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How long are transactions pending?

SOLVEDBy Credit KarmaUpdated July 31, 2023

Credit Karma Visa Debit Card transactions that have not yet posted to your account will show as pending and will affect your available balance, these are also known as authorization holds.  
When you authorize the merchant with whom you use your card to debit your account, we must promise the merchant to pay for the purchase upon the merchant’s request and thus a hold is placed for the authorized amount. During the hold period, you will not have access to the authorized amount and this amount is not yet applied to the debit card purchase. It could be days between the authorization and the payment to the merchant. In most cases, the hold expires when the transaction is paid. If the hold expires and the transaction is not finalized by the merchant, the funds will be returned to your available funds.  If you have questions about the status of your transaction, you should contact the merchant directly. 
How long it takes for a transaction to post to your account may depend on the type of transaction and the merchant. 

Some common examples of where you may see pending transactions as a result of authorization holds include:

  • Grocery Store: will submit an authorization for the exact amount of your purchase and a hold is placed on your funds for that amount until they process the final transaction.  
  • Restaurants: if allowance for a tip is added to your preauthorization you may see a pending transaction for more than your original receipt, which should adjust to your actual amount once it posts. Similarly, if the restaurant does not allocate allowance for a tip (typically 20%), the final transaction amount will often be higher than the pending amount.
  • Gas Stations: many gas pumps will temporarily preauthorize your debit card for amounts from $1 to $125 or more to ensure the card is valid and can cover an estimated amount before dispensing gas. You may see this amount as a pending transaction until the transaction settles within a few days. After the transaction settles, you should see the actual amount for gas you pumped appear on your transaction history.
  • Travel: hotels and car rental agencies may request a preauthorization on your card for different amounts to cover incidentals. 

These types of authorized holds will adjust to the final amount once posted to your account or may fall off entirely if the merchant never submits the transaction for payment, examples include: using your card to reserve a hotel or rental car but pay your bill using a different payment method.

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