I think it's definitely a merchant decision, and to that effect individual gas stations. My usual stations (one of which is a shell) is a $1 hold. Went down to miami for the weekend and used a shell there as well as a shell close to the airport before returning the rental car and hold were 99 and 95! I was shocked initially, then realized it will fix itself... hopefully.
The Shell and BP that I go to there in NC both only hold $1 and then the actual amount posts within 2-3 days. I did stop at a gas station in SC once and I only had a debit card at the time and the pump tried to hold 100.00 and I did not have it in my account so it would not let me pump any gas. I had to cruise on fumes to another gas station.
A gas station by my work (Pilot) that I sometimes use always holds $150 for a few days. Got gas twice from there in the same week (two different cars) and had $300 worth of holds from them. I normally fill up at the Valero gas station by my house and they always hold $1.
OMG this happened to me about 3 months ago citgo gas station 100 dollars on hold on my discover card for 20 in gas. Called discover and was told this is normal (not for me) and that to avoid the hold i should go inside to pay instead of paying at the pump.Wowser!
Its weird how this works....I go to the same gas station and my visas and mc are all only $1 but soon as I swipe my AMEX its a $100 hold....I mean with visa and mc you can only charge up to like $50 and $75 now right?
Most gas stations in my area hold $1. She'll is the only that holds $99 for some reason. It will release in about 4-5 days or as soon as the cc company processes the transaction.
Here in GA, Kroger holds $150 for a couple of days.
YYou know, I have found it depends on the credit card issuer as to how much is held. My US Bank Visa they hold $1 only BCE card they hold $150 on my AmEx PRG card they hold $1. I am not sure why but my BCE and PRG cards have different hold limits.