Girl at coffee shop looking at tablet
Financial Tools & Technology

Understanding your balance: Actual vs. Available.


Do you ever wonder why your account balance online shows an amount different than what you think it should be, or you see different balances as “actual” and “available”? It may be the result of a recent purchase made with your Debit Card, and how the transaction was processed.

Your purchases made using an Advia Credit Union Debit Card are made visible on your account, reflected as a pending purchase for up to 72 hours. This provides you a better, more accurate reflection of the money available in your account so that you can make additional purchases with confidence.

Helping You Understand Debit Card Pending Transactions

Please use this Frequently Asked Questions guide to understand more about Debit Card purchases and how they may affect what you see as available on your account.

What is the difference between my actual and available balances?

When you call or go online to check your account balance, you may see two different amounts reflected – your “actual” balance and the “available” balance.

“Actual” Balance – The amount of money that is in your account at any given time. It reflects transactions that have posted to (cleared) your account, but not items that are outstanding.

“Available” Balance – The amount of money in your account that is available for you to use. The available balance includes holds placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending Debit Card purchases) that Advia has authorized but have not posted to your account.

Why is the amount reflected sometimes different from the actual purchase amount?

Certain types of transactions are more likely to reflect for an amount different from the actual purchase total:

  • Restaurants and salons – In these cases, the merchant may authorize an amount above the actual purchase amount to reflect an anticipated tip
  • Hotel reservations and car rentals – These are referred to as “travel holds” when you reserve a car rental or hotel room with your Debit Card. In these cases, an additional amount may be held (based on your anticipated length of stay/rental, anticipated incidental purchases, and applicable taxes) to confirm funds will be available to make the final transaction
  • Gas stations – When you pre-purchase gas by paying at the pump (even when you use your PIN), a pre-authorized amount may be secured to confirm you have enough money in your account to complete the purchase. Gas stations pre-authorize transactions for amounts typically ranging from $50 to $125 since they do not know how much gas you will actually pump. This type of hold is generally released within minutes of completing your purchase.

Will 72-hour pending status apply to all my purchases?

Once the merchant completes the transaction to withdraw funds, the release will be immediate – providing you a better, more accurate reflection of money that’s truly in your account to spend. Most often, this happens either immediately or within a day. Also, Debit Card purchases reflected as pending typically only apply to transactions where you’ve signed your name or did not enter a PIN. For example, a Debit Card purchase made at a restaurant or with an online merchant would be treated as a Signature/Credit transaction and would be subject to a pending status. Debit purchases and ATM withdrawals made using a PIN typically withdraw the funds immediately from your account.

Do all Debit Card transactions clear within 72 hours?

No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction within the 72-hour duration of the hold. In these situations, the pending status will expire and the funds will show as available again; however, the transaction still has to post to your account. Unfortunately, Advia has no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions. The best way to know the amount of funds you have available for use is to carefully track all your transactions (including checks, automatic payments, deposits, and Debit Card transactions).

Does Advia offer Overdraft Protection options?

Advia offers options including overdraft transfers from alternate shares or an optional Overdraft Line of Credit (subject to loan approval). In the case that you do not have either of these set up on your account, Advia also offers Courtesy Pay eligibility options for members. We’re here to help! Please contact us with any questions about this Debit Card enhancement.