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With rising gas prices, the standard credit card hold goes up, sky high!
Visa and Mastercard both have gas stations authorized to hold up to $175 on your credit or debit card when you fill up at the pump.
Although this is just a credit card hold and the charges are reconciled to the actual amount, the time it takes for this to happen can be long.
Some gas station credit card systems can last anywhere from 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 be overdrawn because of that hold,” Jeff Lenard of the National Association of Convenience Stores told The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
“However, if you set the number too low, you also risk not getting paid for that transaction.”
How to bypass gas station credit card hold?
According to Kelly Blue Book, there are two things you could try.
- Enter and pre-authorize a smaller transaction. This eliminates the convenience of paying directly at the pump, but if you tell the clerk to only charge you $40, the only amount charged at that time will be the $40.
- Ditch the credit card or debit card altogether and just pay in cash. Again, this requires going inside the gas station and reduces convenience, but avoids credit card headaches.