Gas Station / Bank HOLDS

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I was reading the news about a lady who had $20 in her bank account (living pay check to pay check as many of us do) and she used her debit card to "pay at the pump" and purchased $15 of gas. With in a few days she was checking her bank statement and noticed overdraft charges. Noticed a $50 charge from the gas station where she purchased $15. She called the station and was told the gas station puts a $50 hold on all gas purchases until the transactions clear the bank. Usually 3 days.

    So, I googled "pay at the pump". Sure enough. Gas stations place a $50 - $100 hold on ANY gas purchases when using bank cards. Some articles say if you enter your pin number they do not place a hold, but if you use your card as credit there is a HOLD placed on your bank account.

    So, I called my bank today. Yep. There is a $100 HOLD placed on my account anytime I use my bank card for either debit or credit when I "pay at the pump".

    According to the articles the gas station determines the amount, the bank determines the length of time. So I asked the bank how long. All she would say...repeatedly was "until the transactions clears".

    I then reviewed my account, and I have several overdraft charges. Here I paid at the pump ($100 hold) and my husband paid at the pump (another $100 hold). Also noticed several other holds on my funds. Bank informed me anytime I use my bank card for a purchase my funds are held until the transaction clears. Anywhere from 3 - 5 days.

    This is just WRONG. I didn't authorize anyone to HOLD MY money. I didn't have any knowledge of this. The gas stations should be REQUIRED to post a sign stating they are placing a HOLD on your funds and the amount of the hold.

    The bank should also be required to notify you that they hold your funds on any purchase with your bank card.

    So whether you purchas $5 or$50 of gas, the gas stations in my area place a $100 hold until the transaction clears. SO wrong.

    Instead of going paperless and paying my bills online with my bank card (now funds being held) I am now requesting all paper statements and paying everything by check.

    Gas...most require prepay. So, I will have to use the ATM machine, get cash, prepay, fill up and get change back. Since I do not know the cost to fill up, I will have to guess. I rarely get below 1/2 tank, don't want the shock of the price tag that goes with an empty tank.

    Gas prices fell to $3.86 Friday in my town. At that time I was not aware of the HOLD fee. So, we both filled up and paid the gas as well as having $200 now held up. JUST WRONG.

    Anyone else aware of this? Check it out. Call your bank. Ask the stations what their fees are. Even if they don't place a HOLD when entering your PIN, some pumps don't give you that option, automatically goes through as credit when you swipe your card. :mad:
  2. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    KJS...I should get you in touch with my husband. This is one of the many ranting topics for him.

  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Here's another ranter on the subject. I now only use my ATM to withdraw cash at the bank. I use one credit card for weekly purchases and pay it as soon as the bill comes in.

    This hold policy for more than the amount of the purchase is ridiculous. Other places where the hold is used is hotels and motels, car rentals (if you can find one that will accept a debit card) and, sadly, some restaurants. I'm sure there are other companies and industries that have this policy and it would be nice to know all of them that do it.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was not aware! I use a gas company credit card. I would have realized it though had I known. I do all my banking (bill paying etc.) online and I check my accounts every single day.

    Since I have numerous business and personal (between both kids and myself and a bonehead joint checking still) accounts. I keep all this straight by checking the accounts every morning just like checking my email! I would know if anything looked "fishy".

    Glad you posted this for folks who use their debit cards for gas purchases.

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Not all places do that, so it does pay to check it out. If you ask them, they have to tell you. Also, often it is not the gas station's that put the hold on the money, it is your bank. When you pay at the pump, it authorizes your card before you pump so it holds an amount to cover a fill up, for example.

    FWIW, my bank doesn't do it. It puts a $1.00 hold on my account which falls off the next day until the actual charges post...regardless of which gas station I use.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    From what I have been told its not all places and not all banks. I think its certain stations that are more famous for doing this. I dont use them. I belong to a credit union and its never happened to me. I have never heard of this happening anywhere but gas stations though.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I used to work installing credit card machines and training merchants to use them. (please don't hit me!)

    Think about when you pump gas and pay at the pump. You put the card in before you pump. The card has to be authorized before you can fill up. How can the pump know what kind of car you drive and how much it holds? So a hold is put on the card for an amount that many people use.

    I am NOT saying it is right, just that this is their reasoning.

    Restaurants with the "tip line" where you can add a tip also authorize and HOLD more than the amount of purchase - often a much larger % than the 15%-20% that is a standard tip.

    Bars are the worst. If you start a tab at a bar it will put a hold on the account, often upwards of $100!!! And that hold is there for 2 weeks or more - LONG after the purchase has cleared.

    husband and I bargained with our bank to have these holds NOT generate overdraft charges unless the amt of purchase comes through for the amount. It is a benefit of using a small town credit union I guess.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I checked at my gas station on this (freaking out as if there's a hundred dollar hold on my acct, there's a payment due to be taken out that won't clear).

    They don't do this. The pumps go up to 100 dollars. Preauthorization will not go through unless there is one hundred dollars in the account. You simply pay inside if you have less than that.

    Meanwhile, I'm still going to go to using the debit card at the ATM and paying in cash, just to avoid this.

    I also bank at a small credit union (four branches in a 45 mile area) that doesn't hold funds on this sort of thing.
  9. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Yep that has been going on forever, Well since debit cards anyway. I had read about that a while back and if I am remembering right if you actually go to the register and input your pin # they will not put a hold of any $.Confirm that with the establishment. Allot of places will charge you just to use your debit card at their establishment as well. I was just warning my difficult child about that and the holds. Me personally, I do not and will not use a debit card. Geezo its not like we don't pay enough to the banks just to use their service but I cannot see having to pay a fee to buy something.
  10. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Ok, on a similiar note...does any of your banks hold your pay check for twenty four hours before making it available on your account even when you deposit it in the bank itself and before 2. Ours does. But get this if you cash the check for cash and then deposit it poof it is available right away. Now explain why I have to take the extra time to do this. Never mind please don't I will just go on not understanding since the answer would probably make my head spin.

  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Another thing Hubby found out was that in addition to putting a hold on your account when purchasing gas, the bank only authorized a $75 maximum. He was beyond furious because we were trying to fill both tanks on the pickup, and if he started over, there would be another hold, and another $75 maximum, and...