Credit Vs. Debit At The Gas Pump

A heads up before you fuel up, if you're a member of the State Employees Credit Union (SECU). Starting Tuesday, it makes a difference if you select credit or debit when paying at the pump.

The SECU says selecting credit will now put a $26 hold on your account balance, until the gas station updates the credit union with the actual charge for the amount pumped. In order to avoid the $26 hold, you can select debit, and the actual amount of your purchase will be taken from your account at that time.

If you select credit, the Credit Union will only debit your account for the amount of the final transaction. The $26 authorization amount will be deducted from your available balance until the transaction settles or three business days have passed, whichever occurs first.

Leigh Brady with the SECU says they made the change because they are "trying to mitigate the number of overdraft situations members encounter." She says the credit union came up with the $26 figure after analyzing months of members' gas transactions and noticed that more than 80% spent $26.00 or more each time they got gas.

Brady says the $26 hold only affects people paying with credit at the pump. She says if you pay for gas inside the station you will be charged the exact amount you pump whether you select credit or debit.

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