When using your Card at some merchants (see table below), you may be required to have an available balance greater than the value of the transaction you wish to make. This is because: (i) a merchant may request more funds than you initially authorised to cover the amount of the transaction (e.g. the meal or bar bill) plus an additional gratuity, tip or service charge agreed by you; or (ii) in the case of an automated fuel pump transaction or when you use your Card to pay for telecommunication services, to ensure there are sufficient funds available to cover the final cost of the transaction.
The addition of this percentage or fixed amount to the amount of the transaction authorised by the merchant is called ‘tolerance’. Tolerance is only applied to certain merchant categories listed below.
Please see ‘How much more than the bill amount do I need to have on my Card for transactions at bars, restaurants, petrol stations, for taxi and limousine transactions, and for telecommunication services?’ for further information on the additional amounts required.
You may also find that you have less money available on the Card than you thought because you have used your Card as pre-authorisation of a final payment. Please see ‘What is pre-authorisation?’ for more information on this.
When using your Card at the merchants listed below a percentage or a fixed amount may be added to the amount of the transaction when it is submitted by the merchant for authorisation. The addition of this percentage or fixed amount to the transaction amount authorised by the merchant is called ‘tolerance’. This means that the value of the transaction plus the tolerance percentage or flat amount is reserved (‘ring-fenced’) from your available balance. The table below sets out the typical percentage or fixed rate that may be added to the value of the transaction.
For example, you have lunch at a restaurant and the total bill is US $50.00. You have US $50.00 on your Card that you would like to use and there is a 10% tolerance applied to restaurant transactions. You are required to have an available balance of at least US $55.00 for the transaction to be authorised: US $55.00 ($50 x 10% = $5 + $50 = $55.00).
Please see ‘When I use my Card at a bar, restaurant, petrol station, or for taxi and limousine, and telecommunication services transactions, how long are the funds reserved for and why?’ for further information on this?
The amount authorised by the merchant plus the tolerance percentage or fixed amount is reserved from your available Card balance until the merchant settles the final amount (i.e. payment is requested), at which time the exact final amount is debited from your Card, or for 7 days, whichever is sooner. As a merchant may not settle the final bill immediately, tolerance is applied to ensure that there are sufficient funds available when the final bill is settled. You will only be charged for the actual and final amount of the transaction you sign for or validate by PIN.
As the merchant may not settle (i.e. ask for payment) the final bill within the 7 days and in some cases may take up to 30 days to settle, at which time the funds are debited from your Cash Passport), we recommend that you check your transaction history regularly via ‘My Account’ and take this into account, including the tolerance, to ensure you have sufficient funds available for your spending. Typically, a merchant will submit the settlement request within 24 hours of you authorising the transaction.
Please see ‘What happens if I do not have sufficient funds available on my Card to cover the value of the transaction plus the tolerance amount?’ for further information on this?
If you do not have sufficient funds available in your available balance to cover both the value of the transaction plus the tolerance amount, the transaction may be declined. For example, you have lunch at a restaurant and the total bill is US $50.00. You have US $50.00 on your Card that you would like to use and there is a 10% tolerance applied to restaurant transactions. If the restaurant tries to charge your Card with US $50.00, it will be declined because 10% is added to the transaction amount and there will be insufficient funds to cover US $55.00 ($50 x 10% = $5 + $50 = $55.00).
Please ensure you remember to take the tolerance amount into account. If you are using your Card at one of the merchant types where tolerance is applied, you may be unable to use the entire balance on your Card, unless you have enough to cover the addition of tolerance. If the merchant supports it however, you can use your Card to make a partial payment, and cover the balance with some other payment method. Just make sure you tell the cashier before you start the transaction and confirm the amount you want deducted from your Card. The cashier should process your Card payment first, and then accept the remainder of the balance in whichever way you want to pay it.
Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is an optional service that is sometimes offered by retailers and ATM operators abroad, giving cardholders the choice of paying in either the currency of the country they are visiting or their own domestic currency, i.e. Euros. If you make a purchase or ATM withdrawal in a country where the local currency is the same as the currency on your Cash Passport (e.g. using a US Dollar Cash Passport in the USA) and you opt to pay in Euros, this may result in a foreign exchange conversion at additional cost to you. To avoid this risk, choose to pay in the currency of your Cash Passport.
For some purchases (usually at hotels, or for car hire or cruises), you may be asked for your Card as "pre-authorisation" of your final payment. It is not recommended to use your Card as a guarantee of payment. These companies may estimate your bill, and if you use your Card as a guarantee for the estimated amount, the funds will be temporarily unavailable to access or spend. You can of course use your Card to settle your final bill.
If the merchant supports it, you can use your Cash Passport to make a partial payment, and cover the balance with some other payment method. Just make sure you tell the cashier before you start the transaction and confirm the amount you want to be deducted from your Card. The cashier should process your Cash Passport payment first, and then accept the remainder of the balance; however you want to pay it.
If you have any queries about your Cash Passport balance or you notice a Card transaction that you do not recognise, please notify the 24 hour Card Services team as soon as possible and in any event within thirteen (13) months of the transaction debit date. They will be happy to check and confirm the transaction details for you.
If there is a transaction which is not correct, Card Services can start the dispute process on your behalf and may request you to provide additional written information concerning any unrecognised transaction, or to complete a dispute form. Please help them to assist you by providing as much information as you can.
It is recommended that you check your transaction history and Card balance at least once a month.
Click here for further details on how to download and complete the dispute form.