Using you gift card at the gas pumps

The other day I went out to a gas station to put gas in my car. I used my card at the gas pump to get 20 dollars worth of gas. Later that day I checked my balance online and noticed the gas station I got gas from had charged my card for 75 dollars. At first I thought maybe someone stole my card or came right in after me at the gas pump and was able to charge more on my card, turns out after contacting my bank the hold on the 75 dollar is a common practice taken by gas stations these days. I was informed because the gas station doesn't know how much your going to spend at the pump they make an estimate and put a hold on the funds. This is to protect them from people who go get gas at the pump and not have the money in the bank to pay for the gas because the gas stations cannot see the balance on your card. They don't keep the money, its just a hold. It will take about 24 hours for the gas station to release the funds back into the account and just take out what you actually paid for at the pump.

I asked the bank if this was the same for gift cards and they confirmed gift cards getting treated the same way. So if you have a gift card and you want to use it at the gas pumps I would recommend to go in the store and pay or the gas at the counter. Doing this allows the gas station to set the exact amount you want to pay for at the pump so there is no need to put the additional hold on the funds on your gift card. Otherwise if you use your gift card at the pump they could put a hold on the remaining balance on your gift card and then you could not use it for another day or two until the gas station company releases the hold on the funds. So always remember, if you have a gift card its better to go into the gas station and pay at the counter, yes it can be an inconvenience but I rather do that then tie up my funds on my gift card. As always if you need to find out your gift card balance please use our site to find the information for your gift card.