Quick Credit card question

I’ve searched my cards policies on-line and can’t find an answer.

How long does a business have to post a charge on your card? Is there a set time limit?

I sent my wife some flowers on September 3rd and the charge has yet to post on my card transaction. It’s not even listed as a pending charge. I don’t carry a balance so I check these things so I’m ready to pay it off right away. Most transactions post within a few days, a week at longest.
A month is as long as I’ve ever seen.

Good question, had never thought about that. I’m sure card suppliers will have different policies regarding this. Your best bet would be to call the number on the back of your card and speak with a representative of the company.

I used to work as an assistant controller at a hotel and I’ve posted charges over a year old and got them. If you have the back up that that person used the service you can win. In a lot of those charges the customer came back and disputed it but I had the back up so I won.

What you might want to do is report your credit card as stolen. That way if the store tries to bill the card it’ll come back as no good.

Now approvals are generally only good for one week. So if a store gets an OK for your card on say Monday, and you call your credit card in stolen on Wednesday, that store will still be able to put the charge through because their approval was made before you called the card in and it’s not yet one week.

If the store got an OK on your card on Monday and you call your card in stolen on Wednesday and they try to put the charge through eight days later, they would have to get another approval, because that first one would have expired. They wouldn’t be able to do so.

Even without proper approval you can put through a charge, unless the credit card customer disputes it, it’ll go through.

But the bottom line is even without approval if you have hard data such as a signature and such, you’re gonna probably lose as long as the store can back it up.

One thing to remember is the merchant is charged between $15-$25 for each disputed charge. Even if the merchant WINS he is still charged this fee. So a lot of merchants will not fight any charge under this fee as it doesn’t pay for them to do so.

American Express is totally different. They are the best card to have, they fight tooth and nail for their customers. They have strict deadlines. For instance if a customer disputes a charge the merchant has three days to file a counter claim or you lose, PERIOD.

I managed a merchant online payment system for a few years and don’t remember running across any requirement that like, and I read all our credit card contracts.

It is not actually so much a credit card question as a legal question. The credit card company has no way of knowing when the actual sales transaction occurred; they just know the date that the merchant requested authorization of the charge. (There might be third-party fraud prevention services that collect that data, but that is for the protection of the merchant, not the cardholder.)

I seem to recall discussions about how long a company can wait to invoice a customer. I defer to the lawyers but I think a business can have a hard time collecting an old debut if they have not made any effort to invoice for it. Not sure how you would define “old.”

It’s possible that the transaction just fell through the cracks. You can either keep watching and see if it ever posts, or if you’re very honest you can contact the florist and let them know that you want to pay them, are they ever going to charge you?

Whoa, Nelly! :eek: He didn’t say that he was worried about a fraudulent charge, or that he didn’t want to pay.

WTF? Why would I go through all that trouble just to avoid a $90 charge? I’d have to change about 20 accounts that auto charge my card for bills and such. What a pain in the ass.

My OP is just that I’m curious why an entire month later it still hasn’t posted. I’ve had this card over a decade and never had that happen.

That’s right.

Generally merchants have 45 days to post a charge as long as they have a valid authorization. They can post charges later than that but they risk being charged additional fees for late processing.

From experience in the UK.

Authorisations are valid for 5 days. After that time you can post the transaction but funds are no longer reserved so you take your chances.

My company manages billing for various clients. We just recently re-posted failed transactions from over two years ago! Wasn’t personally involved but i know the client consulted their legal team before asking us to do that.

So it seems there is no time limit. You agreed to the payment so you are liable no matter how much time it takes the company to process.

There may be a time limit but it’s certainly measured in years not days.

Funnily enough, this very question came up at work today (my company develops POS and credit/debit software). The major bank that we asked the question said that there is no limit, but that customers might be unhappy with charges posted months after the event so be prepared to have evidence to support the charge.


A different thread made me decide I should add this info to this thread.

What I wasn’t aware of when I started this thread was, after 3 days the flowers I sent my wife had begun to wilt and die. My wife complained to the florist, who promptly replaced them.

As of this date (12/26/08) they’ve yet to charge my card. I’m wondering if this is the reason why.

I deal with one very small business (he sells, also builds, and repairs computers) who has no credit card account. He takes my number and eventually puts it through through a friend who does have an account. So it can take a month or more.

Many years ago, I never got billed for a plane trip. The travel was the ex-wife of a man I knew fairly well. Many months later I got a call from him, asking if that flight was mine, since he had gotten billed for it. I told him it was and said the credit card company could contact me to confirm this. But they never did although they did remove the charge from him and they never billed me, so I never paid for it. I guess bills can fall through the cracks in some way and the credit card company (or maybe the florist) eats the charge.