I have a Capital One card for "risky purchases." It's the card I bring to conventions and craft fairs, and use it for all my online purchases. It has a low limit by my request. Years and years ago, I had a lot of problems convincing them to keep this limit low, because for a while, my credit limit kept bumping up without my authorization. They kept telling me that as a Visa, I was safe for any unauthorized purchases... yeah, I had another Visa saga with Washington Mutual that completely eroded my confidence in the process and justified my "yeah, keep the limit low" mentality. In the end, I had to pay $384 for purchases I didn't make, and be grateful because I didn't have to pay the full $12,000 or whatever. Yeah. Woo, thank YOU Wamu. :(
Now with the banks falling apart, they have NO problem with my low limit. They haven't asked me to bump it up for years, and I am just fine with that. And, even better, they REJECT purchases over my limit, which I am fine with. This is how the card is supposed to work. This card's limit is so low, it almost never has a balance because I pay it off every month. So none of this rant is directed at Capital One.
I had some automatic payments on the card. For online purchases, right? Mostly small billing like $12.95/mo for our OnStar, $100/mo for cell phones, $15/quarter for an online subscription to an erotic taxidermy site, a Paypal charge here and there, stuff like that. Well, money has been tight recently, and so I had to pay for my recent dental SNAFU with the card (I usually would have paid them by check or something, but at the time, I didn't have the money), which they said they'd take in monthly payments from that card. Which they did for a while, and then forgot. They didn't harass me for the remaining balance, they just forgot halfway through my payments to take any money. And I forgot, too, although in January, I wondered about it but forgot to look into how much I had paid them.
So, I go to Katsucon. I pay for my hotel room with my Capital One card, which had almost no balance at the time. I use the card at the con, making sure I am under my balance. Unbeknown to me, Hyatt reserves a large chunk of money "in reserve" to make sure I have enough on the card. Sure, I can understand that. Capital One complies, "Yes, he has this amount, we'll lower his limit by the amount you think he'll cost." That's fine.
But then Hyatt does not charge my card. At first. In fact, when I checked my balance in the following days (I usually do to make sure no one frauded me from a purchase in the merchant's room), it seemed awfully low. But the "credit available" has been reduced, so I think, "Oh, that's the hotel bill about to go through." Nope. In fact, Hyatt didn't charge me for the room AT ALL. I called them, and they said, "Oh, well, Katsucon paid for your room." Uh, I am on the Katsucon Board of Directors, and I did not approve my room being paid by the con. "Oh... well, Katsucon paid for it." Why did you take part of my credit card reserved for my room, then? "Oh, because that was the card you presented at the desk." Okay, true. But I wasn't going to foot the bill for the entire con, and I would laugh at them if they tried.
So I contacted Colette. "I did not tell them Katsucon could pay for my room, if they charge Katsucon, I'll cut you a check!" She said she'd wait for the hotel bill before she made any decisions.
So, later in the week, I see that the Hyatt DID charge me, and that Hyatt billing is staffed by idiots. They waited 5 days before they finally processed my bill. But they still had a sizable chunk on hold (far more than the actual bill, actually). WTF? I called Capital One, who confirmed that the Hyatt still has money in reserve for me. Why? "They think you will still make more charges, probably. Call them and ask." It's now been a week since I have been at the hotel, the bill was paid in full, and they still have the money on hold. They still had the money on hold last night when I checked. So, given that I now had a very thin limit margin, I paid off the card earlier than I usually do, in case some other automatic payment showed up.
Well, unbeknown to me, my dentist's office finally realized they had forgotten to bill me all these months. So they charged me a lump sum.... which got rejected because now I was over my limit and the payment I made on the credit card hadn't been cleared yet (it was on my statement, just not off my balance). So now, I get a nasty call from my dentist (followed by a nicer call, apologizing for the nasty call) stating my card got rejected.
Oy yoy yoy. I am sorting this all out, and in the end, everyone will get paid, but what a pisser!
Currently, as of this writing, Hyatt finally took the gold off, my credit card payment went through, and I have a whopping $34 balance on the card. The dentists' office said they'd delay charging me again until the next billing cycle (next week), and my total is far less than my limit, so in theory this should all work.