Always select “credit” at the gas pump when using your debit card to prevent unnecessary holds on your checking account.*
When you use your debit card at the gas pump and select “debit” when prompted on the screen, gas stations electronically request funds to be set aside to cover the purchase. Since oil companies don’t know how much fuel you’re going to purchase, it’s typical for $50, $100, or more to be placed on hold to cover the purchase. This hold results in temporarily frozen funds until the gas station updates your bank with the actual amount of money used, which may take days.
In the meantime, the funds are unavailable, which may lead to overdraft or Courtesy Pay fees. You can avoid this potential issue simply by selecting “credit” rather than “debit.” Selecting “credit” when using your debit card will avoid temporary holds on the funds in your checking account and can help you avoid fees.
*American 1 Freedom+ cards and other cards connected to a savings account will not show a debit option at the gas pump. This only applies to debit cards.