The nation’s largest chain of grocery stores previously had a hold of $125 for every gas purchase but has recently raised it to $150 in certain areas. There are no industry standards, and hold amounts vary by station.
According to a statement from Kroger, “banks determine how long the pre-authorization hold will be on the card/account. Kroger has no control over how long a bank holds the funds in pre-authorization. We send the final amount within a few minutes of the transaction. Some banks release right away; others do not. We would prefer that they release the hold right away.”
Holds are meant to be security measures to prevent customers from getting away with free gas. As the value of gas increases, so does the supposed risk of losing profits. There are also credit card holds, which customers can avoid by paying for gas inside the station with cash.
“They put a $125 hold on a $32 gas purchase, which was like four times the amount of my gas,” one woman told a local Cincinnati TV station.
As of this report, the average price of gas in the United States sits at $4.926.