Something I learned about credit in buying from Apple...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bastetbabe27, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. bastetbabe27 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2006
    Here's something to note about how Apple charges your card when you buy from them.

    I ordered my MBP from them a couple days ago, and split the order on two credit cards. On one I used the entire available credit, since it was my Apple Credit Account card. Well, I then got an e-mail two days later saying there was a problem with my payment. To make a long story short, it turned out that Apple had overcharged my card by $2.

    Why 2? B/c evidently when they, and probably other merchants as well, charge your card, they initially charge $1 or $2 to make sure the account is active, and then charge the actual transaction amount. Those initial charges are eventually taken off, but in my case, since I was using the whole available credit, those $2 sent it over the limit, and the card company wouldn't approve the transaction.

    When I called and explained, Apple was very apologetic, removed the charges, the transaction was approved, and now I have free expedited shipping. So it all worked out, and only took about 15 minutes to get everything settled (this included calling the credit card company).

    The moral of the story? Make sure you allow for some wiggle room if you plan on using your entire balance for a one-time card transaction. And in general, don't max out your credit cards...

  2. philbeeney macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Brampton, ON
    Thanks for the tip.

    I was thinking of doing something similar when I purchase a new MacBook Pro with a 30" ACD.
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    This is pretty common practice for credit cards. Another big one is that gas stations will put a temporary hold of something like $75 on your card the moment you swipe it, in order to ensure you'll be able to pay for all the gas you're pumping. Even if you drive away after putting $15 in your tank, the $75 hold can stay there for several days afterwards and you have no idea that so much of your credit card limit is tied up. Car rental companies are another one...they'll often put a hold of up to $1000 on your card above the rental fees in order to ensure that you'll be able to pay up something toward any damages, etc. you incur.

    So I've heard numerous stories of people, often people who fly somewhere, rent a car, and then drive a lot, exceeding their credit limits when they think they're nowhere near them.

    For a lot of these instances, gas stations in particular, there's no reason why they can't release the hold the moment you complete your transaction. But by law, holds are allowed to be placed for several days, so that's what they do.
  4. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    I charge all of my gas in Illinois and I never see these kinds of changes in my available balance, and the card I put gas on has a low limit, so I would notice. What state are you in?
  5. ironjaw macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2006
    Cold Copenhagen
    I've never heard of something like that in the UK or Europe for that matter. What you buy at a price that's what get's charged.
  6. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    i noticed this with apple when i bought my MBP as well. i've never had any other company do that, though..
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I'm in California, but it happens everywhere. It's just that not all stations do it. A quick Google search pulled up this article, illustrating how the problem can be even worse if you use a debit card because instead of just going over your credit card limit, you start bouncing checks.

    Here is another good article on holds.
  8. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    Huh... I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip!
  9. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    No the moral of the story is don't max out your credit cards! ;)

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