The legal way businesses can tie up your bank account

You use your debit card to gas up, reserve a room or even buy a meal and find your bank account takes an unexpected hit.
 
It happened to Julie in Claremore who says   "I bought $20 in gas and the station took our last $75 from our account with NO warning!"
 
Though the result is the same the money isn't gone but the station put a hold, or reserve, on it.
 
The reason is so customers don't make multiple debit card purchases in a row leaving less money in the bank than it takes to cover all charges; meaning a business might not  get paid.
 
Holds are usually $50 to $75 and generally it takes two to three days for that money to be released.
 
If things are tight ask the business before using your debit card if they'll place a hold and how much that will be.
 
You can also pay with cash or put it on a credit card as long as you can pay the card off in full each month.
 
Holds can show up on credit cards, as well, but it will be removed before your next payment is due.
 
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