Just a quick word of warning to those of you that like to buy gas with your debit card… Most gas stations place a sizable hold on your funds whenever you swipe your card at the pump. The amount of frozen funds varies from station to station, but can be as great as $75-$100 no matter how small your purchase ends up being. Unfortunately, these funds aren’t always released at the conclusion of the transaction. Rather, many stations don’t relinquish their hold on your money for several days. Obviously, if you tend to carry a low balance in your bank account, this sort of a policy can dramatically increase the likelihood that you’ll overdraw your account. While this might end up being good news for fee-crazy banks, it’s definitely bad for your pocketbook. The easiest way to avoid this problem is, of course, to pay with cash or a credit card.
Update: It seems that Sunoco has changed their practice with regard to debit card authorizations.