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For how long a credit card charge can be pending? A complete guide to sorting finances

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A complete guide to sorting finances

Do you use your credit card often? If yes, then I’m sure you have dealt with the issue of pending transactions. One advantage of using credit cards is that transactions delay when we pay. However, it means that money doesn’t immediately transfer to the seller’s account. In this situation, you see a status that says “pending,” which means that transaction isn’t finalized or posted yet. There are many reasons why you see a pending status on your transaction status. But if it remains there for many days, then it’s something to worry about, and you should act. So, we start understanding this whole fiasco here: 

What are the pending transactions on a credit card?

“Pending transactions on credit cards temporarily hold on your credit card that represents that payment isn’t finalized yet.”

The pending transactions show in an online account but are highlighted with different colors to differentiate them from others. In addition, pending transactions can affect the availability ratio of your credit. But you only need to pay them once they appear in your account. Sometimes, funds were deducted as pending transactions but have yet to be paid to the merchant. 

Examples of pending transactions: 

If you live in a hotel room, management holds onto your credit card to fulfill if you do any damage or consume snacks. Besides, car rental companies also have a card to cover incidental expenses, showing these amounts as pending charges. In restaurants, the final tab stays pending if you want to add a tip as gratitude to the final amount. However, the same goes for gas stations, where they hold small amounts to ensure you have enough funds. 

Types of pending transactions: 

The time a pending transaction takes to disappear from your account depends on your bank account, merchant, and charge. Moreover, there are types of these transactions that you should know: 

But remember that a pending balance doesn’t affect your bank statement. Apart from this, the pending transaction doesn’t include the amount of credit card purchase interest or required payment that you will be potentially charged. 

For how long a credit card charge stays pending?

“Pending transactions stay on the card for up to 5 business days. But the time depends on how you use the card. Moreover, if the transaction is via phone, email, or online, it can take longer to post.”

(Bank of America)

Typically, the credit card charge stays pending for up to five days. But several factors can change the situation. For instance, if you are staying in a hotel room, the pending transaction status will last up to 24 hours after the checkout. Technically, the pending amount is still in your account. But once you swipe the card, it’s an agreement that you agree to transfer that amount to another institution.

However, the merchant sends a request to your bank, and after their approval, the transaction doesn’t remain pending. When the transaction is cleared, we will call it a posted transaction. If the merchant doesn’t take the funds from your account, it will drop back after seven days. But in the case of hotel reservations, it can take up to 28 days. Apart from this, if your purchase is subject to further review, it may take longer for the pending transactions to review and disappear. 

Reasons why transactions stay pending: 

It only looks good when so many pending transactions are in your account. But there are reasons behind this status. Here are the following factors due to which transactions show awaiting status: 

  • It’s an extra security measure to prevent financial fraud 
  • It helps to verify the transaction

According to the reports of the US treasury department, the economy faced frauds worth $1 billion between 1996 and 1997. However, the state department’s biggest concern was providing customers extra protection. So, all thanks to the pending transaction that saves us from fraud. 

How to cancel a pending credit card transaction? Complete guide to follow:

Everything should be sorted, from the company’s payroll to the bank statement. If you want to manage payroll effectively, using a pay stub generator is the best idea. But for the pending transactions, you should know the bigger picture. Apart from the above conditions, there are several cases in which you might want to cancel pending credit card transactions. So, here are the situations in which you should cancel the transaction: 

If it’s a billing error: 

If the pending transaction is due to a billing error, then immediately contact the merchant and ask for cancellation. The billing error could happen under the following conditions: 

  • If there is a duplicate charge 
  • If the retailer fails to apply discount 

However, you can alert the seller to reserve the pending transaction. But sometimes, you see two charges for one purchase. In this condition, one charge is the authorized amount, and the other is for the final total. 

User error: 

Sometimes, you change your mind after purchasing an item. However, in this, you can contact the merchant. But if the return policy is generous, you can return the item and request a refund. On the other hand, you will reach the seller and ask to cancel the transaction, then the amount will disappear, and the pending transaction will not appear in the account. But it’s always good to learn smart tips to save money digitally, as we all need financial management. 

Fraud & dissatisfaction: 

You can’t open a dispute if there is a pending transaction on the name of your card. You will have to wait until it gets posted, and then you can challenge the transaction. But if you or your authorized user didn’t make the purchase, then it could be a fraud, and you should contact the credit card company immediately. Most card companies have ZERO LIABILITY POLICY which means you aren’t responsible for fraud charges. 

Note: Sometimes the amount is $1, and we term it as pre-authorization, showing as a pending transaction. It happens when a vendor confirms that your card is valid and not stolen. So, these kinds of charges don’t post on the account. Pending transactions are a reality; you can avoid these by canceling the credit card, placing a lock on the card, or by freezing the card. Thus take some actual measures and deal with the pending transaction.

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