Pending charges on your account happen. When the merchant has charged you for a payment, but your credit card company or financial institution hasn’t caught up yet. This happens every time you swipe your card or make a payment online. However, most transactions are completed so fast that you’ve got a notification on your PayPal or banking app almost instantly.
If you’ve got the funds available or you don’t have any upcoming bills, this isn’t usually a problem. But when your rent and other bills are due or you just simply can’t afford the hold to stick around, you have a couple of options.
Reasons to Cancel a Charge
In some instances, the charge you see is more substantial than you were expecting. When you check into a hotel room or rent a car, you’ll often be charged a deposit. Also, gas stations often place a hold when paying at the pump. These pending transactions can make things challenging. While they usually clear quickly, sometimes you are stuck with the charges longer than expected.
How Long Can a Pending Charge Last
Most situations leave you with your money back in your account within 24 hours, but this isn’t always the case. Some charges stick around for up to 5 days. How long they last depend on a few factors, including when the transaction was made as well as how long the vendor takes to process payments. If you paid with a credit card, the charge will probably last a few days.
The drawback to these pending charges is that they impact your available balance immediately. Most people can’t afford that extra $100 hold for paying at the pump, especially for nearly a week. If you have a charge that needs to be cleared up ASAP, the process depends on your form of payment.
Credit or Debit Card
The credit and debit systems are so similar and nearly instantaneous these days. You can dispute or cancel pending charges in more or less the same way in either case. Once the merchant has released any holds that they have applied, a pending charge can be removed by contacting the bank that issued the card. It doesn’t matter if it’s a credit or debit account.
In some cases, they may not be able to remove a pending charge. However, once they confirm that the merchant has canceled the transaction on their end, they will often advise that the pending transaction will disappear within a business day or two.
If you have a pending charge through PayPal, and you need to cancel it for whatever reason, their interface makes it exceedingly easy to cancel or dispute charges. If the pending charge is fraudulent, explain this to their support team. They will often be able to instantly credit your account the disputed amount while the process is finalized on their end.