Credit Card Holds At the Gas Station- Has This Happened to You?

March 11, 2011


I came across a very odd story in my local news this morning. There’s a bit of an outcry that gas stations are placing a “hold” on customers’ Visa and MasterCard accounts, essentially freezing their accounts for $150 to $200. Has this happened to you?

According to the story, some folks have seen their credit card or bank debit accounts charged five or seven times $25 worth of gas! Gas stations are reporting that some people are extremely upset, crying that they cannot buy groceries for several days until the Visa or MC banks release the charges– up to three day’s time.

What the heck is going on?! Here’s the video. (Sorry about the ad- my news station adds that. :-p)

Everyone is saying it’s the fault of the “third party vendor” system. But I go to a LOT of stores with the third-party vendor system. My accounts are not frozen for $200 when I buy a bushel of $20 apples!

It’s like WE’RE being punished twice for buying gas. Firstly, for the outrageous gas prices, and secondly for the act of payment. What’s going on?

Well, you can always take a tip from the news reporter: Pay cash at the pump.

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5 Responses to “Credit Card Holds At the Gas Station- Has This Happened to You?”

  1. Tracy Says:

    I believe that if you go into the store to have them run your card, you will not have a hold on your account. It will only be charged the amount of gas you pump.

    This really happens more to debit cards than credit cards also. It has to do with the way the transactions are processed.

  2. Rebecca Says:

    Thanks for that information, Tracy! I’ll remember that.

  3. Madeline Says:

    They have placed holds on our credit card before. It’s never affected us as badly as not being able to buy groceries, but it has hindered us a bit. We just always pay with cash now. They would freeze the entire card.

  4. vicky Says:

    Yes, it has happened to me before. If I put $15 in the car, they hold $75 – $100 on my credit card. I have no idea why they do it. I hate banks, credit cards, all that ilk. I am going to be like my mom and keep my money under my mattress. We work hard for our money. Bank charges, high interest rates, fees for saving money – all of those help the already wealthy banks – not us. Thanks for the vent.

  5. Andrew Says:

    It’s the dumbest, most ridiculous thing. Every time I use my PayPal debit card at the gas station and it does that hold thingy, I will get a call from PayPal security to “Verify” charges on my card. You can’t avoid talking to some person, otherwise they freeze your card. You would think that even the dumbest computer would be able to figure out that the transactions are legitimate, but no, no way to stop this nonsense. The hold on the card is always $125, usually they clear within 24 hours. So yes, I forsake the convenience of swiping the PayPal card at the gas pump and pay the attendant the actual amount.