You forget to pay attention on a trip
Have you ever paid for gas at the pump with a credit card and noticed there's a hold on your account for an amount much larger than what it cost to fill up? That reminder should be a red flag for your wallet.
Your card can be declined if you have a pending hold on your account. "This often happens when people are on vacation and they've done 2 things within moments of each other: They've gotten a rental car ... and then they've just checked in to a hotel," says Melinda Opperman, senior vice president of community outreach and industry relations at Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management. Both of these activities put a hold on a certain portion of a card's limit.
Traveling and only using one card for your entire vacation can be problematic, especially if you could easily reach your limit. One or 2 big purchases or holds, and your card will be declined.
"A lot of people aren't aware of that, and they're caught off guard," says Opperman. "It can take several days for the hold to be released," which is why Opperman advises travelers to take 2 credit cards. Switch off between them for hotels, rental car check-ins, dining and other expenses while you're away.
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