Q. What is Courtesy Pay?
A. Courtesy Pay is a discretionary overdraft service provided to members in good standing. Courtesy Pay covers transactions that would otherwise be denied or returned unpaid. It helps you avoid costly merchant fees and embarrassment while increasing convenience.
Q. What is the difference between Overdraft Protection and Courtesy Pay?
A. Overdraft Protection uses money from savings or lines of credit in order to cover transactions if there are insufficient available funds in your checking account. If the funds available through overdraft protection are not adequate, then Courtesy Pay may cover transactions that exceed your available balance, up to a predetermined limit.
Q. What types of transactions are covered by Courtesy Pay?
A. Your checks, ACH, Bill Pay transactions and recurring debit card transactions are automatically covered by Courtesy Pay. You may also opt-in to have ATM and one-time debit card transactions covered.
Q. Am I required to opt-in to Courtesy Pay?
A. Federal regulations require members to opt-in to receive Courtesy Pay services for ATM and one-time debit card transactions. Your checks, ACH and Bill Pay transactions are automatically covered.
Q. How do I opt-in to Courtesy Pay for ATM and one-time debit card transactions and can I change my mind later?
A. To opt-in to Courtesy Pay for ATM and debit card transactions, use any of the following methods:
Fill out our Courtesy Pay Opt-Out form
Call Member Services at (559) 732-8892 and press 0
Visit any branch.
Q. Is there a fee for Courtesy Pay?
A. There is no fee unless you use the service. There is a fee for each item paid through Courtesy Pay. The fee is the same as the standard NSF fee. The current fee is $27 per item.
Q. What is my Courtesy Pay protection limit?
A. If you are a member in good standing and your account has been opened at least 90 days, your Courtesy Pay protection limit is $500, including any Courtesy Pay fees.
Q. What happens if I reach my Courtesy Pay limit?
A. Overdrafts that exceed your Courtesy Pay limit may result in items being returned unpaid.
Q. How long can my account balance stay negative if I use Courtesy Pay?
A. You must bring your account balance positive within 30 calendar days or upon demand. If you have difficulty bringing your account current, please contact us immediately at (559) 732-8892.
Q. What is the difference between my actual balance and my available balance?
A. Your available balance reflects any authorization holds or deposit holds and is used by Tucoemas Federal Credit Union to determine available funds when transactions attempt to clear your account. The balance we use as transactions clear is called your available balance and includes all items that have cleared your account up to that point and reflects any items on hold. If your available balance is not sufficient to cover a transaction, we may pay the item and charge you a Courtesy Pay fee. A Courtesy Pay fee may be charged even though your actual balance indicates a positive amount.
Please read our Courtesy Pay Disclosure for additional details and information.
Q. What is a debit card authorization hold?
A. When you use your debit card to conduct a Signature or “Credit” transaction (e.g., you do not enter your PIN), the merchant sends the credit union the amount, usually the purchase total, for authorization. This amount is placed on hold and removed from your available balance immediately. The hold is released after approximately 72 hours or when the transaction clears, whichever comes first. The hold helps determine the available balance on your account.
Q. Will debit card authorization holds apply to all my purchases?
A. No, debit card authorization holds only apply to debit card transactions when you sign your name or do not enter a PIN. For example, a debit card purchase made at a restaurant or with an online merchant would be treated as a Signature/Credit transaction and would be subject to an authorization hold. Debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals made using your PIN subtract the funds immediately from your account (except for when you use your PIN at a gas station).
Q. Why does Tucoemas Federal Credit Union utilize debit card authorization holds?
A. Using debit card authorization holds helps you better determine the funds you have available for use. This information will help you avoid non-sufficient funds (NSF) or overdraft situations. For example, if you visit an ATM and see that your available balance is $100, you may decide to withdraw $60. Your actual balance may be $200 but $100 is on hold from a Signature/Credit transaction you made earlier in the day. If the debit card authorization hold for $100 was not on hold, your available balance would appear to be $200 and you may have withdrawn an amount (above $100) that would place the account in an overdraft situation when your earlier transaction posted to your account.
Q. Will the debit card authorization hold always equal the exact amount of your transaction?
A. No. Some merchants, especially gas stations, hotels and sometimes restaurants, will pre-authorize an amount that is higher or lower than the actual purchase amount. For example, gas stations pre-authorize transactions for amounts ranging from $1 to $100 because they do not know how much gas you will actually pump in advance of your transaction. If they pre-authorize $75, Tucoemas Federal Credit Union will place a hold for $75 even if your actual transaction is only $45.
Q. How can I reduce the impact of debit card authorization holds?
A. You can use your debit card for “Debit” transactions by entering your PIN, where available. Or, if you are unable to conduct a PIN/Debit transaction, you can use your credit union credit card to conduct the transaction and avoid the authorization holds.
Q. When I make a purchase online or by phone using my debit card, is it processed as a credit or debit transaction?
A. Online and telephone debit card transactions are generally processed as Signature/Credit transactions because you do not have the option to enter your PIN. These types of transactions will create an authorization hold.
Q. Do all debit card transactions clear within 72 hours?
A. No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction to Tucoemas Federal Credit Union within the 72 hour time frame of the hold. In these situations, the hold will drop off and the funds will appear to be available again, however, the transaction still has to post to your account. Unfortunately, we have no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions. The best way to know the amount of funds you have available for use is to carefully track all of your transactions (including checks, automatic payments, deposits and debit card transactions).
Q. Can debit card authorization holds on my account be removed?
A. It is not Tucoemas Federal Credit Union’s policy to remove debit card authorization holds unless an error was made. If an erroneous hold was placed or there are extenuating circumstances that may warrant removing the hold, please contact the Credit Union.