Visa change could impact you at the pump

by Kevin Lynch 20. August 2010

lA recent change enacted by Visa© could have an impact on you the next time you go to fill up the car. Beginning in August, gasoline dealers have been given the option to replace the one dollar status check toany amount, up to $500.  In the past few weeks, we've seen pre-authorized amounts ranging from $25 to $120. These typically drop off in one to two business days, once the actual transaction posts to a customers account. So what does this mean to you?

Let's look at this from the perspective of Reg E and the opt in/out option. (see my previous post on this subject here) Say you go to the pump to get $25 worth of gas and you have $75 in your account. If you've opted out and the merchant puts through a pre authorized amount of $120, your purchase will be denied. If you've opted in, the purchase would go through but you'd still have a hold on your account for the $120 until the purchase posts. Imagine being in a hurry, your almost out of gas and being denied. Not a very pleasant thought.

So next time you go to buy some gas, check to see what amount is being pre authorized by that merchant. If it's for $120, you may want to find another dealer for your next fill up.

Comments (2) -

10/21/2010 6:07:20 PM #

If you do your purchase at the pump, how do you find out what amount they are "holding"?

Kevin Lynch
Kevin Lynch
11/16/2010 6:12:31 PM #

David, sorry it took so long to respond. The short answer is, you won't know. It will depend on the gas station and their policy. After filling up, I would suggest you check through your online banking service and see what amount they've held for this purchase. Thanks for the comment.

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