What is an authorization hold?

Article author
Alexander G.
  • Updated

An authorization hold (sometimes known as a “pre-authorization” or “pre-auth”) is a temporary hold placed on a portion of the funds in an account. Authorizations appear as 'pending' transactions in your account, but they aren't charges. This is usually done because the final total of a transaction is unknown at the time authorization is requested.

Generally, these types of transactions will fall off your balance when the merchant actually creates the purchase and takes the funds from your account. Acorns does not control when the merchant finalizes the transaction amount, so you may see the authorization fall off immediately, or it may persist for a number of business days. We apologize for any inconvenience and are consistently working with our processor to improve efficiency. 

Once the merchant finalizes the transaction, the authorization hold is removed and access to the funds is returned. However, this will only happen after the transaction is settled.

Examples of types of merchants that may place a hold include but are not limited to:

  • hotels
  • gas pumps
  • vehicle rentals
  • rideshare services 

Please note: If the transaction does not fall off and you are charged twice to your account, please fill out a Checking Dispute form, you will then be prompted to log in and fill out the required information to file a dispute with our team.

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