Are all payment of purchases handled the same way?

No, there are differences with some transactions. Merchants can process the card and request an authorization before the final purchase price is known.

For example:

  • Cards used at automated fuel dispensers (gas stations) will automatically request and hold a minimum authorization of $75.
  • Restaurant purchases are authorized an additional 20% to allow for tip.

In both cases, only the final amount authorized by the cardholder will be deducted. Transaction amounts for all Visa authorizations will be held against the available balance until final settlement occurs, usually done within 3 days. Some transaction amounts for Visa authorizations at merchants such as hotels, cruise lines and car rentals can be held against the available balance for up to 5 days.