Why did the merchant authorize my ReliaCard for more than what the actual purchase amount is?

Certain merchants hold funds greater than the actual purchase because the final amount is not yet known.  

The hold amount varies based on the purchase type (debit or credit) and the merchant (gas station, hotel, airline, restaurant, etc.). When making these types of purchases, you'll need enough funds in the ReliaCard account to cover these holds or the purchase will be declined.

Example scenario: At a restaurant, the total amount for everyone's meal is $60. The restaurant then authorizes $72 to allow for a 20% tip. When it's time to pay for the meal:

  • You can choose to leave a cash tip and sign the receipt for $60. In this example, the $72 will remain until the merchant collects on the authorized amount you signed for, $60. 
  • You can also add the tip to the total and sign the receipt for that amount. In this example, to leave a 10% tip, the amount signed for would be $66; to leave a 20% tip, the amount signed for would be $72. 

U.S. Bank ReliaCard FAQs