Visa Debit Card FAQs

Q: What is an authorization?
A: When you use your debit card for a purchase and do not enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN), the merchant will transmit your card number and purchase amount to the credit union for an approval or an "authorization." This authorization generally confirms that an account is open and the purchase amount is available. The purchase amount transmitted for authorization may vary however by merchant type. Most merchants will request an authorization for the exact purchase amount and others may transmit an estimate that may be more or less than the actual purchase amount. Once the purchase is authorized a hold is placed on the funds in your account until the actual purchase is received by the credit union and deducted from your account. Typically this hold drops off within two to three business days. If the hold is not matched with a corresponding purchase within two business days, it will be removed from your account. 

Q: How can I view the holds placed on my share draft account?
A: Log into your online banking account then click on Accounts, then click on the HoldsPledges to view the holds placed on your account from the merchant authorizations. 

Q: What if I see an error when I view the holds on my account?
A: If you see an error when you view the holds placed on your account from the merchant please contact STAR Community Credit Union. 

Q: Why is the amount on hold different from my actual purchase amount?
A: The amount of the hold placed on your account may vary from the final purchase amount in situations where the amount of the transaction is estimated or a tip may be involved. 

Example: At a restaurant, an authorization is requested prior to a tip being added. The final purchase amount will include the tip. Some restaurants may estimate a tip amount in the original authorization dollar amount; thus your purchase and hold amount will vary only slightly. 

Example: At the gas pump, an initial authorization is requested prior to knowing the final amount of your purchase. Most pay-at-the-pump gas purchases are initially authorized for $1 to $100, no matter the final purchase amount. 

Example: At a hotel, an authorization in an amount equal to the estimated amount of the entire stay, plus incidentals may be made. This can be true of cruise lines and car rental agencies, also. 

Q: What is the difference between a non-PIN and PIN-based transaction?
A: PIN-based transactions require that you to enter your four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) into the merchant keypad at the point of sale. Non-PIN transactions generally require your signature. A signature may not be required for a non-PIN transactions, such as Internet purchases, mail order purchases and pay-at-the-pump gas purchases.

Q: When will the actual purchase amount replace the amount on hold?
A: It may take several business days for the actual purchase amount to replace the hold amount on your account. Generally, the final purchase is deducted from your account within two business days. If the hold amount does not match with an actual purchase amount within two business days, the hold will be removed from your account. 

Q: How does a "pay-at-the-gas-pump" transaction work?
A: When you swipe your card at the gas pump, the station generally requests an authorization to confirm that your account is open and active. Most authorization amounts for pay-at-the-pump gas purchases are set at $1 to $100. When the transaction is authorized a hold is then placed on your account until the actual purchase amount posts to your account. The actual purchase amount can take 2 hours to 2 days to replace the amount on hold. 

Q: How are hair salon or restaurant purchases authorized?
A: Restaurants and hair salons may add an estimated tip to the bill total when requesting an authorization. Because of this practice, your final purchase amount may vary from the authorized amount. 

Q: How do hotels determine how much to authorize?
A: Hotels are allowed to request an authorization for an amount based on your length of stay, all applicable taxes, plus any additional expected dollar amount(s). Cruise lines and car rental agencies also follow this practice. We  suggest using your Visa credit card for hotel reservations and car rentals instead of your debit card as the hold placed on your account will reduce the amount available in your account. 

Q: Can I change my pin number?
A: Yes, you need to come into STAR Community Credit Union to change your pin number. 

Q: What are my daily limits?
A: Your ATM withdrawal limit is $300.00 and  your purchase limit is $1500.00 per day. 

Q: Can I change my daily limits?
A: Yes you can request a temporary change to your limits if you anticipate making a large purchase. Contact a Member Service Representative. Please notify us 24hrs in advance. 

Q: Where can I use my debit card?
A: You can use your debit card wherever you see the logos for Visa, Plus, Co-op or STAR. 

Q: What if my card is lost or stolen?
A: Contact STAR Community Credit Union immediately or call (800) 754-4128. 

Q: How long does it take to receive my debit card?
A: It takes 7-10 business days from the time we order a card until you will receive it. 

Q: I received a letter from STAR that said my card was compromised. What does this mean?
A: Periodically Visa notifies us of card numbers that may have been compromised. STAR will notify you if this occurs with your debit card. We will issue a new card and block the old card upon your receipt of the new card. 

Q: How can I avoid having my card compromised?
A: Criminals use all kinds of techniques to steal your information. We suggest that you never give out your personal information and avoid making purchases online. Most compromises result from third party merchant processors failing to safeguard cardholder information. You have little if any control when this happens. 

Q: I signed up for a free trial offer online with my debit card and now my account is being debited for a charge I didn’t authorize. Why?
A: Exercise caution when providing your card number for any offer particularly online offers. Please read the terms and conditions of the offer. The trial offer may only be good for 30 days and somewhere the fine print may authorize the company to fee you a monthly charge if you haven’t cancelled their service before a stated deadline. You must contact that company to dispute the charge. 

Q: I received a call from a person calling on behalf of STAR Community Credit Union asking me if I made a specific purchase with my debit card. Why?
A: STAR Community Credit Union employs a fraud monitoring service to combat debit card fraud. If a debit card transaction is out of your normal spending habits you may receive a call asking you if you made the purchase. If we can not get a hold of you a temporary block may be placed on your account until we can verify with you the transactions in question. 

Q: I am traveling why do I have to notify STAR Community Credit Union?
A: If you plan on using your debit card while traveling please notify STAR Community Credit Union. Our fraud monitoring service may inadvertently place a block on your debit card if you are making purchases which are out of your ordinary spending habits or geographic locale. 

Q: Why can’t I use my debit card in the countries Belarus, Burma, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cote D’Ivoire and the Western Balkans?
A: These countries are sanctioned by the United States government and we are unable to permit transactions from those countries.

Q: Why can I only make ATM withdrawals in Mexico?
A: Due to a significant number of fraudulent transactions occurring in Mexico, STAR Community Credit Union has blocked all debit card purchases from Mexico.

Q: If I swipe my debit card in a store, which button should I press-“credit” or “debit”?
A: If you select the “credit” button, you will need to sign the receipt if the transaction is over $25.00. The funds for a “credit” purchase will not come out of your account immediately. It often takes two business days for the transaction to clear your account.

If you select the “debit” button, you will need to enter your pin number when prompted and the funds will be deducted from your account immediately.

Regardless of the option you choose the funds will be deducted from your share draft account.

Q: Why am I receiving $1.00 fees on my account?
A: You receive four free ATM transactions each month at foreign (non-STAR) ATM machines. Each transaction in excess of the four complimentary at a foreign ATM machine will incur a $1.00 fee.

Q: How can I avoid the transactions fees?
A: When you are making a purchase at a merchant ask for cash back or use STAR Community Credit Union ATM machine.

Q: What is an ISA fee?
A: When you use your VISA debit card at a merchant that settles in currency other than US dollars, the charge will be converted into the US dollar amount.  VISA USA charges a 0.8% International Service Assessment (ISA Fee) on all international transactions, regardless of whether there is a currency conversion. If there is a currency conversion, the ISA is 1.0%.  In either case, this ISA fee is passed on to you.  An International Transaction is a transaction where the country of the merchant is outside the USA.

Q: I can’t get to the ATM machine to withdraw cash but I need money. Can I give my card and PIN to a family member to get it for me?
A: No, if you give your debit card and disclose your personal identification number to anyone you have willingly compromised the security of your card. Your account agreement with STAR Community Credit Union authorizes only you, the approved account holder for debit card privileges. Providing your card or disclosing your PIN to others is a violation of your agreement with the credit union. Your privileges may be revoked if STAR becomes aware that this has occurred.

If you have any additional questions please contact a Member Service Representative at 895-1947.