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How blocks or holds affect debit/credit card balances

What is a block or hold on a debit/credit card and how does it affect my balance?

Blocking or holding funds on a debit or credit card is done by merchants so you don't overdraw your account. Blocks or holds are common on purchases where the actual charge can differ from the estimated cost, such as pay-at-the-pump gas stations, hotels, and car rental companies. This way the merchants cannot be left unpaid.

If you use a debit or credit card to buy gas at a gas station, you can prevent holds or blocks on your card balance by paying inside. If you use the pay-at-the-pump option, the merchant may place a hold of $75 on your card for several days, no matter how much gas you actually purchase. When a hold is placed on your card, you cannot use those funds until the hold is removed.

If the transaction is approved, the balance will be reduced to your actual purchase cost, and not the estimated amount.

View more information about credit and debit card blocks.

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