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debit card info

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I saw on the local news yesterday that because of rising gas prices, if you use your debit card at a gas pump, the seller can put up to a $75 dollar hold on your bank account for 72 hours. I could not make any sense of why exactly they could do that, or what it has to do with gas prices, but apparenty it is causing bounced checks all over the country. They recommend that you go to an ATM and get cash to pay for gas.
The family in the news story had bought $25 in gas, and had $75 left in their bank account for groceries for the week. They had 3 kids and another on the way, and no money to eat on for 3 days.
These financial institutions are getting out of control! I am considering closing my accounts and using money orders to pay my bills like I did for years.
post #2 of 14
Well, I've got overdraft protection on mine (which I never use) and I've belonged to the same credit union for over 20 years. I doubt it would have an effect on me personally, but that still s*cks if true.
post #3 of 14
That's bizarre, but steep, if not probably completely legal. But I don't understand it, for somethign consumable like gas, I don't think it applies at all. But it happens...for example, my boyfriend uses one of those SpeedPasses for Exxon & Mobil, and they put $1 hold for each "charge" or "debit" (b/c it's linked to his debit card) regardless of cost.
post #4 of 14
That is TERRIBLE!! I have found that using the card at the pump really saves time, and if I have young children with me, it is much easier and safer to leave them in their car seats rather than taking them into the store, dodging the gas station traffic. Is it my imagination, or do drivers not slow down for women carrying babies anymore?? When my girls were small, it seemed like people were more conscientious.. The more I think about it, gas prices probably didn't stress drivers out like nowadays.
post #5 of 14
I'd love to see the link to this article.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I saw it on the local tv news.
post #7 of 14
That sounds like they are reserving a credit block, which is a normal thing. When you do a transaction with a card, unlike simple cash, there is a need to check if there is enough credit or that you have not exceeded a limit.

So when they are verifying the particulars, they put a hold on a block of credit which is an estimate plus a bit more on the estimated cost of the product. Once the credit clears, the block is removed and nothing extra is charged.
post #8 of 14
I could be wrong, but I also believe they take the average/average high of the amount of fuel purchased. I ran into that once when I was trying to buy gas at a station by the interstate with a lot of construction companies nearby. While my car never took more than 10 gallons, they pre-approved what it would take to fill up the average vehicle (or something like a 30 gallon tank for the industrial vehicles that were their normal clients). With more and more SUVs and Pickups on the road, they probably have to pre-approve those for everyone.

Although I have to say, while they may pre-approve that amount, it should only be the amount of purchase that is actually held. That's how my bank does it anyway.
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by valanhb
<snip>...Although I have to say, while they may pre-approve that amount, it should only be the amount of purchase that is actually held. That's how my bank does it anyway.
It's ridiculous putting a $75 three day hold on a $25 purchase. Pre-approving $75 and then a hold for the actual amount is logical and reasonable. Although even at close to $3.00 a gallon we rarely put more than $25 in a tank since the vehicles are usually filled up when they're down to half a tank and the bikes only hold about 3-4 gallons anyway.

Here's a link to the story on the CBS news site BTW:

Debit Danger At The Fuel Pump
post #10 of 14
That is ridiculous to hold for more than the amount. It seems like another way for the gas companies to have control of our lives.
post #11 of 14
"Hess maintains consumers can avoid the hold by entering their PIN numbers when they pay. That's because PIN transactions are processed nearly immediately while credit transactions take more time."
Banks, IMO, are also responsible for such problems, as they often fail to fully explain how debit cards work, what the actual fees involved are, etc.. I suppose it's "all in the fine print". That family should never have been put in such a situation. They should have been informed by both the gas station and their bank that a hold would be put on their account, and of how much and for how long it would be. I have a debit card from a German bank, and primarily use it when I'm abroad (I've used it not only in the U.S. and Canada, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and the U.K., on numerous occasions). I know that it works best when I use my PIN only because a kind storekeeper explained the difference between debit card & PIN (payment guarantee) and debit card & signature (no guarantee). There's no explanation given in the literature/documentation we received from our bank together with the cards.
post #12 of 14
I don't understand why they would do that. If the money wasn't in there, it wouldn't take the card, right? So why do they need to do anything to make sure the money is in there?
post #13 of 14
I don't think it matters if there is money in the account or not. In the past hubby used the debit card instead of the credit card on some big ticket items. We of course were notified by the bank but had continued to use debit card cause we didn't know what had happened!!
post #14 of 14
do they let you know if they do the hold thing? or is it automatic?? i notived the atm fee went up from .35 cent charge to .45 cent, lol. but i do you know which gas stations do it?? hm...
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