While a charge is pending, you can contact the merchant to stop it from going through your account. If there's a pending credit charge on your account, it means the merchant placed an authorization hold on the account for the amount of the transaction or purchase. A few days later, the merchant goes back and claims the funds, which results in a completed charge on your account.
Contact the merchant immediately if there was a mistake with your purchase, such as getting charged twice for a single transaction. If you don't recognize the charge, contact your bank for help determining which merchant made the charge.
Have your receipt on hand when you contact the merchant about the pending charge. The merchant will likely need you to provide information from the receipt to help identify the transaction.
Explain the situation to the representative. Depending on the merchant, you may be referred to a separate division or department that handles billing and payment issues. If the merchant acknowledges an error was made, the money won't be collected. The pending charge will then fall off your account and the hold will be released. The bank that issued the card determines how long an authorization hold lasts. Although most holds are around one to four days, they can also last up to 30 days.
Contact your bank or credit card company if the pending charge turns into a completed transaction or you aren't able to reach a solution with the merchant. Although the bank can't stop a pending charge, you may dispute a charge that was posted. Dispute procedures vary, but your bank or credit card company may offer the option to dispute transactions online. You can also submit a written dispute to your credit card company's billing inquiries department.
- Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions: Debit Card Holds
- Capital One: Dispute a Merchant Charge
- Simple: Why is this transaction marked as pending?
- WSECU: Pending Transactions: What They Are and How They Work
- Nolo: How to Dispute a Billing Error on Your Debit or Credit Card Statemen
- Quickbooks: How Many Days Does a Credit Card Authorization Remain Valid?
- Wells Fargo: Authorizations