Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
What are those random $1 charges on my credit card?
They’re usually only temporary holds.
If you see a $1 charge on your card account, you might be confused. You don’t remember buying something for exactly a buck — what gives?
As it turns out, there’s probably a legitimate reason for the charge. And if so, rest easy knowing the charge will be removed very soon.
Why you might have gotten a $1 charge on a credit card
That $1 charge is likely a preauthorization hold. This basically means a merchant is checking if your card can accept new charges. For example, you might use your card at a hotel, gas station or car rental agency, which are common places that’ll use these $1 charges.
Why $1? The reason is some merchants might not know how much your final charge will be. At the gas station, for instance, you must dip your card before pumping, but you haven’t yet seen the cost of your fill-up.
By validating your card with a $1 transaction, the merchant knows your card is legit. The merchant can then charge your card with the total when it’s available.
Some services and platforms will put a $1 hold on your card simply to check if your card is valid — not to charge you later. For example, you might see this when you add your card to PayPal for the first time.
Will that $1 charge go away?
Yes. After the merchant charges the final amount to your card, the $1 charge will disappear from your transaction history.
While the $1 charge exists, your transaction with the merchant is pending — that is, it hasn’t been fully processed. Once the transaction has posted — meaning it’s been fully processed — there’s no more need for the preauthorization hold.
When you should worry about those $1 charges
The vast majority of the time, a $1 charge is nothing to worry about. However, you should look into it when it shows up as a posted charge in your card’s transaction history.
This could be a simple error on the merchant’s end. It could also mean malicious activity by a fraudster.
Regardless of the reason, call your bank and ask about the transaction. Keep in mind zero-liability protection is standard across card issuers, so you’ll rarely be on the hook for fraud as long as you report it.
Compare credit cards with fraud alerts
Many card issuers provide fraud alerts when they detect your account has been compromised. The cards below will qualify you for fraud protection, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
A $1 charge on your credit card is typically nothing to worry about. It’s most likely a preauthorization hold when you spend at a merchant such as a hotel, gas station or car rental agency.
However, it’s always a good idea to check your posted transactions to make sure the charge is removed. If the charge is still there, contact your bank.
Many credit cards come with fraud protection, and you’ll typically find a suite of security features from each card issuer.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Buy now and pay later with the new Affirm debit card
This new debit card will let you pay for purchases over time when it debuts later this year.
What is health insurance cost sharing?
Learn cost-sharing terms to find out how much you’ll really pay for healthcare.
Sephora Credit Card review
Sephora regulars get to earn rewards on their purchases.
Help your child learn to spend and save wisely with a virtual, COPPA-compliant debit card.
Best credit cards for rewards in 2021
Take advantage of miles, points and perks with a card that best fits your lifestyle.
Biden plans another boost for electric car stocks
Biden’s plan to replace the federal fleet with American-made electric vehicles gives another boost to a red-hot sector led by Tesla.
Best balance transfer credit cards of 2021
Here are our top balance transfer picks for 2021.
Should I max out my 401(k)?
The rush of turning $19,500 into $1 million can be enticing, but it’s not always the best idea.
Best business credit cards for 2021
Here are our top picks for 2021.
Sigue international money transfers review
Sigue offers speedy money transfers to 50+ countries, but you have to set up a transfer to see the transaction fees.
Ask an Expert