“The money is usually taken off hold within two days; however it can cause people who don't keep that much money in their checking account to face overdraft fees."
(Dothan, Al)--Each day thousands of Americans fill up at the pumps not realizing they're subjecting themselves to a "debit freeze." Company and locally owned service stations are allowed to put $100 holds on debit and credit card accounts until gas transactions are posted.
"Let's say someone had $120 in their checking account and paid $40 for gas with a debit card, they would have $60 on hold until that transaction cleared," Connie Wehner, Region Branch Manager said. “The money is usually taken off hold within two days; however it can cause people who don't keep that much money in their checking account to face overdraft fees,"
Holds and fees can be avoided altogether if customers pay for gas with cash or pay inside and ask the cashier to place a specific amount on their debit card.
"Cash is always the best way to go, but if you have to pay with a card, use your credit card," Wehner said. "A credit card won't affect your cash flow like a debit card will."
Banks and gas stations are not responsible for overdraft fees associated with debit card holds.