Gas stations are holding drivers to ransom

By Scoop
June 29, 2022 · less than 3 min read

Hope you’ve got a spare $175 in the bank.

Crisis prices

Gas is rapidly becoming the bane of our lives. From the totally broke to the upper-middle classes, prices of fuel have got everyone down bad. And while we hate to bring the mood down further, there’s more bad news on the horizon as gas stations look to raise their holding fees.

With the widespread cost of living crisis already impacting millions, plenty of folk are already sitting in the red – and major payment processing firms aren’t in the habit of gifting out freebies. Now, Visa and Mastercard are letting stations place holds of $175 – up from $125 – when customers use their credit or debit cards as payment, making sure that there’s no chance of a bounce back. Bleak times, right?  

Driving past the overdraft

Earlier in June, gas prices hit an all-time high of $5.016. Sure, they’ve now decreased slightly, but in context with the past few years the cost remains eye-watering; on Monday, the national average for regular gas was $4.897.

The hold on customer cash usually only lasts a matter of hours before being replaced with the exact amount that needs to be charged. But naturally, the higher the holding fee, the more difficult it will be for some customers to fill up their tank.

Some employers are trying their best to help, covering portions of their workers’ gas expenses to offset the price surge. But teetering on the precipice of the overdraft is no fairy tale. If essentials, such as gas, continue to take up a larger and larger slice of consumer wallets, we can start counting down the days until the recession hits.  

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