Can a credit card charge appear many days later?
May 27, 2019 10:16 PM   Subscribe

My credit card was charged more than two weeks ago. It has yet to appear on my statement. Will it?

This was at a hotel in Argentina. I know the country has some funky things going on with financial transfers, but the hotel obviously caters to foreign travelers so I can't imagine that's the problem. They ran the card and I got the normal receipt showing the transaction went through. But now, more than two weeks later, it hasn't appeared on my online account, not even as a pending transaction. Generally charges show up within an hour. Is the charge going to show up eventually? And what might be going on here?

To be clear, I'm willing to contact the hotel to sort this out, but I'm worried that if the charge is just caught up in some temporary limbo and then I intervene, I'll end up getting charged twice and have a long road to go down to get it all fixed.
posted by exutima to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I've had charges take up to 7-10 days and not show up as pending but two weeks is definitely where I'd start to wonder. But don't contact the hotel, deal with the nice credit card customer service people who will be able to check into this for you and let you know if the charge is pending. If it's not, then you can get in touch with the hotel but that would be my last resort.

And if for any reason you end up getting double-charged, let the credit card customer service sort that out for you, too. They will almost certainly be happy to remove that double-charge immediately and work with the hotel. I've had a few double-charges before with both Bank of America and Capital One credit cards and they bent over backwards to help me out and make sure I didn't have to pay for it while they were investigating.

I think some systems are kind of antiquated and they might capture your credit card information but not submit the charge to the bank for awhile until they batch out, which is usually daily but I suppose it could be less frequently — this is purely a guess based on how a credit card terminal where I worked in high school operated, which was a looooong time ago so things have undoubtedly changed. Take this as a totally uneducated speculation on why this charge hasn't shown up yet!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 10:33 PM on May 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

The Argentine Peso was a bit down against the dollar a couple of weeks ago; could whatever entity that has the power to submit the charge merely be waiting for a more favorable exchange rate in some direction?
posted by jamjam at 10:40 PM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Absolutely! I had one show up a year later to the day! While most are within a few days, don’t assume it can’t show up later.

If something happened to that machine before it batched out, that could cause the delay. So maybe it runs out of paper and the part-time clerk doesn’t know how to refill it and puts it on the manager’s desk who is out for a couple weeks, and then they come back, batch it out, and there you go - you’re charged. That’s older technology, of course. But it’s still in use in lots of places.

(I’ve had many, many years as a retail clerk and manager.)
posted by greermahoney at 10:54 PM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm dealing with this right now. I made an online purchase several weeks ago that has yet to show up on my account. I contacted my credit card provider and they could see the charge and it was listed as pending because the merchant hasn't processed / authorized it yet and it won't show up until they do, but that it wasn't an issue on their side. So maybe start there?
posted by anderjen at 6:53 AM on May 28, 2019

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