You’ll be familiar with the fuel supplier holding a nominal amount on your card, usually £1, until it deducts the actual balance.
But, as a result of people taking petrol they technically cannot afford, supermarkets and their petrol stations will now be holding up to £100 on your debit or credit card to make sure you can afford the fuel in advance.
You may have experienced increased holding fares at independent fuel stations, with many holding £40 but the new system, which has been implemented by payment providers American Express, Mastercard and Visa, is now being rolled out to major supermarkets too.
About 60 Sainsbury's pay-at-pump sites across the UK have already adopted it, while Asda, Morrisons and Tesco say they plan to do so too.
Here’s how it works
- If you have £100+ in your account or on your credit card this will be held when you pay the pump. However, your account is only billed for the actual amount spent and the rest is returned. The unused funds should be replaced straightaway – although in some cases it can take longer.
- If you have money in your account or on your credit card but not as much as £100 then whatever your available account or card balance is will be reserved. The pump will cut off automatically once you reach your available balance.
- If you don't have any money in your account, you may not be able to purchase fuel.
The system has been trialled before but binned by Asda in 2018 after many people found it took days for payments to be released back into their account.
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