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Knowledge Base Article

FAQs about Visa Debit Card Holds

What is the difference between a pending transaction and a posted transaction? How does this affect my available balance and actual balance?

Pending transactions or Holds are authorized transactions that place a hold on a portion of your balance for the purchase amount until the transaction clears your account.

Posted transactions are purchases that have cleared on your card and funds have been removed to pay the merchant.

When pending transactions or holds are present there will be a difference in your available balance and your actual balance. Transactions will post against your available balance.

Some pending transactions amounts will not match the amount you have actually spent. This is because merchants place a pre-authorization amount on your card to ensure the account is active and that you have enough money to cover the purchase. This amount is determined by the merchant. In some cases, such as restaurants, you are charged a percentage higher (typically 15%) than the amount of the transaction in case you add a tip to your card. In some cases, such as gas stations, hotels or car rental companies, the hold may be significantly higher than the actual purchase price.

Purchase returns/refunds will also display as a pending credit transaction. This pending transaction is notification that the member returned a purchase and is expecting a refund from the merchant. Pending credit transactions will not affect your available balance until the return/refund has been posted to the account. The return/refund should post within 1-5 days.

How long do Visa Debit Card holds stay on an account? Once the hold is released and the actual receipt does not come through, can the transaction be put through by the merchant at a later date?

When you use your Visa Debit Card, the money is often put on hold for 2-5 days. Once the hold expires it will be reflected in your available balance.

If the merchant does not put the debit through, then the hold will be released on the date of expiration. The merchant does have the right to come back at any later date to debit your account for that amount, even 6 months later if they have not debited your account for that purchase yet. Once you've given your authorization for the one time debit, they can take that amount from your account at any time.

My account is showing an overdrawn fee and a check that did not clear due to the overdraft. However, my account is showing a sufficient balance to cover this check when it tried to post. What happened and why was I charged a fee?

When you use your Visa Debit Card for purchases, holds are placed on your account by the merchant. The transaction may not post for a few days. When holds are present then your actual balance and your available balance will not be the same. If there are not available funds to complete a transaction, the transaction will either be declined or a check will be returned. If you are enrolled in Courtesy Pay or Courtesy Pay Plus, the transaction may clear, but you will be assessed a Courtesy Pay fee.

A good rule of thumb is to write down every Visa Debit Card purchase in your register just as you would a check and only use up to the balance in your register, regardless what the actual balance on your account is. Especially if you use your card at the types of merchants who may put a hold in excess of the purchase price, we recommend you keep a cushion in your account to avoid transactions being declined or Courtesy Pay or NSF fees being assessed against your account. The Credit Union has no control over the holds placed by a merchant when you swipe your debit card.

You may want to consider whether you would prefer to have transactions in this scenario be declined or be approved with a fee assessed to your account. Our staff can assist you in adjusting your overdraft options accordingly.

If you feel a hold was placed on your account in error by a merchant, you should contact the merchant to release the hold or request that the merchant fax a letter to us at 404-677-4598, attn: Card Services, explaining the hold was in error and a representative will look at refunding the fees that resulted from the erroneous hold.

There is a duplicate hold on a single purchase that I made. Why is it being put through twice? I called the store and they've said that they only charged me once. Can you explain?

The merchant may have run your card through multiple times or if we had a network problem we would see this situation. You can contact the Credit Union within Online Banking from Secure Email under Additional Services or by calling to release the multiple holds. Please watch your account to make sure that the merchant did not bill you twice.

If you are billed twice, you will need to complete a dispute/chargeback form and submit it to Card Services to process for you. To expedite the process, you may fax your dispute to us at (404) 677-4598.

If you are double charged, please provide us with the details of your dispute: the amount, posted date, merchant description as it appears on your account activity or statement and the reason for the dispute. Be sure to include copies of receipts or other related documents that will support your claim. If the charge represents a transaction in which you participated, please include the details of your attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant.