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If you've made a purchase online, how long will it take for the purchase to appear in your online account, even if it's just in pending.

Clarification: What's the typical and maximum time from the time of the merchant charging the card to you being able to see the charge in any form (even in the pending section) in your online account.

closed as too broad by NL - Apologize to Monica, MD-Tech, GS - Apologise to Monica Dec 11 '17 at 17:34

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Many merchants will not process the card until the item is ready to ship. If it is back-ordered, there could be weeks of delay between "making the purchase" and the transaction processing. And then there can be some additional delay between "authorization" (which holds the funds) and the submission of the sale itself. – Ben Voigt Dec 11 '17 at 6:25
  • You should probably specify which country and which bank/card issuer. It may even depend on the exact type of card. Some card issuers will show authorisations as soon as received, while others will only display actual charges, and take a few days to display them. If you're used to seeing "pending" transactions at least you know they show authorisations and not just the final charge, but it can be difficult to ascertain when they do. – jcaron Dec 11 '17 at 10:05
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there isn't a right answer to this question. It will vary based on circumstances. – NL - Apologize to Monica Dec 11 '17 at 15:42
  • I think this is a reasonable question, but it feels too broad in its current form, as each bank will behave differently. A better question might be what factors influence the processing time, or what the worst case is, or something along those lines. – GS - Apologise to Monica Dec 11 '17 at 17:35
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This is all dependent on the bank. For me with one bank, it shows up the second the transaction is approved. But with another, it might take a few minutes. Why not just call your bank and ask if they see a transaction coming in?

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Credit card money movement comes in two phases, authorization and capture.

In the authorization phase, the merchant requests the bank to "hold" on your account for a certain amount. This checks to ensure that you have the funds necessary to complete the purchase. The amount is usually the exact amount of the purchase, but sometimes it can be higher, e.g. when you stop to purchase gasoline and don't know how much it will cost to fill up, the service station might authorize your card for $100.

Authorization will show up in your bank's credit card processing system immediately, but may not show up in the core banking system or the online banking web site for some time afterward, depending on how old their systems are and how they'd decided to connect their computers together. Also, merchants are not required to perform a separate authorization, and if they do, they might not do it immediately; so just because you don't see a transaction yet doesn't mean one isn't coming. When it does show up, it'll affect your available balance, but not your card's ledger balance or main balance, and the transaction may or may not appear online, with or without a date, or as a memo post.

The second phase-- capture-- typically occurs when the order ships. At this point a second request is sent to the bank to move the money. The transaction may remain in a memo posted state for the remainder of the day, or it might not; it will almost always hard post by the opening of business the next day, and should appear online the same morning. Any holds on your account would be removed simultaneously, and in the end you'll see a single transaction in your online banking history for the purchase amount. That being said, the merchant may not be under an obligation to charge your card immediately, so it may take an indeterminate of time for the transaction to appear, especially with smaller merchants.

If you are concerned about an incidental charge, you should contact your bank for the most up-to-date information. It is often the case that a customer service representative has access to systems that contain better information than the online banking system, and can tell you whether an authorization or capture has occurred recently. If the transaction has not shown up yet, they can put a block on the card for you, or block the specific merchant or the merchant's country.

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    It's worth noting that sometimes the auth is a lower amount. In the UK, Asda service stations only authorise your card for £1 (basically they're checking the card is valid / not stolen) – Matthew Steeples Dec 11 '17 at 15:47
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    My bank (Chase) has made an auth charge of $1 for local gas charges, and $150 for out of town charges. Recently, though, they've been doing zero dollar authorizations. You see the "amount" on the web page as just a couple of dashes. It'll be interesting to see what out of town charges look like. – RonJohn Dec 11 '17 at 15:53
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At my bank (Chase), online purchases appear within 5-10 minutes. Are you just curious, or having a problem with a charge not showing up?

  • Worried about an accidental charge. It's been over an hour, so I'm assuming it would've shown up by now? – Nate D Dec 11 '17 at 3:47
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    @NateD that's a reasonable tentative assumption. Check back tomorrow and Tuesday, just to make sure. – RonJohn Dec 11 '17 at 3:50
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It takes Kiwibank in NZ approximately two days.

However, the available balance drops immediately.

  • Two days to appear? Holy Incompetence, Batman!!! – RonJohn Dec 11 '17 at 8:35
  • @RonJohn Their debit card transactions go through instantly, and the available balance changes immediately so they're clearly getting some kind of information immediately. Their systems are all pretty new, so I'm not sure why this is so laggy. – Someone Somewhere Dec 11 '17 at 8:44
  • is NZ really that far behind the times? – RonJohn Dec 11 '17 at 9:18
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    Same with UK Santander bank. With my NL ABN bank, all transactions appear instantly. – gerrit Dec 11 '17 at 10:45
  • Same with most banks here in Italy. The available balance decreases immediately, but the transaction shows up one or two working days later. There are two separate balances for exactly this purpose: "Saldo disponibile" (available balance) and "Saldo Contabile" (Accounted balance). – Demonblack Dec 11 '17 at 16:28
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I've waited a week or more for a transaction to either show or be taken from a debit card purchase!. I'd rather it was immediate but HSBC are not clued up and it screws around with your available balance!

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