I use a pre-paid Vanilla MasterCard credit card for online shopping. Every time I make a purchase, the companies I purchase from "hold" some similar amount which reflects negatively on my balance. Vanilla MasterCard's web page doesn't indicate this as any different from a purchase and so my balance is always completely wrong when I go check it online.
I've called Vanilla MasterCard several times to "release" these "holdings", and every time it works like a charm, resulting in a balance sheet that make sense. But I wonder why I have to convince a machine to let me speak to a human to tell that human to do this manually, every single time I make an online purchase.
This wouldn't be so horribly frustrating if their website made a distinction between charges actually made and charges that are being "held". I have to literally guess what my balance is until I get them to "release" the "holdings" and otherwise spend about 15 minutes on the phone arguing with a machine and waiting for people.
So I have a few questions.
- Is this something one has to deal with using normal credit cards?
- Is is possible to simply refuse these "holdings" using normal credit cards? - as far as I'm concerned, the companies I purchase from online have no business "holding" any of my money until they actually charge me.
- Do online balance sheets normally show a distinction between "held" amounts and amounts that have actually been charged?
Thanks in advance.