Beware of ‘holds’ at the gas pump

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – A quick trip to Detroit could have been disastrous for a Kettering woman.

“I was just like, ‘Oh, you got to be kidding’,” said Susan Cervone.

Cervone took extra caution budgeting for a business trip to Detroit to pick up some antique furniture.

It was not until she got a call from her credit card company that she found there were holds on her card more than doubling what she actually spent on gas.

“That’s when I noticed that it totally purchased $181 of fuel on the trip,” said Cervone. “But I had $425 worth of holds on my account.”

One of those trips to the gas station would put a $125 hold on her account. She only put $10 worth of gas in her tank.

“Credit card companies actually discourage their vendors from doing it, but it’s actually a very legitimate service they can provide,” said John North, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Dayton.

Businesses will put a hold on your card to make sure you have the money to pay a bill.

Some gas stations will have a notice for customers saying a hold on an account could be anywhere between $1 to $125.

That is money you will not be able to access until a charge is cleared.

“If you’re up against your line of credit at the top end and you charge something, not aware that this hold is there, you could go over and you could be charged penalties for that as well,” said North.

To avoid this, the Better Business Bureau offers tips to help people at locations where holds may appear. Those are locations such as rental car companies, hotels, gas stations, and restaurants.

  • Keep tabs on your credit and bank accounts
  • Read the fine print on hotel agreements
  • Pay a check with either cash or credit, but not both
  • Keep a “cushion” of available funds by paying off cards
  • Vendors can not charge holds without notification

Another way to avoid a hold at the gas station is to go inside and pay instead of paying at the pump.

It is something Cervone says she plans to do on her next road trip.

“From now on, instead of hitting the bathroom first, one of us will hit the clerk and pay for the gas in advance because it could ruin someone’s vacation,” said Cervone.”

blog comments powered by Disqus