When you swipe your card at the pump, hotel or rental car, the terminal checks to see if your card is valid and if you have enough money on your account to complete the purchase then places a hold on that amount until the transaction is settled. Since gas stations, hotels and car rentals do not know what the final transaction amount will be, the hold or “pre-authorization charge” is usually much higher than the actual amount you will be charged. A typical pre-authorization charge at a gas pump, for example, is about $100. If your Seller Card has a balance less than the pre-authorization charge, your card will be declined.
When the transaction is later settled, the temporary hold on your funds is released and replaced with a charge for the actual amount of the transaction.
To avoid this issue at a gas station, visit the attendant booth and pre-pay for your gas. By letting the attendant know exactly how much to charge your Seller Card, you can avoid the excess holds placed on your available balance.