What is a Pending Balance?
Your pending balance may not always match the available balance in your bank account, because it takes into account any transactions that may not have fully cleared. A pending balance often occurs when you use your debit card – your bank is aware of the transaction, but the merchant may not submit the charge for payment until the end of the business day, leaving it in a pending status.
What Causes Pending Charges?
The most common causes of a pending charge in your bank account are:
- Tips on a restaurant bill: Your bank is aware that your card was charged for the original cost of the meal, but the tip has not yet been processed.
- Holds on your account for hotel rooms or rental cars: These companies may hold several hundred dollars against your account as a version of collateral in case there is damage to the car or room service charges against the hotel room. If no damage occurs, the money is released.
Does a Pending Balance Include All Pending Transactions?
The short answer is no. There are several types of transactions that may be pending in your account that do not show in your pending balance until they have successfully cleared. For example, written checks that haven’t yet been deposited by the recipient and automatic payments scheduled to be taken from your account will not be reflected in your pending balance.