Troubleshooter: Credit vs. Debit at the pump

January 28, 2011 3:17:00 PM PST
Troubleshooter Diane Wilson has important new information for some customers who are paying for gasoline at the pump.

Members of the State Employees Credit Union who use their Visa debit cards or Cash Points Global cards at gas pumps are facing a new rule that starts February 1.

If you as a customer select credit as the payment option, a 26-dollar hold will be held against your account until the gas station settles the actual payment amount.

Leigh Brady with the State Employees Credit Union said, “What we’re trying to do is minimize that outdraft possibility for our members, and also give them an accurate as best we can actual figure in their account.”

Brady also said the difference between choosing debit or credit is simple. If you are paying at the pump and you hit debit, the actual dollar amount of the gas you pump comes out of your account. If you hit the credit button, a 26-dollar hold will be authorized, even if you only pumped five dollars worth of gas.

If you do not have that much in your account, the transaction will be declined.

To avoid that, you can go inside the gas station.

“When they go inside that item is run inside the store. It’s not an automated pay at the pump feature, and the actual amount comes out,” Brady said.

The hold only happens if you pay at the pump.

The change only affects State Employees Credit Union members.

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