WTF Costco? You pre-authorize $150 at your gas pumps????

Jan 3, 2001
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#1
Went to get gas today at Costco and used my debit card to pay for it. My checking account is the "pay the bills" account, so it often runs low. I had about $120 or so in it and when to fill up. The pump said "Authorization denied". Tried again...same thing. Ended up putting it on my AmEx card.

Then I get an automated text from my bank "Transaction for $150 from Costco Denied due to insufficient funds".

Why the hell do they pre-authorize that much? Seems a bit excessive.
 
Nov 25, 2003
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#2
Good to know... My local Sheets pre authorizes $100.
 
Aug 26, 2000
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#3
I wouldn't be surprised, altho gas stations usually preauthorize only $75 or so. And there are always people at pumps that stop pumping right away because, for example, they chose the wrong octane, only to find out they can't get gas anymore because they don't have enough money available in their account anymore. $150 for preauthorization simply becomes a poor people's tax/inconvenience.
 

PixelSquish

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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#4
here in jersey i've only seen $1 pre-authorizations.
 
Feb 16, 2004
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#5
it is so you can fill up your truck without having to do two transactions, pretty convenient of them to do IMO. Most other places shun truck owners and you have to swipe your card twice.
 
Sep 2, 2006
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#6
just use a credit card, you'll get the reward points that way, and the pre-auth amount won't matter

i just filled up at a pilot station the other day and it registered at 150$ at first as well
 
Oct 12, 1999
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#7
I don't understand the debit card thing. much more liability and much less rewards. am I missing something?
 
Mar 10, 2004
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#8
Yet another reason not to use debit card.
 
Jan 3, 2001
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#10
I don't understand the debit card thing. much more liability and much less rewards. am I missing something?
Costco you can only pay with Amex or debit, nothing else. I didn't have anything on my AmEx so I don't really use it.
 

zCypher

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2002
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#11
Noticed the same at some gas stations. Not really a concern since I use credit card for the points, but most gas stations I've been to haven't been pre-authing that much as it prompts me for how much I want to authorize before I start.
 

PixelSquish

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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#12
That's what I usually get here too. Seems unique to Costco around here.
interesting. i go to the Wayne Costco even though I live near Hackensack, which has a Costco. the Hackensack Costco is a shit show, too crowded. the Clifton one has gas, but the lines are too long. i go to the Wayne one because it's near my parents when I visit, they sell liquor inside the actual Costco, but no gas - so I never get gas at Costco.

there are some good discount gas joints on route 1&9 on the way to Jersey City from route 3 that are close enough in price.
 
May 24, 2003
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#13
The us is weird when it comes to gas. Here we just pay what we pump. Pump till it stops or you stop then go pay what it says.
 

sactoking

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2007
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#14
$150 pre auth is ~40 gallons. People love to take their RVs and big ass trucks to Costco. While excessive for the typical Accord or Camry, it's quite appropriate for "bulk gas."
 
Sep 12, 2001
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#15
I wouldn't be surprised, altho gas stations usually preauthorize only $75 or so. And there are always people at pumps that stop pumping right away because, for example, they chose the wrong octane, only to find out they can't get gas anymore because they don't have enough money available in their account anymore. $150 for preauthorization simply becomes a poor people's tax/inconvenience.
How is that a "poor people's tax"? Inconvenience, perhaps.
 
Jun 12, 2005
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#16
The us is weird when it comes to gas. Here we just pay what we pump. Pump till it stops or you stop then go pay what it says.
I just pay cash for gas. Everything else is a pain in the ass.
 
Jan 8, 2010
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#17
They upped it because in many cases these days $75 isn't enough due to the high price of gas.
 
Sep 12, 2001
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#18
I just pay cash for gas. Everything else is a pain in the ass.
Really?

I find it less of a PITA to slide a card into the gas pump, pump gas, and leave. :p
 
Jun 23, 2005
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#19
If you pay with a credit card you may end up paying 10 cents more a gallon than advertised. The price they show on the sign is their "cash discount price".
 
Feb 6, 2007
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#20
I don't understand the debit card thing. much more liability and much less rewards. am I missing something?
0% APR? Credit cards charge based on average monthly balance whereas debit cards charge exactly zero for everything. Yes, the money comes out immediately, but you don't have to worry about carrying a balance. And considering how many people in this country carry massive credit card balances, maybe it would be a good thing if more people were using debit cards.
 

squarecut1

Platinum Member
Nov 1, 2013
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#21
Will Costco start checking the gas receipt before you are allowed to drive off from the gas station?
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
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#22
ford superduty has a 35 gallon tank standard. that'd hit the preauthorization without gas being at $5.00.
 

JMapleton

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2008
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#23
Why would you use your debit card when you can earn free points on the Amex? I never ever ever use my debit card.

I have 140,000 Amex points for this reason.
 

Mr. Pedantic

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2010
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#24
That's something I never really got when I went to the States.

Well, that's not true. I got it, but the fact that enough people do it that it's become common practice for an entire country to pre-authorise before starting the flow of volatile liquid so that people don't gap it after refuelling just boggles my mind. Your flammable grease isn't even that expensive.
 
Jan 3, 2001
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#25
Why would you use your debit card when you can earn free points on the Amex? I never ever ever use my debit card.

I have 140,000 Amex points for this reason.
I just like using cash. It seems interest makes a lot of those points less lucrative than you think, and it's a pain having another bill to pay.
 

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