Some merchants (usually service or "tip" orientated) will place an authorization greater than the amount purchased to allow for additional services or a tip. This usually happens when using your card at a hotel, (for your room and incidentals), restaurants, and beauty salons. The merchant will estimate the final bill and place a hold on your card. If you decide to pay your final bill in cash after an authorization has been made, the hold on the authorized funds will expire in several days if no final transaction is processed.
Restaurants, Bars, Taxis, Salons, Barbershops, & Health / Beauty Spas
Be sure your balance is sufficient to cover an additional 20% above your total bill. If the bill, plus estimated tip (20%), exceeds the available balance on the card, the purchase will be declined. The actual amount charged to your card will not exceed the amount of the bill plus the tip YOU add. Of course, the actual tip amount is your decision.
For example, you go to a restaurant for dinner and the bill is $19.27. The restaurant may "Authorize" $24.00 which is the meal plus a 20% tip. When signing for the bill, you decide to give a $3.50 tip, so your "Final Transaction Amount" is $22.77. In this circumstance, the $24.00 will remain on hold until the restaurant processes the $22.77 charge. Or, if you decide to leave a tip with cash, the $24 will remain on hold until the restaurant processes the $19.27 charge.
Hotels & Car Rental Companies
Some car rental companies and hotels may require a credit card to make a reservation. This is at the merchants’ discretion and beyond inPOWER's control. At check-in, hotels will put a "hold" on the estimated amount of your stay, making those funds unavailable for purchase for a period of time. You can avoid a 'hold' being placed on your card by checking in with a credit card, and then using your inPOWER Card for final payment when you return the car or at the end of your hotel stay.
When you swipe your card at the pump, before the amount of your purchase is known, some gas stations run a check to see if there are enough funds to pay for a full tank of gas (this may be up to $100.00 or more, depending on the location). If your card is declined, even though you have funds, let the attendant know how much gas you plan to buy and they can process the purchase and have you sign for it. You may find that telling the attendant in advance how much gas you want, will avoid the preauthorization hold of funds all together. See the Cardholder Agreement for full details.
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