Understanding Credit Card Holds

# Understanding Credit Card Holds: A Helpful & Light-Hearted Guide

In this world of financial jargon, nothing seems more confounding than the concept of a “credit card hold”. This blog will unwrap your fears and unravel the mysticism behind credit card holds. So, dust off your credit cards folks, as we venture into this fascinating journey through your plastic money’s adventures!

HIGHLIGHTS: Here’s What We’re Talking About:

– The definition of a Credit Card Hold.
– What induces a Hold.
– The Duration of a Credit Card Hold.
– How to Get Rid of a Hold.
– Will You Get Back Your Money from a Hold.

Decoding a Credit Card Hold

Like a superhero, a credit card swoops in to rescue you from the dreaded ‘cash or cheque’ scenarios and makes transactions simpler – until it meets the formidable villain, the “credit card hold”! But, fear not! We’re here to help you understand this complex character.

A credit card hold is a kind of ‘timeout’ for your credit, where a part of your credit limit gets temporarily held up for potential transactions. Imagine it as a sofa reservation at a party for a loved one, so they’ve got a place pen-marked just for them.

The Flavors of Holds

The most notorious of all holds – the “authorization hold”. When you are about to make a credit card purchase or book an experience, the involved business peeps at your card to ensure you have adequate credit for the transaction. Until this approval stage, a chunk of your credit limit is safeguarded and kept out of reach for other purchases. This hold ensures funds would be ready when the transaction slides through, and it also stops you from maxing out your credit card.

However, dear reader, it is essential to remember that businesses can’t throw an over-enthusiastic party by blocking more credit than the estimated amount.

Now, these holds, called authorization holds, are often employed by certain businesses, like hotels, cruise lines, car rental companies, gas stations, restaurants, and ride-sharing services. These sneak in when you subscribe for trials, make online or phone orders, or get involved in transactions that demand tip-offs.

Duration of a Credit Card Hold

The lifespan of a credit card hold usually isn’t too long. The holds emancipate once the anticipated transaction gets its approval. Most of them melt off in a few minutes to up to seven days. But beware, my friends, because the long-lived holds from cruise lines or rental companies might stretch their visit to up to 31 days!

A Word of Caution

Remember dearest budget-navigators, always stick to the same card for booking and billing. Why? Simple, if you switch cards, you’re inviting a longer hold period. So, always safely reserve your funds before making transactions that typically require a hold.

Getting Rid of The Hold

Feeling strapped because of a lingering hold? Here’s the good news – the power to lift holds rests in your hands, or more precisely, in your transaction actions!

Only the card issuer can lift an authorization hold, typically done when the transaction request expires, or when it’s cleared or reversed. But you can bring it up with the merchant if you find any discrepancy, such as duplicate authorizations. If you’re desperate to free some credit, you may either make a payment or request your issuer for a credit increase.

And in a situation where your credit card is playing the ‘silent treatment’ due to a missed or returned payment, all you need to do is to retrieve the lost harmony by covering up the missed payment.

Will Your Money Make A Comeback?

Now, credit card holds are intriguing, but they don’t slash your money. They just block your credit line for some time. Once the hold slides away, your credit limit is again at your disposal to spend as you wish. Of course, if there are any puzzling holds on your account, feel free to shoot an inquiry to the card issuer.


Managing our financial commitments amidst life’s challenges can be like juggling jelly. However, by understanding the nuances of transactions, like credit card holds, we can master our financial destiny, one credit card swipe at a time.

Remember, you always have the power to navigate your financial journey. And streaks of holds should not slow down your credit adventures! Maybe keep a think-ahead strategy (like keeping a back-up credit card) to smoothly sail through your buying spree. After all, understanding your finances can bring you closer to your dreams – one step, one swipe at a time.