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Gas station holds - how they differ

ReturnOfTheCredi
Valued Member

Gas station holds - how they differ

I just started using my new WF Propel card at the beginning of the month as my "daily driver" and noticed something I'd never seen before when stopping for gas: Gas stations......ALL OF THEM....place a $100 hold on my card for every swipe, even cancelled transactions!  This lasts for 5-6 days at a time.  When I contacted WF support, I was told this is normal and all cards do it.  I've been using my Cap1 Venture and then my Savor as my daily card for years and had never seen this before, but figured it may have been me just not paying attention as my credit line is much bigger on those cards and WF had started me at $3k which means I have to pay attention more.  My car is diesel and I later stopped at a station where all the diesel

pumps are located under a tractor trailer pull-through.  When I pumped there.....an instant text notification of a $350 purchase/hold against my credit line!  I understood why since it catered to trucks, but WOW!  Called again and told the same thing.....all cards do this.

 

This morning, I put that to the test.  Tried the Savor at that exact same pump: They put a hold on $1.00, immediately refunded that hold and charged the actual $33.00 in its place.  So the WF line that it's normal and "all cards do this" is bunk.  WF does this.  Cap1 does not.  Not sure about others.

 

Between this and the app ease of use.....and doing the math to realize my rewards will be roughly identical on either card.....it looks like I'm switching back to using my Savor.

 

Thought I would share for anyone who may not have realized any of this like me.

Message 1 of 48
47 REPLIES 47
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ


@ReturnOfTheCredi wrote:

This morning, I put that to the test.  Tried the Savor at that exact same pump: They put a hold on $1.00, immediately refunded that hold and charged the actual $33.00 in its place.  So the WF line that it's normal and "all cards do this" is bunk.  WF does this.  Cap1 does not.  Not sure about others.

 


It may be the way each bank handles holds.  If I were to venture a guess, the gas station probably issues an initial auth for the max amount ($100 or $350 or whatever) to make sure your card has sufficient funds for any amount of gas you might buy... truck stations are higher since trucks hold a LOT of fuel.  Then they update it to $1 to avoid holding such a large amount, then they update to the actual purchase amount once you finish pumping.  Cap1 (and most others including BoA) update the actual hold amount each time this happens, so what you end up seeing is the actual purchase amount pending, but apparently WF just holds either the 1st or highest hold amount.

 

So, the pumps work the same way regardless of card issuer (there may be variations between networks though, MC, Visa, Amex, Discover might all work differently), but how the banks process the auths/holds can vary.

 

Message 2 of 48
angelwingz
Valued Contributor

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ

This happened to me at a gas station as well, but for my Amex. Once they processed the actual amount a few days later, my account updated.




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Message 3 of 48
ReturnOfTheCredi
Valued Member

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ

Right, but that's my point.  It's WF that is choosing to apply that hold for up to 6 days, not the gas station (they keep saying it's the station).  I literally checked Cap1 in real time (also did not get a notification for a purchase/hold over $100 which I have in place) and it instantly showed the correct amount and only the $1.00 ping.

 

Again, just sharing because this can be very frustrating for those with a low credit line who are using this as a daily spend card.  A few holds like this can reduce your available credit to a point that the card becomes unusable.

Message 4 of 48
ReturnOfTheCredi
Valued Member

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ


@angelwingz wrote:

This happened to me at a gas station as well, but for my Amex. Once they processed the actual amount a few days later, my account updated.


I think it could be AMEX.  The Propel is underwritten through them, so maybe it's their thing?  And yes, the hold goes away.  But the issue is that it sits like that for 5-6 days.  Cap1 places no such extended hold.  That's a pretty significant consideration when the credit line is lower.

Message 5 of 48
M_Smart007
Epic Contributor

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ


@ReturnOfTheCredi wrote:

@angelwingz wrote:

This happened to me at a gas station as well, but for my Amex. Once they processed the actual amount a few days later, my account updated.


I think it could be AMEX.  The Propel is underwritten through them, so maybe it's their thing?  And yes, the hold goes away.  But the issue is that it sits like that for 5-6 days.  Cap1 places no such extended hold.  That's a pretty significant consideration when the credit line is lower.


I get it on cards that run on The Amex network.

Message 6 of 48
CardNut
Valued Contributor

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ

I've only noticed it at Exxon stations. But then again, I may have used my Amex at Exxon the 2 times it occurred. 

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Message 7 of 48
PullingMeSoftly
Established Contributor

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ

It's an Amex thing, I get the same when I use my Navy MR, but a different hold amount.









Message 8 of 48
DaveInAZ
Senior Contributor

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ

I use Amex BCP for gas. At a nearby rural gas station I get the $100 hold, a day or two later hold comes off and actual amount posts. But in a city located Circle K I get a $1 hold and actual amount posts always the next day, so it seems to vary by gas station policies.

Message 9 of 48
ReturnOfTheCredi
Valued Member

Re: Gas station holds - how they differ


@DaveInAZ wrote:

I use Amex BCP for gas. At a nearby rural gas station I get the $100 hold, a day or two later hold comes off and actual amount posts. But in a city located Circle K I get a $1 hold and actual amount posts always the next day, so it seems to vary by gas station policies.


That's interesting.  So far, all stations have placed a $100 hold except that one QuikTrip with the truck pumps (which I get).  And it's been a minimum of 4 days until it falls off and corrects.

 

I have NEVER seen this with my Cap1s anywhere.  I guess it's just another good reason to switch back.  I was hopeful that I could get around the clunky app, but between it and the holds, I just don't think I can stomach it.  Guess I'm a little spoiled by Cap1. Smiley Wink 

Message 10 of 48
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