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    Thread: Gas stations and credit card holds

    1. Member finklejag's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 06:56 PM #1
      I stopped at a Chevron I never used before. I used my credit card and the amount came to $33.86. When I got home and checked my account. It showed a $126.00 hold for that transaction. I hate when gas stations do this. I know the Shell and 76 stations I use always just have a $1.00 hold until the transaction clears.

      One Chevron station really pissed me off last year. It was the day before payday. I had around $50.00 in my checking account. I stopped to fill up my car. It usually comes out to about $40.00 bucks. Well my debit card was declined. The guy said sorry, you need at least $90.00 in your account. I felt so little. I now only use credit cards at gas stations.

    2. Member adrew's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 07:01 PM #2
      This isn't new. Hotels and rental car companies do the same thing, often for hundreds of dollars.

      I only use a credit card when traveling for piece of mind and chargeback protection. It's also nice that it's not linked to your checking account if it gets hacked/compromised.
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    3. Member Señor Peligro's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 07:02 PM #3
      I thought if it was a PIN-based transaction (not just swipe & pump) only the exact amount was processed...
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      12-12-2011 07:04 PM #4
      Costco is doing this as well. Many of the local gas stations are holding $100.
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      12-12-2011 07:09 PM #5
      Pretty standard, they don't know how much you are going to fill, so they pre-authorize $100 or something and then charge whatever you actually pump when you are done. Blame your bank for holding the pre-auth past the charge for way too long.
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      12-12-2011 07:12 PM #6
      Who cares? My limit is somewhere near $4600 and I never even get close.
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    7. Member olltray's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 07:14 PM #7
      LOL, stop being poor brah.

    8. 12-12-2011 07:19 PM #8
      Hmm. They only hold $1 in NC and VA no matter how much you buy. Weird that they hold 100s of dollars.

    9. Member lojasmo's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 07:47 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by butterface View Post
      Hmm. They only hold $1 in NC and VA no matter how much you buy. Weird that they hold 100s of dollars.
      State law.

    10. Member abawp's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 11:45 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      I only use a credit card when traveling for piece of mind and chargeback protection. It's also nice that it's not linked to your checking account if it gets hacked/compromised.
      This is one of many reasons I tend to use a credit card for any and all purchases, the OP's is another reason. I'd rather have someone elses money on the hook instead of mine (whereby I pay the "debt" I owe at the end of the term), especially for silly transactions like that where there's severely overcharged charges held but then the difference gets refunded when it clears.
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    11. Member O_o's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 12:33 AM #11
      This is one of the reasons I pay inside. That, and the machines on the pump are so &$^#ing slow, and ask you so many damned questions, it's actually faster to walk inside, tell the dude "pump 3, just the gas, no points card," pay, and leave.

    12. Member GTiTOM's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 02:46 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by finklejag View Post
      I stopped at a Chevron I never used before. I used my credit card and the amount came to $33.86. When I got home and checked my account. It showed a $126.00 hold for that transaction. I hate when gas stations do this. I know the Shell and 76 stations I use always just have a $1.00 hold until the transaction clears.

      One Chevron station really pissed me off last year. It was the day before payday. I had around $50.00 in my checking account. I stopped to fill up my car. It usually comes out to about $40.00 bucks. Well my debit card was declined. The guy said sorry, you need at least $90.00 in your account. I felt so little. I now only use credit cards at gas stations.
      Pretty standard practice. If you got the cash, just use cash and pay your $40

      As adrew said, pretty standard for hotels too. I've had to prepay well over a grand before at places that preauthorize the entire stay + potential incidentals. You learn to use a credit card quickly when you find out it can take days to return it to your debit card, but the credit card clears off right after getting authorized

    13. Member x047x's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 08:09 AM #13
      I'm pretty sure Sunoco does not place holds on cards. I saw them advertise this on one of their pumps a few years back and took note of it. Might be something to look into

    14. 12-13-2011 08:30 AM #14
      My local station does not do a hold. In fact, there is almost a full day lag between the time I swipe at the pump and when it comes out of my checking account. Not always. Sometimes a $1 hold and then the full charge the next day, sometimes nothing until the next day, sometimes it all comes out at once. I've rolled the bones a few times at the pump. Normally I pay inside as I'm never filling it up and I need to grab a pop, donut and chat with the local cast of characters inside the station.

      As far as credit card hold.... I've never really run into any issues at gas stations or hotels. Granted I don't travel much, but I'd say I stay in a hotel at least a couple of time a year. I've never had a hold. Never. I don't ( and never have) had a credit card, so I keep close track of things like that.
      Last edited by winstonsmith84; 12-13-2011 at 08:34 AM.

    15. Member H. Stark's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 09:53 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by ThreadBomber View Post
      Blame your bank for holding the pre-auth past the charge for way too long.
      That's not the bank's fault. The gas station is the one holding the pre-auth.

    16. Member seymore15074's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 11:42 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by sjt1985 View Post
      Who cares? My limit is somewhere near $4600 and I never even get close.
      This!

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      12-13-2011 11:47 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by 89glwiththat View Post
      That's not the bank's fault. The gas station is the one holding the pre-auth.
      Actually depending on the area it may differ. Here in FL, my local credit union sent out a letter a few
      months back saying that "pre auth debit transactions" at gas stations were going to have a auto hold of $75 instead of the previous $50.

      The credit union here is the one holding the pre-auth.



      To the OP - Next time just pay inside, whether you are using debit/credit, they will deduct the exact amt you tell them
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    18. Member adrew's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 11:56 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      As far as credit card hold.... I've never really run into any issues at gas stations or hotels. Granted I don't travel much, but I'd say I stay in a hotel at least a couple of time a year. I've never had a hold. Never. I don't ( and never have) had a credit card, so I keep close track of things like that.
      In my experience, places like America's Best Value Inn or Days Inn (where I usually stay when paying myself, like on a road trip) don't do exorbitant holds, if any.

      But I travel once or twice a year for work conferences and those are always somewhere like a Hyatt or a Hilton -- and those places want to be sure they have enough locked down to cover your whole stay, plus some extra if you go crazy with the minibar or order a bunch of Spanktravision.
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    19. Member jpr's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 11:57 AM #19
      You'd be surprised at how many and how much money transactions float through the air in the evenings. these gas stations and any other store that uses a credit card service for all of their transactions get processed at around the same time late in the evening. The hold is sort of a transaction place card so the actual transaction to the credit processing company can be made later in the day usually after business hours along with every other transaction that day all at once. it costs the business money to use this credit card service per transaction which is why sometimes you might see a minimum purchase necessary at gas stations like 4 or 5 dollars.

      the holds for 50, 75, 100 dollars is to make sure people don't run out of their money in the day before the transactions take place thus putting somebody in the red in their bank account in the morning. Its only a line that had to be drawn somewhere, you can still empty your account easily with 100 in there but drawing the line at such a high dollar amount actually increases the chances that it wont happen. Also they try to claim that it is a precaution that incase your card gets stolen people do not run it dry. Usually the first stop is a gas station with a stolen card.

      some banks which i think should be very illegal and is highly immoral practices will actually take all of your transactions over a weekend or even an evening after business hours and process the biggest ones first. this has gotten me in the past and pissed off lots of people because processing the biggest transactions first will put you in the red faster. so banks that charge you an overdraft fee for every transaction in the red was making lots of money over drafting people as fast as possible then putting the rest of the transactions through.
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    20. 12-13-2011 12:34 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      In my experience, places like America's Best Value Inn or Days Inn (where I usually stay when paying myself, like on a road trip) don't do exorbitant holds, if any.

      But I travel once or twice a year for work conferences and those are always somewhere like a Hyatt or a Hilton -- and those places want to be sure they have enough locked down to cover your whole stay, plus some extra if you go crazy with the minibar or order a bunch of Spanktravision.
      Oddly enough, I usually stay at a Hyatt or Marriott and have never had a hold. I'm wondering if this is a difference between debit/credit and Visa & Mastercard servicing? Perhaps a hold is being placed but I never see it. Could be my bank as well I suppose. I'm just never seeing it.

    21. Member ThreadBomber's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 12:43 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by 89glwiththat View Post
      That's not the bank's fault. The gas station is the one holding the pre-auth.
      Could be different up here, which I never thought of before.

      It is law here to pre-pay for fuel purchases. So, we have to swipe, get authorized (you can choose "fill up" which is about $150, or you can enter a dollar amount), and then pump away. If you choose "fill up" and only put in $60, youll get that $90 back available on your credit limit after another couple days. If your month rolls over say the next day, you are only charged the $60, not the $150. The gas stattion receives the $60 and never sees any of the $150.
      Last edited by ThreadBomber; 12-13-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sump View Post
      I'm sure a lot of these guys went home after the carwash and played a little hans solo.

    22. Member Sump's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 12:49 PM #22
      Amex always dumps the pre-auth quickly and you're not dealing with some bank.

      Also they give crazy limits compared to what I get from Visa or MC. Roughly quadruple with Amex over bank issued cards. (No I don't carry a balance)

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      12-13-2011 12:55 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by 89glwiththat View Post
      That's not the bank's fault. The gas station is the one holding the pre-auth.
      not true. your bank is the one not refunding your money fast enough. When you get a refund anywhere, be it wal-mart or the gas station, it depends on your bank on how fast you get that money back. The refund is instant from the store.. The pre-auth is a charge then refund then recharge for the correct price.

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      12-13-2011 01:46 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by jpr View Post
      it costs the business money to use this credit card service per transaction which is why sometimes you might see a minimum purchase necessary at gas stations like 4 or 5 dollars.
      IIRC, this is against merchant and creditor contract and is grounds for terminating the contract between the credit companies and the merchants. Only reason we don't hear about Visa/Mastercard canceling contracts is most people either don't know about this or don't care to report it to the card companies since it's such a meager amount of money.
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    25. 12-13-2011 01:47 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by abawp View Post
      IIRC, this is against merchant and creditor contract and is grounds for terminating the contract between the credit companies and the merchants. Only reason we don't hear about Visa/Mastercard canceling contracts is most people either don't know about this or don't care to report it to the card companies since it's such a meager amount of money.
      My current terminal has a $1.00 minimum. I have no control over it, which sucks because I have an astounding amount of people wanting to charge $.78.

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      12-13-2011 02:52 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by finklejag View Post
      When I got home and checked my account. It showed a $126.00 hold for that transaction. I hate when gas stations do this. I know the Shell and 76 stations I use always just have a $1.00 hold until the transaction clears.
      That's news to me. Not a fan. They used to do the hold with $1. I think a $20 would be sufficient or they should at least adjust the hold depending on the sale amount.

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      12-13-2011 02:54 PM #27
      Yay Canada!

      I can either swipe at the pump and pump away OR I can pull up to the pump, pick up the nozzle and fill my car. Then I can leisurely proceed into the gas station to pay for my gas AFTER pumping with cash, debit, credit card.

      Good 'ol trusty Canada.

    28. Member GTiTOM's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 03:05 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      Oddly enough, I usually stay at a Hyatt or Marriott and have never had a hold. I'm wondering if this is a difference between debit/credit and Visa & Mastercard servicing? Perhaps a hold is being placed but I never see it. Could be my bank as well I suppose. I'm just never seeing it.
      There is a difference, but I couldn't tell you exactly what it is.

      I traveled for work a lot last year and would occasionally use a debit card when I'd check in to my hotel. The front desk folk would always say something along the lines of "We have to charge the full amount and it can sometimes take up to a week for the hold to clear --- is that ok?"

      Sure enough, i'd get a $2000 charge on my debit card that night and it would drop off before I'd check out. If I gave a credit card, it would usually just be an authorization charge but would drop off right away. I don't know if it's maybe because with a debit card they want to get all your money up front where as with a credit card they know they can go after the credit card company if you commit fraud or something?

      No idea. But I do know it's always easier to just use your credit card when you check in and pay with your debit card when you check out if that's how you plan on paying.

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      12-13-2011 04:00 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by butterface View Post
      Hmm. They only hold $1 in NC and VA no matter how much you buy. Weird that they hold 100s of dollars.
      MD is the same way.
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    30. 12-13-2011 04:02 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by GTiTOM View Post
      No idea. But I do know it's always easier to just use your credit card when you check in and pay with your debit card when you check out if that's how you plan on paying.
      Probably. Most of the time I just get the receipt stuffed under the door when I leave and the exact amount is charged to my card. I've never seen anything like a $2K hold or even a $2 hold. I really have no idea. This is going to require research.
      Last edited by winstonsmith84; 12-13-2011 at 04:06 PM.

    31. Member Eightysixturbo's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 04:04 PM #31
      I got sick of the 1.00 holds so I pay in cash now. simple fix?
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    32. Member joeybags's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 04:06 PM #32
      That's weird my bank said if I go inside and pay there will be no held amount credit or debit but if I pay at the pump it will hold like $50.

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      12-13-2011 04:17 PM #33
      I hated paying cash for fuel in the U.S. We stopped at the first two stations and had to pay before hand. How the **** am I supposed to know how much fuel my car is going to take before I put fuel in it? Not to mention converting U.S. Gallons into Liters so it's familiar in my head. I HATED having to go back to the clerk for change after I over-paid and it wouldn't fit the amount I thought it would.

      Only did that twice and then I said **** it the rest of the fuel-ups are going on the credit card for the remainder of the trip. What a stupid way to do business with fuel.

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      12-13-2011 04:21 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam144 View Post
      Yay Canada!

      I can either swipe at the pump and pump away OR I can pull up to the pump, pick up the nozzle and fill my car. Then I can leisurely proceed into the gas station to pay for my gas AFTER pumping with cash, debit, credit card.

      Good 'ol trusty Canada.
      Used to be that way here until some gas pump attendant tried to stop a gas-n-go and was dragged under the car for seven blocks
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sump View Post
      I'm sure a lot of these guys went home after the carwash and played a little hans solo.

    35. Member OrdinaryGirl's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 06:04 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam144 View Post
      I hated paying cash for fuel in the U.S. We stopped at the first two stations and had to pay before hand. How the **** am I supposed to know how much fuel my car is going to take before I put fuel in it? Not to mention converting U.S. Gallons into Liters so it's familiar in my head. I HATED having to go back to the clerk for change after I over-paid and it wouldn't fit the amount I thought it would.

      Only did that twice and then I said **** it the rest of the fuel-ups are going on the credit card for the remainder of the trip. What a stupid way to do business with fuel.

      I have yet to find a gas station that doesn't pre-charge $150 on your MasterCard here in BC (I'm picky tho, especially with the Gti). Dont usually care but the other day I got 3 pre-charges for one fill up. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper, especially when MasterCard didnt want to do anything to help me get them reversed.

      From now on, I'll be going inside first to have the clerk run how much I think the car is going to take. I've never put in more than $63 of diesel in the wagon. The Gti, on the other hand, has taken as much as $85 to fill up with 94 but I rarely drive it, especially in the winter so I'll worry more about that next summer.
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