(WXYZ) — Scrambling to get that holiday shopping done? We have a caution before you pull out a debit card, as it can be risky this time of the year.
Patricia Babin found a great deal on Amazon – grabbing a 55-inch HDTV for just $283, but it appeared that either Amazon or her bank grabbed her money twice.
"it looked like at first a double charge," she said.
It turned out to be a preauthorization hold for the TV's cost, which left her card down more than $600.
"I expected the pre-authorization to drop off. But it did not, she said.
So, Babin called and learned authorization charges on debit cards can take several days to be returned. It can take 3-5 business days.
This is a common problem for people who use debit cars, and it's not just limited to Amazon. It happens at other retailers, especially at gas stations.
Last year, Shari Renfro pumped $47 worth of gas, but her debit card was hit with a $125 hold.
"There was no money on it, when I knew there was money on it," Renfro said.
Business Insider suggests you don't use debit cards at these locations:
- Gas stations – Due to skimming scams, and because of the hold
- Hotels – The desk may pre-authorize $400 on your card
- Rental cars – Rental firm may hold hundreds of dollars until you return the car.
One last reason to not use a debit card online, if there is an error that you have to fight to get your money back, you'll almost always get a better result dealing with a credit card company.