Account Holds When Paying At the Pump

Getting gas is something that no one enjoys, and that feeling gets worse and worse as the price of gas goes up.  Putting in pumps that allowed you to pay right there are the pump made things much more convenient for people.  Now they could just pull in swipe their card, pump their gas and take off, they no longer have to take the time to go inside.  However there is always a catch, and that catch could cost you.

Many people have found out by now that when you pay at the pump with a debit card that the gas station will put a hold on your account.  This hold can be $75 or more.  If you do not have a lot of money in your account this can cause you a lot of problems.  It could also cause you many problems if you do not know that they will do this.

It angers many people that the gas stations would do this.  They wonder what right they have to check their account and put a hold on it.  Many people also do not understand why it takes so long for the hold to come off your account.  It can be truly frustrating. Knowing about the hold, and ways to get around the hold, can really help you out and keep you from running into an overdraft fee, or having your card declined somewhere.

If you have a credit card and you want to pay at the pump, this is what you should use.  Some gas stations may still put a hold on the credit that you have remaining on your credit card but it never really affects your ability to access your credit.  This will make it so that you can still use your card and get what you need.

However, not everyone has credit cards, and some that do, do not want to use theirs to put gas in their vehicle.  If you still want to use your debit card your best option is to pay inside.  If you use your debit card inside to pay for gas, there will be no hold on your account. Some places you are allowed to pump your gas and then go inside and pay.  There are some places however, that you can only prepay or pay at the pump this means you should decide on an amount that you want to put in your vehicle and go inside and prepay.

The holds on your account can last up to 72 hours.  This is a long time to wait for you to be able to access your money again.  It is up to the gas station how much they hold from your account but it is up to your bank on how long that hold lasts so you should go to your bank and talk to them about what they can do to help you.

Now here is what people do not understand about why the gas stations do this.  When you pay at the pump the pump does not know how much gas you are going to put into your car.  If you want to put $50 into your vehicle but only have $20 they will be out that $30 if they did not do this.  Not everyone is honest and it is because of that, that they have to do things like this to protect themselves from fraud.  Really this is just a measurement to make sure that they are not stolen from by people filling their tanks, which is something we all should be able to understand.

Convenience is a great thing.  However there is more often than not a cost to convenience.  You must decide if it is worth it or not.  Gas stations are just looking out for their companies.  Yes they make a lot of money but they do have a lot of employees to pay too.  so the next time you get frustrated because of a hold on your account by a gas station, remember why they have no option but to do it.