How to Resolve Erroneous Credit Authorization Holds

Using a credit or debit card may result in an authorization hold in your account.

Using a credit or debit card may result in an authorization hold in your account.

An authorization hold may show up on your credit or debit card after you make a payment. This hold or “block” often matches your total payment amount. The merchant places a hold onto your card to ensure that you will have enough available funds in your account when the transaction clears. If you believe a hold is wrong, resolve it promptly to correct your account balance.

Monitor your account balance daily when you are using your card. Log in to your account online and navigate to your account balance data to check the charges made and your balance. Check each charge for accuracy.

Note any authorization holds that accompany actual payments. Often, the holds equal the payment amount, but this is not mandatory. A gas authorization hold may be as high as $75, according to TruWest Credit Union.

Flag any authorization holds that do not fit with a payment or that remain on your account for a longer period. The bank or credit card company has no control of the clearance time for authorization holds, but generally, a merchant will process a transaction with about five days. This means the hold should disappear from your account within this time.

Contact the customer service department of your bank or credit card company if you believe that your account has an erroneous credit authorization. Provide as many details about the transaction as possible, including the date, time and amount. The financial institution will investigate the hold and it may remove it.

Monitor your account to notice when the financial institution removes the hold. If you do not see the hold removed within one or two business days, contact the customer service department again to follow up.


  • Sometimes just calling your financial institution to inquire about a valid authorization hold will lead to the removal of the hold from your account. If you have sufficient funds to cover the transaction or the transaction has cleared, a representative may remove the hold at your request.

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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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