Gas prices are still on the rise. Now, two credit card companies, Visa and Mastercard, have raised the total that gas stations are permitted to hold on people’s credit card. This amount is now $175 and could risk overdrafts fees just to put gas in cars.
In April, both companies had already raised the amount to $125 when the national average of U.S. gas was close to $4.30 per gallon. Since gas is almost $5 per gallon now, the amount has gone up again.
“The preauthorization is no big deal if you have enough credit on your credit card or cash in the bank. It becomes a problem when it temporarily limits your purchasing power or puts you in arrears,” stated officials from AAA.
The hold would stop card holders from using $175 of the money in their bank accounts. This could last for many hours to multiple days after the gasoline was bought.
Holds can also cause overdrafts fees if the card is declined due to the hold. This could be despite the card holder not intending to purchase more than they could afford.
There are ways to avoid these holds. Kelly Blue Book notes that several gas stations permit cashiers to pre-authorize smaller transactions. Also, a customer could prepay with cash to prevent the hold.