How to Clear a Hold on Your Debit Card

by Robert Morello
Debit cards are convenient but may end up costing you more to use.

Debit card holds are a hardship for many consumers who lose access to funds or overdraft their accounts unexpectedly. Debit card holds are sometimes placed onto cards without notice, and the consumer is left at risk and often without recourse. Understanding the process of a hold and how to get it removed can save you time and eliminate any further charges or fees.

Call your debit card company as soon as you notice that a hold has not been released or a hold that you did not expect has been applied to your account. Your card company can be reached at the number on the back of your debit card. Notify the representative that your account has a hold that you wish to be removed. Although the card company cannot remove the hold without authorization from the billing merchant, they will make a note on your account that the amount is disputed.

Contact the merchant who placed the hold on your account. Notify him or her that your account is being tied up by the process and that you would like the hold removed ASAP. Most merchants have a standard release policy that takes from one to fifteen business days, but in some cases they may make exceptions and release funds early for the benefit of the customer.

Visit the bank branch where you opened your account and received your debit card. Inform a representative that a hold has been placed on your account and that you wish it to be removed. The branch may contact the merchant who placed the hold on your behalf to have it removed. Some cards, including MasterCard, now require merchants to release gas station holds within 24 hours and will be happy to enforce that policy at your request.

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.

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