When your budget is tight, small discrepancies between when you think a transaction will post to your account and when it actually does can be an expensive mistake. The last thing you want is to find yourself in an endless loop of fees. And, at Chase bank, the overdraft and bounced check fee are both $34, as of June 2020. The amount of time it takes for a pending item to officially post to your checking account depends on how the purchase was made and how a merchant processes their payment activity.
Normal Procedure for Posting
Like most other banks, Chase Bank typically posts pending transactions to your account on midnight of the day it is marked as pending on your account. This policy applies to debit cards, checks drawn on Chase and cash withdrawals. Checks not drawn on Chase accounts may take longer to process. However, exceptions can apply that negate these rules, so contact Chase directly if you have any questions or need clarification.
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Posting for Debit Card Purchases
There can be a lag between when a transaction is pending on your account and when it clears depending on when a merchant processes his payment activity. A debit card transaction cannot officially be posted until the merchant has processed his payment activity with his own bank. This process is called "batching," and large merchants typically do it at the end of the business day.
But, have you ever had a charge pending on your account for what seemed like forever? This is because smaller merchants may only batch their payment activity once a week due to small transaction volumes, unlike the larger merchants. However, the transaction will be pending on your account until the merchant batches his payments.
Holds on Debit Cards
Some merchants, such as hotels or auto rental companies, will place holds on your debit card while you use their services. These holds are used as a temporary deposit to ensure proper treatment of their property. If you make these payments with a debit card, the hold amount will be pending on your checking account for the whole time you use their services.
The hold is typically released when you return their property or check out, but it can stay on your account for up to two weeks. This is something to be mindful of when you're vacationing or traveling; you will not have access to your money for the entirety of your trip, so be sure to budget accordingly.
Debit vs Credit Transaction Handling
Transactions also post differently to your account depending on whether or not you use the debit versus credit option when swiping your debit card. If the debit option is used, the purchase is processed by your bank, and the purchase amount will usually immediately be pending on your account and officially posted when the merchant processes your payment.
If you use the credit option, the purchase will not show as pending until the merchant batches his card activity. When this happens, the purchase will be pending on your account throughout the business day and officially post to your account around midnight when Chase settles payment activity.