*Gas stations across the nation have reportedly started placing holds for over $150 on individuals’ credit and debit cards prior to them filling their tanks.
The move comes as gas prices continue to rise in the U.S. As of Tuesday, the average price nationwide was $4.88 a gallon.
“It’s really tough, especially for me, I’m traveling from the East Bay all the way here to San Francisco,” said Josh Hernandez, a Pinole resident who works in the city, about the gas price increase in California, CBS reports. “It’s crazy right now, $7.19, my price, I can’t do it.”
“It’s terrible. Actually, you try to not drive as much, you try to walk when you can because gas prices are crazy,” said Wendy Miles, a San Francisco resident. “We’re out and about today but we haven’t been driving for the past two days because it’s so expensive.”
Residents across the nation are being hit with an authorization charge at gas stations prior to them even filling their tanks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, gas stations are hitting drivers with a temporary pre-authorization hold as high as $175 as a consequence of soaring gas prices. Tell Me Best writes: “The charge is temporary and it is in place to ensure that the individual attempting to buy gas actually has the money to do so. The temporary charge is immediately placed on the card when one inserts it into the machine.”
However, some drivers are understandably finding this problematic, especially for those living on an exceedingly tight budget.
If a driver does not have $175 on their debit/credit card then their gas purchase is declined.
“Or, if a person’s banking institution allows for overdrafts the charge would go through, and although temporary, it could put the individual at risk of incurring an overdraft fee,” per the report.
“Many debit cards will reverse the hold in minutes or hours after someone buys gas, and what will remain debited is the actual price equal to the amount of gas they actually put in their tank,” the outlet writes.
“Opting for a lower fuel grade, driving a bit less or skipping that slushy or candy bar in the store are part of a bigger picture of choices consumers are making every day in the face of higher prices,” said Michelle Meyer, U.S. chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute.