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Super Contributor
longtimelurker
Posts: 7,221
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
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Re: Can a charge be posted and pending at the same time?

ANd it greatly varies by card it seems.   Sometimes it is confusing the other way.  I had some hotel charges in Italy, that appeared as pending for a few days, and then they disappeared entirely.  This confused me because I was trying to track down the charge.  Then, a few days later, they got posted.   Sort of the opposite of the OP case, a period of time where the charge didn't show in available credit at all.

 

I assume this is because CSP only allows charges to be pending for a few days.  In contrast, charges that have been cancelled (or $1 test charges from gas stations) tend to appear as pending for a month.

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DrJim
Posts: 380
Registered: ‎10-26-2009
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Re: Can a charge be posted and pending at the same time?

When the hotel swipes your card to make sure you can pay for the estimated cost of the room it is listed as a pending card.  Later when the charge goes through it may remain, affecting your available credit but not your balance or utilization.

 

I had something similar happen last year.  The bank told me if the merchant does not contact them it "falls off" after 30 days.  That's why higher credit limits are nice.  Gas pumps do the same thing, but usually only for $1.

 

So, yes this is normal.  But it is sure screwing up your available credit especially since the merchant has already contacted the lender!

 

Hope it is resolved quickly.



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Established Member
Raccoon290
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎07-15-2013
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Re: Can a charge be posted and pending at the same time?

I've ran into this with Orbitz.

 

They charged me $660 for tickets which got stuck as pending.

 

Then two separate $330 charges cleared directly from the airline.  There was about a week I had $660 of my limit unavailable.

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DaveSignal
Posts: 2,111
Registered: ‎07-29-2011
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Re: Can a charge be posted and pending at the same time?

It happens for most transactions for me. probably because I am in another coutnry... sometimes the posted charge is a different amount than the pending charge, due to exchange rates on the day the charge posted.  The pending charges all fall off eventually though.

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Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 6,963
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: Can a charge be posted and pending at the same time?

[ Edited ]

longtimelurker wrote:

ANd it greatly varies by card it seems.   Sometimes it is confusing the other way.  I had some hotel charges in Italy, that appeared as pending for a few days, and then they disappeared entirely.  This confused me because I was trying to track down the charge.  Then, a few days later, they got posted.   Sort of the opposite of the OP case, a period of time where the charge didn't show in available credit at all.

 

I assume this is because CSP only allows charges to be pending for a few days.  In contrast, charges that have been cancelled (or $1 test charges from gas stations) tend to appear as pending for a month.


This is mostly a problem with the merchant, than the issuer itself.

 

Let me first explain the scenario Longtimelurker mentioned above. 

Most banks have a policy on how long authorization charges (aka pending charges) can stay on the account. For Chase and Wells Fargo, it is 5 business days. Not too sure about other banks, but I've seen authorization charges stay on my Discover and Citi for over 2 weeks. Whenever the deadline is up, the authorization charges will fall off the account entirely. Merchants have that time period before it falls off, to either cancel the actual charge, or to change the authorization into an actual charge, which would then be posted onto your account. Most hotels do an authorization charge when you check in, and then they finally do a real charge when you check out. If your hotel stay is over 3-5 days, or if that hotel is just slow in processing payments, the above example can happen.

 

In some cases, merchants do authorization charges simply to test if your card works. Most gas stations does this, and they do authorization charges for $1.

 

There are also cases where both authorization charges and actual charge can post. 

For example, you ordered something on this internet website, and they did an authorization charge. When the actual item is shipped out, rather than to convert the authorization charge into an actual charge, the merchant simply does a new charge to your account. During this time period, you will then see both authorization and actual charges on your account until the authorization falls off on its own. Certain merchants such as Petco.com, bloomingdales.com, newegg.com do this most of the time. Another reasoning is because for example you placed an order for 2 items, $300 and $200 each, for total of $500. The merchant would then do an authorization charge for $500. However, if they are only able to ship 1 item out first, they will usually then do another actual charge of $300, and leave the authorization charge intact.

 

Amazon.com used to do this whenever an order is placed, and it really irked people off. For example you place an order, cancel it, and place a new order for the same exact item and amount. That will be 2 authorization charges. Nowadays they seem to not do any authorization charges at all and simply do an actual charge right before the item ships. Some merchants are also quick to convert authorization charges into actual charges, while some simply authorize for $1. So this really depends on the policy of the merchant itself.

 

Sometimes you can call the bank to have them remove it, sometimes you can call the merchant to have them contact the bank to remove it. Most of the time they will want you to just wait it out. I once had this problem where Petco did 9x of the identical authorization charges onto my account. I called Citi and they were able to remove it since it was for the same exact amount.

 

Oh, and one more thing, for credit purchases made on debit cards, these authorization and actual charges will both affect your available funds in your account. If your account has borderline funds for this payment and something else (i.e. rent check), make sure you deposit extra money. That rent check will bounce if it's processed before the authorization falls off.

 

 

 

 

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