Gas stations can put a "hold" on your bank funds...

@newtondak (3950)
United States
June 17, 2008 7:10pm CST
I read an article the other day that indicated when you use your Debit Card at the pump at the gas station, some stations are putting a "hold" on funds in your bank account equal to what they think is the average fill-up because they don't know when you first insert your card into the pump just how much gas you will pump. This guarantees them that you have enough funds in your account to pay for what you pump. The problem comes, however, in the fact that these "holds" on funds in your account take two to three days to be released if you don't pump as much gas as the amount they have place the hold for. So, you may go to use your Debit Card again and even though you have say $50 in your account, the gas station may have placed a hold on that money when you last pumped gas, and your account will show that you have no available funds and your card will be rejected. From what I read, these stations are not required to post this information so that you know about it before you use your Debit Card to purchase gas. I would think that this could be avoided if you chose to "pay inside" and pump your gas and then take your Debit Card inside to pay for what you pumped. What do you think of this situation? I was certainly not aware that they could do this - do you think they should be able to do this without letting you know?
2 people like this
4 responses
@kareng (7986)
• United States
18 Jun 08
I had heard about this before and I think it is a situation to avoid if at all possible. I personally don't like the fact that they can do this and tie up my money where I can't spend it if I want to. No debit cards for me for gasoline purchases, no thank you!
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
18 Jun 08
We used ours recently on a trip - before we knew that they could do this. I don't believe that any of them placed a hold on our funds - which is good because with our car, we rarely buy $50 worth of gas and there would have been quite a bit of money on hold~!
1 person likes this
@kareng (7986)
• United States
18 Jun 08
That would be bad if using on a trip, buying gasoline often and having a hold every time you filled up! Geeesh!
@robehren (86)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Oh yes, the dreaded credit price. The hold on your funds is bad enough. i think that should be clearly posted. it should be posted right next to the sign in 10 bold black letters that tells you your about to be raped for another 10 or more a gallon for using your card. i absolutely despise hidden fees. I pumped at one of my local stations for a month before I realized that they had started to do this. Yes it's my fault for not looking but how many of us check the price to make sure it matches the sign. Its not as if gas isn't expensive enough without retailers gouging us for using a debit card.
@dandj929 (424)
• United States
18 Jun 08
I have seen "holds" put on my bank account when I pump gas before. The problem I face now is at a couple of local gas stations and I use my debit card it only allows me to put in $50 worth of gas. The problem is it takes over $70 to fill up my gas tank completely. Now that is really annoying. Now here in CT they passed a law allowing gas stations to charge less per gallon of gas to customers who pay by cash. When you pay cash now at some stations you can save 20 cents a gallon. I'll probably just start stopping at my ATM before hitting the gas pumps and saving some money.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
18 Jun 08
On a recent trip, we found a couple of stations that were giving a five cent discount for paying cash. I have to wonder though, if they can give a 20 cent discount for paying cash, they should be able to lower the price entirely!
• United States
18 Jun 08
This is a true fact. Also, if your account only holds $40.00, and you want $35.00 in gas, your card will most likely not be accepted in the machines outside the gas station. $50 used to be the amount of the hold that the machine will place on your account before you pump your gas. This may be changing now, as it takes that to fill up most gas tanks. I do believe that it should be posted, much like banks post on the ATM machine that funds deposited in the machine may not be available the next day.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
18 Jun 08
I knew that some hotels will do that with your credit card when you make reservations - they'll put a hold on the card for the amount of days that you've reserved.