Paying at the pump
Last week, we were very surprised when I checked my bank account balance and it was $75 under where I thought it was supposed to be. Since we're broke anyhow, this put me negative. This was, needless to say, upsetting, and I went to find out what had happened. It turned out that when I had used my debit card as a debit card to pay at the pump, the gas station automatically charged $75 to my account. It was only "pending" and was canceled as soon as the actual $15 payment cleared, but meantime, my bank wouldn't let me take cash out of my account since I didn't have enough funds to cover the "pending" charges. So, I was unable to access my account until the $15 cleared the next day. After doing some calling around, we found out that if I'd pushed "credit" instead of "debit", the initial charge to start the transaction would have been $1 instead of $75. So, next time you are getting gas and don't have $75 that you can afford to have sit in limbo for a day or two, don't use a debit card as a debit card to pay at the pump. The gas station we went to did not have this policy posted anywhere, and I don't think other gas stations that do this inform customers of it either. The only way you find out it's being done is if you happen to check your balance while the charge is still pending, and I don't know many people who wouldn't be seriously annoyed to find their balance was $75 less than it should be.