Beware the 'Hold' on Your Credit Card
You may be closer to your credit card's limit than you think -- because of charges you didn't even incur.
Some merchants charge a deposit on your card and can be slow to remove it. And that could spell trouble if your card balance is approaching a credit limit.
I was reminded of this fact in a rather unpleasant manner a few weeks ago, when my American Express (AXP) card was rejected at a restaurant because of holds that remained from a recent hotel stay.
A hold, or block, occurs when the hotel, rental-car agency or other company contacts your card issuer to give an estimated total of the charges. If the transaction is approved, your available credit is reduced by this amount. Once you pay your bill, the final charge should replace the block within a day or two.
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