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Every credit card transaction through this website gets issued a temporary authorization.

What is a temporary authorization?

A temporary authorization is a transaction that has been approved but has not yet been officially posted to your account. The value of the transaction has been deducted from your available credit line. Normally, a temporary authorization converts into a posted transaction. However, a temporary authorization may expire if the merchant does not complete the transaction.

More On Temporary Authorization Charges

Normally, a temporary authorization transaction is removed from your account when the corresponding transaction amount is posted to your account. For a more detailed explanation of temporary authorizations, please continue reading.

A temporary authorization transaction is the result of a merchant testing to confirm that a credit card account is active and has credit available to accommodate transactions. This test creates a temporary authorization transaction that appears on the account. The temporary authorization transaction is not always equal to the actual amount charged, but rather it represents an anticipated amount the merchant uses until the actual charge is processed. The actual transaction amount will appear on the account once the merchant's bank and all intermediary banks finish processing the transaction. The temporary authorization charge is removed from the account within 30 days after it first appears. In the meantime, all temporary authorization charges will temporarily reduce the account's available line of credit by the anticipated amount.

If a temporary authorization appears twice, it does not necessarily mean the account will be billed twice. Please note: Temporary authorization charges cannot be disputed; only posted transactions can be disputed. Please check your monthly statement when you receive it.

If for some reason the actual charge is canceled and not processed, this temporary authorization will automatically be removed from your account 30 days after it first appears.

Temporary authorizations are requested by merchants in many forms. Some common examples of temporary authorizations are described below.


  1. When you request reservations at a hotel, the hotel may place a temporary authorization on your credit card account for the amount you would be charged if you were to cancel your reservation without notice. As stated above, this anticipated charge will drop off within 30 days if not processed. Likewise, when you check in, the hotel may test your account for availability again, creating a temporary charge for an amount usually equivalent to a one-night stay. This temporary charge will remain on your account until you check out of the hotel, at which time the actual charges will be posted to your account and the temporary charges will be removed.

  2. When you use your MasterCard or Visa credit card at a gas station, a request for a temporary authorization for $1 is processed. American Express credit cards will request a temporary authorization of $75. If the request is approved, you will be permitted to purchase the gasoline. Once the transaction is complete, the gasoline merchant's bank will issue a request for payment to your credit card company. If the request is honored, the actual amount of your  purchase will appear on your account as a posted transaction, and the temporary authorization will be removed.

  3. When you use your credit card at a department store, the merchant may swipe your card at checkout. This generates the request for charging authorization. If approved, the charge will appear on your account summary as a temporary authorization in  whole dollars. For instance, if your actual purchase amount is $147.53, the temporary authorization may appear on your account for $148. Sometime after you leave the store with your purchases, the request will be sent to the merchant's bank for payment. Again, the merchant's bank will issue a request to your credit card company for payment in full. When the merchant's bank receives payment, the temporary authorization for $148 will be removed and the actual purchase amount of $147.53 will be posted to your account.

These are just examples of some transactions that may generate temporary authorizations to your account. However, there are many other situations you may encounter that will require temporary authorizations to be placed on your credit card account. Rest assured that this is a common practice in the credit card industry.



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