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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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I made a purchase using my prepaid card and my account shows a charge that’s more than the amount of my purchase. Why?


Sometimes providers will place a temporary hold on an amount higher than the amount of the purchase to make sure the funds on your prepaid card will cover the transaction.

If the prepaid card account shows a charge higher than the amount you spent, the funds most likely are on a hold or are being used as a deposit. The extra funds will be released and available in your account after the transaction has settled.

For certain types of transactions, such as gas purchases at a gas station, where the final amount isn’t known in advance, the prepaid card provider may put a temporary hold on the account for an amount higher than requested for the transaction. Those funds on hold will be used to pay the transaction. 

If it turns out that the transaction costs less than the funds put on hold, the extra funds that were put on hold can be used again. For example, if you use your prepaid card at a gas station to preauthorize your gas purchase, the gas station may put a hold on your account for $75. If it turns out you only buy $30 worth of gas, the transaction will settle for $30 and the remaining $45 will be released and available for use.

Some merchants, like hotels and car rental companies, require a deposit in addition to the amount of the purchase. The amount of the deposit is released after the transaction is settled. 

You may want to contact your prepaid card provider and ask about the deposit and hold policy, and to find out when the hold will be removed or the deposit credited to your account. In some cases, it may take several weeks for the transaction to settle.

However, if the additional amount is not related to a purchase you made and you think it’s an unauthorized transaction, you should contact the merchant and the prepaid card provider right away.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.