When customers pay by debit card, it’s a common practice in the hotel and restaurant business to put a hold on their account for an estimated amount of the purchase. That way, there is still flexibility for you to write in a tip or to cover any other ancillary costs. Now, more and more gas stations are taking this approach for debit card customers who swipe at the pump, putting holds in the range of $50 to $100 that can linger on your account for days.
The NBC affiliate in Chicago, the city with the highest gas prices in the country, put together a report on debit card holds and how you can avoid them.
The TV station attempted to find out just who is responsible for the exorbitant holds, but both the bankers and the gas companies pointed the finger at the other party.
Regardless, the one piece of good advice is this: If you’re low on funds and an $80 hold is going to screw up your day, then it’s best to settle up inside the station for an exact amount before you lift that pump. Paying in cash is obviously the easiest solution… until you get slammed with a $5 ATM fee from your bank.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
Why Gas Stations Hold Your Cash Hostage [NBC Chicago]