MyBranch Debit Card Holds

An important change regarding your checking account and Mastercard® Debit Card with Advantage One Credit Union.

Effective 04/02/2019, preauthorization holds were instituted on debit card transactions processed as Signature/Credit transactions (i.e. you do not enter your PIN). Since these transactions do not post to your account immediately, funds in the amount of the purchase will be placed on hold in your checking account. This is a way of reserving those funds in your account for the debit card purchase. Most holds are removed automatically when the transaction posts to your account – usually within one or two days. In the event a hold is not removed  automatically when the transaction posts, it will automatically drop off 72 hours from the time of the original transaction.

The ability to view outstanding transactions and their impact on the available balance of their checking account has been the feature most requested by our membership. Most members depend on the accuracy of their available balances to help them avoid NSF or Overdraft Privilege situations and associated fees. Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization holds allow members to view pending transactions and provide timely available balance information. Full account information, including funds on hold and your available balance are displayed within your account in MyBranch, Advantage One Credit Union’s online banking site. If you are not currently using MyBranch, we encourage you to begin utilizing this free service as the most accurate way of managing your account and receiving account alerts, such as balance information.

Please refer to the FAQ’s below for answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you have further questions regarding these changes, please contact the credit union at 734-676-7000. Thank you for being an Advantage One Credit Union member, we look forward to continuing to serve your financial needs.

Mastercard Debit Card Preauthorization Hold FAQs:

  • What is a Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization hold?
    • Unlike PIN‐based transactions which post immediately, signature‐based debit card purchases are a two‐step process, consisting of an authorization and a settlement. When your card is swiped for authorization at a merchant, it is verifying that your account is valid and funds are available for the cost of the transaction. At this point, funds are "held" and deducted from your available balance but have not yet been removed from your account. Holds are typically released when the transaction clears your account or within 72 hours from the original transaction time, whichever comes first. The hold helps reflect the most current available balance on your account through Advantage One Online and Telephone Banking, and at ATMs.
       
  • What is the difference between my available balance and my balance?
    • Your available balance includes any authorization holds from approved signature‐based debit purchases along with any monetary or check holds. Your available balance is used to determine available funds when future transactions are being authorized or attempt to clear the account. If there are not sufficient funds in the available balance at the time of clearing, an overdraft fee may be charged for each transaction that attempts to clear and authorizations may be declined. Funds in your balance do not include any outstanding items such; debit purchases, checks, ACH payments, or held funds.
       
  • Why is Advantage One Credit Union implementing Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization holds?
    • Most members depend on the accuracy of their available balances to help them avoid NSF or Overdraft Privilege situations and other associated fees. Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization holds allow members to view pending transactions and provide timely available balance information.
       
  • Will implementing Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization holds cause more overdraft fees?
    • No. In fact, we believe this feature provides the information needed to help members avoid overdraft situations and thereby avoid Overdraft Privilege or Nonsufficient Funds fees.
      The advantage of preauthorization holds is that you can check your balance and get a more accurate picture of what is truly available to you before you spend. Note: Overdraft Privilege situations may still occur depending on your opt‐in status for ATM and everyday debit card transactions. Please contact the credit union if you have questions about your Overdraft Privilege settings.
       
  • If you place a hold on my account and then the transaction comes in, is there a chance you’ll subtract it again?
    • When merchants preauthorize an amount that is different from the final transaction total, it’s possible that the hold will not release. However, we’ve found that most holds match off to the final transaction regardless of whether the preauthorized and settlement amounts match. In the event a hold is not matched off at the time the transaction clears, it will automatically be released 72 hours from the time it was placed.
       
  • How will I know if a Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization hold has been placed?
    • Your preauthorized debit transaction holds will be displayed within Online and Mobile banking. The items that are currently on hold will appear under the section titled, “Authorization Holds”. Your available balance will reflect any outstanding authorization holds displayed.
       
  • Will the Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization hold always equal the exact amount of my transaction?
    • No. Some merchants such as gas stations, hotels, car/truck rental agencies and restaurants, may preauthorize an amount that is higher or lower than the actual purchase amount. For example: Gas Stations: Many gas stations preauthorize transactions for amounts ranging from $1 to $75 because they do not know how much gas you will actually pump in advance of your transaction. If they preauthorize $75, we will place a hold for $75, even if your transaction is only $45. After two hours, we will release those funds from the initial authorization and only the actual amount of the purchase will be held. If you are worried about large preauthorization holds from a gas station, we recommend you use an Advantage One credit card. Hotels: When using a debit card to make reservations in advance, hotels generally will preauthorize an amount equal to an overnight stay, or more, depending on the length of your stay. This will result in a hold on your account up to three days. Then, when you actually arrive, the hotel will place another preauthorization, often larger than the cost of your stay to cover possible incidental expenses. Because these can result in significant holds against your account, we recommend always using your Advantage One credit card for hotel stays.
       
  • When I make a purchase online or by phone using my Mastercard Debit Card, is it processed as a credit or debit transaction?
    • Online and telephone Mastercard Debit Card transactions are processed as credit transactions because you do not have the option to enter your PIN. These types of purchases will create a preauthorization hold.
       
  • Do all Mastercard Debit Card transactions clear within 72 hours?
    • No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction through to Advantage One within the three‐day time frame of the hold. In that case, the hold will drop off and funds will appear to be available again, although the debit transaction still has to clear your account. Unfortunately, Advantage One has no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions.
       
  • Can I set up overdraft transfer protection to help avoid fees?
    • It is always a good idea to have overdraft transfer protection set up on your account. Overdraft transfer protection helps you avoid larger Overdraft Privilege fees by using your Savings Account or Line of Credit loan to automatically cover the insufficient funds.
      When you open an Advantage One checking account, your Savings account is automatically established as the primary overdraft account, but you may also use a Line of Credit loan as well. Please contact us at 734‐676‐7000 for more details.
       
  • Can Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization holds on my debit card be removed?
    • Mastercard Debit Card preauthorization holds will not be removed unless an error was made, an erroneous hold was placed, or there are extenuating circumstances. These situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Should you have a hold that falls under this criteria, please contact the credit union.
       
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