Why are some credit union transactions pending?

I look at my credit union account online and some of the charges for my checking account are listed as pending - used my debit card for them. The amount listed is correct.

Why are these transactions in this “limbo” state since it seems the data was accepted by the credit union. Is it due to the New Year’s holiday - the charges were for Dec 31st? But I’ve seen this before when it was not on a holiday.

because even if they have the info it can take days for it to actually clear that’s why banks have

acct balance 250.00

available bal:175

meaning theres 75 reserved for getting moved

Pretty much every electronic transaction of any type takes 1-2 business days to settle. I don’t know about your CU in this instance, but when there are transactions pending on my bank account, those transactions are factored into what money is “available”. Similarly, I can trade most things in my brokerage account with funds that have yet to settle, though I can’t trade options and other things that might end up being 100% worthless. There is a very high probability that transactions that are pending will go through, but there is a chance that they won’t. I am fairly certain that this is a security measure to make it harder for unauthorized transactions to make it through, but I’m not positive on that - it might be some relic of processing transactions manually.

What you’re seeing is authorizations, not charges. When you swipe your card, the card # & amount go thru the system, back to your bank who authorizes it based upon the amount of the transaction & the amount of your balance. Many/most authorizations settle a day or two later for the same amount.

For some transactions there will be a difference between the authorization & the final settlement amount. Gas stations & restaurants are notorious for this. They don’t know how much gas you’re getting or the final amount of your bill due to tip when the card is authorized, either when you put it in the pump before getting gas or when they take your card in the back to run it. (Yeah, I know Canada & other countries bring the card reader to your table.)

Some authorizations will never come thru as completed debits, especially travel-related ones. Let’s say you’re planning to go away President’s or Easter weekend. You make your reservations this week for hotel & rental car; they authorize $x today. You may end up cancelling the trip & your reservation for one reason or another; nothing is ever charged to your account. Or you may go on the trip & when you get up to the counter the clerk will say, “Would you like to keep the charge on the card you made your reservation with, a Visa/MC/Discover ending in 1234.” You could say yes or decide that you have a different one that gives you more points/cash back or perhaps free insurance on the rental car so you whip out a different card when you check in. The original card that had the authorization never gets charged anything.
When the bank gets an authorization, they know with fairly reasonable certainty that you’re about to get a charge for that amount; therefore, they lower your available balance by the amount of the pending authorization so that you don’t overdraw your account & leave them holding the bag on a big debit.

I’ve also seen a charge show up 1 hour later after I swipe the card and that does not show up as pending. Maybe it depends on the processing of the place I swipe the card?

When checking into a hotel, when they ask for a card in case of incidentals I always give them my credit card, even if I used the debit card to pre-pay for the room. The card gets an authorization in the vicinity of $150 on it and your available balance goes down. Even if they cancel the authorization the next day, it can be upwards of three days, depending on credit card processor the hotel is using and the bank the cardholder is using. I would rather my $18,000 credit limit be reduced temporarily than my $900 checking account balance.

Doubtless due to complaints, some hotels have posted signs on the check-in desk explaining this, along with the warning they can do nothing to speed up the process.