

When the final amount shows $50, the amount on the debit card should show $50. If they enter $75 at the start, the 75 should be adjusted down to $50 as soon as the pump is shut off.

Is this 2013 or what?


41 posted on 08/31/2013 7:26:35 PM PDT by morphing libertarian
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To: driftdiver
All cards do it. You just won’t notice it unless you monitor it closely.

I screwed up at a pump on I80 last year by swiping one of those sneaky little diesel pumps which appear to part of the gas pump. I pressed cancel and pumped my gas. I believe I also did something irregular again on the same trip when a pump wouldn't work.

Well, I got a call from my bank ( or the card people, I guess ) while I was still on the road! They had called my wife at home and she gave them my cell number.

The lady started asking me stuff, but I didn't make the connection to the pump fumbles. Anyway, I told her it was me, and she just wanted to know if my trip would be over soon, and I said yeah, that day. It was only after thinking about it that I realized the gas pump connection. ( BTW, I've got hands-free Bluetooth, FWIW. )

Anyway, it actually gave me a warm fuzzy to know they were so on the ball, although I have had similar incidents in the past.

42 posted on 08/31/2013 7:31:08 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: Maine Mariner

Yes, your point is well taken and we will do that in the future. But what I am upset about is that NO purchase occurred. The card was swiped; the transaction cancelled.
The nozzle was not even removed from the pump.


Sorry I didn’t see that part until after I replied.

As far as not removing the nozzle I’m not sure how in the world they could do a pre-auth unless it’s just done automatically as soon as the card is swiped? I’ve never had that experience and I’m sorry it happened. I realize it’s a lot of money to have held.


43 posted on 08/31/2013 7:35:41 PM PDT by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: Maine Mariner

I don’t use a debit card but I do a credit card for cash and the same thing happened but it was $100 and I called the bank because I have my cards on alert if a charge is made for $100 or more. When I called the bank they told me that the gas station does this I believe it was on my visa I told them how dumb I thought that was, but the next day the amount of gas was correct. It actually only happened at Chevron however using the same card at other places it doesn’t do the $100 hold.


44 posted on 08/31/2013 7:43:06 PM PDT by proudCArepublican
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To: proudCArepublican

That is for GAS not CASH


45 posted on 08/31/2013 7:43:43 PM PDT by proudCArepublican
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To: Maine Mariner

I buy gas “Credit, Outside”, with my debit card. They don’t ask for my PIN, and I don’t sign. A $1 charge appears on my checking account until they charge the actual amount, which is usually the next business day.

I’ve had supermarket checkouts say I don’t need a pin or signature for purchases under $50.


46 posted on 08/31/2013 7:43:48 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: KittenClaws

Nor have I. Given a choice though, I always just push “credit” instead of “debit”, don’t enter a PIN number and have never had any kind of an extra charge and no problems for at least 6 years.

But I am very careful about where I use this card and it’s always at the same two or three places. The gas station I generally use has no “inside” or attendant and you have to use a credit or debit card. Gas is a little less expensive there though.


47 posted on 08/31/2013 7:58:08 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Maine Mariner

Okay, so what did the company have to say about it?


48 posted on 08/31/2013 7:58:44 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: morphing libertarian

Most pumps have a sign that says this is a possibility, its jsut the way it is.
A way not to have this happen is go inside and put a dollar amount on the purchase or pay cash.
Its never been an issue for me because within an hour the hold is gone.


49 posted on 08/31/2013 8:00:34 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: ottbmare

I did it for a while with a debit card... since I could not get a CC because I managed to get to the age of 40 and not have any credit score. They just preauthorize for the full amount of the contract... Enterprise and Avis would rent on a debit card... Hertz varied.


50 posted on 08/31/2013 8:09:30 PM PDT by Rodamala
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