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What to know about card limits when at the gas pump

Gas Pump (FILE)
Posted at 7:14 PM, Apr 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 02:36:29-04

With gas prices still at a record high, more people are beginning to reach a limit on their gas transactions when using a card to pay at the pump.

“Gas prices seem to be keep climbing and climbing," said Grover Beach resident, Mike Krist.

“I don’t know how people can afford to pay these prices and buy food that’s going up too," said Keith Biggs, a Lompoc resident.

It is no secret that gas prices continue to rise and with that, many individuals resort to paying by card when at the pump.

“I pay with a credit card at the pump because it’s just more convenient that way," said Krist.

According to Financial Fuel Services, authorization limits apply to fuel purchases because the final amount is not known until the customer is finished pumping gas, making this transaction unique.

“Each institution sets their own caps. It typically has been $100 dollars," said Donna Severs, CEO of SLO Credit Union.

While this limit is nothing new, more people are beginning to have problems while paying with a card at the pump.

“Obviously it costs more to fill up a tank these days and I think that’s part of why it’s becoming so much more of a problem," said Severs.

Severs says this limit is to allow the gas station merchant to see if the card is valid and avoid any fraudulent transactions.

“The authorization process is designed to prevent the gas stations from not getting their money, the hold stays on for maximum it can stay on is 24 hours," said Severs.

According to Financial Fuel Services, credit card holds must be lifted within three days and debit cards with a pin are settled in real-time.

 Ways to avoid this limit and holds are going inside to pay at the register or paying with cash instead.