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Old Oct 31, 11, 5:57 pm   #1
 
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Credit Card authorization holds, when do they expire??

So I recently stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn. At the beginning of my stay, the hotel front desk attempted to do an authorization on my credit card, which was declined (due to an earlier authorization for a rental car from National). The front desk tried several times, before finally doing an authorization on a different account.

Problem is, the trip was complete and paid for 2 days ago, but the authorization hold from the first account still shows up. My bank appears to have accepted each of the authorization hold attempts, resulting in a hold of more than double my room stay . Since the payment was settled using an entirely different account, I'm worried that Hilton won't cancel the inital authorization hold.

Has anyone had this issue in the past?
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Old Oct 31, 11, 7:12 pm   #2
 
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Nothing you can do. Hilton does not really have anything to do with hold now. The holds will fall off after a few days to a week depending on the CC company.
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Old Oct 31, 11, 7:29 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxrob View Post
So I recently stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn. At the beginning of my stay, the hotel front desk attempted to do an authorization on my credit card, which was declined (due to an earlier authorization for a rental car from National). The front desk tried several times, before finally doing an authorization on a different account.

Problem is, the trip was complete and paid for 2 days ago, but the authorization hold from the first account still shows up. My bank appears to have accepted each of the authorization hold attempts, resulting in a hold of more than double my room stay . Since the payment was settled using an entirely different account, I'm worried that Hilton won't cancel the inital authorization hold.

Has anyone had this issue in the past?
How long a hold lasts is a matter between the payment processor and your CC issuing bank. On my card, the holds are gone within 24 hours, sometimes less.

If you have any issue such as a double hold and need the credit, call your card issuer and ask them to temporarily bump your credit by that amount. They will generally do it for you.
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Old Oct 31, 11, 8:52 pm   #4
 
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Holds can stay for 5-7 days depending on the processor. They may agree to increase your limit., but not all have the systems to do so on a temporary basis, and the request for an increase may trigger a credit report inquiry. The hold for a hotel can be the room rate or it may be an average daily expenditure at the hotel (eg room =breakfast)

On rental cars, the hold may be for an even larger amount to cover potential damage.
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Old Oct 31, 11, 9:02 pm   #5
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Hilton does not remove the hold, by not putting a charge against that card, it will eventually roll off when the bank does not see a charge against it.

Wells Fargo for example tells it's merchants:

An authorization is an approval on a cardholder account for a sale amount. An authorization hold is a reduction of the cardholder's credit line for the amount of the sale. This hold can remain on the cardholder's account for up to 30 days, depending upon the issuing bank policy.

Even mastercard stays out of how long a hold should last

Says Erica Harvill, a spokeswoman for MasterCard Worldwide, which offers both credit and debit cards: "We don't put any rules or regulations on how long a hold will be in a place. We recommend that cardholders check with the bank that issued the card" when dealing with hotel holds.

Holds that are put on one card but never charged to that card can last much longer than if the charge is made to that card, as the charge will usually clear the hold.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 6:24 am   #6
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Credit Limits / Changing Cards

All of this speaks to the importance of taking the time upfront to make certain that your credit card usage does not bump up against your credit card limits. Not only are holds a problem, but emergencies and other situations can require goodly amounts of credit while on the road. For business travellers who use a personal card or are responsible for paying on a business card, the same situation can arise when you either forget or your employer is delayed in the reimbursement process.

We have gone to a system where individual corporate Amex cards issued to travellers are "stripped" of air and rail fares. Those are transferred via a software system to a central account and show up with all of the charge information, but an ultimate amount of $0.00. This means that the largest part of business charges are only on the account for one business day and the traveler neither pays for nor is reimbursed for those items, leaving only hotels, meals and other miscellaneous matters.

In addition, if you do find yourself in a situation where you are bumping up against your credit limit, do not switch credit cards between the one used at check-in or to otherwise guarantee a reservation if there is an advance or prepaid deposit, and the one used to actually pay the charges.

Most updated cc websites now show as "pending" or some other clear term, the holds and their amounts so that you can see your situation.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 8:39 am   #7
 
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I have had this problem with every higher-end Hilton that I say in. After 7 days I call the CSR number and they coordinate with the hotel and my credit card to remove the hold.

This most often happens on my CitiCards. It's very annoying.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 11:13 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
...
Holds that are put on one card but never charged to that card can last much longer than if the charge is made to that card, as the charge will usually clear the hold.


What if you ask the hotel to charge $1 to the card where the original hold is made (so the charge clears the original hold), and then ask them to put the remaining charges ($XXXX less $1) to another card?
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Old Nov 5, 11, 1:21 pm   #9
 
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As others have pointed out, it's up to the credit card company. This is quoted from our Amex Surpass:

We don't issue credits for pending charges because they don't increase your outstanding balance. Most pending charges are removed at the end of the day by posting a purchase to your account. This is what happens, for example, when a merchant that has submitted a pre-authorization submits the final charge amount. If a merchant submits a pre-authorization but doesn't submit a final charge amount within 8 days, we remove the pending charge without posting a purchase to your account.

If you are close to your credit limit on your card, you really have to be aware of what some merchants pre-authorize on your card. Gas stations seem to be the worse at pay-at-the-pump, as the places we buy gas, $100 is normal, however Kroger is $140.

On a motorcycle trip this past summer out west, a friend who was riding with us was using his Surpass card to get gas as he was building up points. We did not know he was so close to his limit, and the problem was when we stopped for gas, every place was pre-authorizing the pay-at-the-pump for $100. After 4-5 days, he hit his credit limit from the authorizations and was declined. We were averaging $15-18 at one gas stop each morning, far from the several hundreds that was being held against his credit line.

On the last trip, he took the card to the clerk and had them turn on the pump, then fill up & paid them the amount owed. It worked out for that trip as planned as there was no pre-authorizations.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 2:28 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle_and_Hawk View Post
Gas stations seem to be the worse at pay-at-the-pump, as the places we buy gas, $100 is normal, however Kroger is $140.

On a motorcycle trip this past summer out west, a friend who was riding with us was using his Surpass card to get gas as he was building up points. We did not know he was so close to his limit, and the problem was when we stopped for gas, every place was pre-authorizing the pay-at-the-pump for $100. After 4-5 days, he hit his credit limit from the authorizations and was declined. We were averaging $15-18 at one gas stop each morning, far from the several hundreds that was being held against his credit line.
I can see that being a problem for motorcycles. The issue is that many cars (SUVs in particular) take quite close to $100 to fill the tank. If they set it any less than $100, some customers would not be able to fill up in a single transaction. And there are far more SUVs on the roads these days than motorcycles.
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