Amount on hold

The bank may put a certain amount in your account on hold for a temporary period

Why does the bank put an amount on hold?

The bank may put a certain amount in your account on hold for a temporary period during which time you will not have access to the funds. 

The most common reasons an amount is placed on hold are:

Debit and credit card purchases

When you authorise a payment or purchase using your debit or credit card, the transaction amount is placed on hold until the merchant claims it. If the merchant fails to claim the amount, then the money is released back to your account or credit card. The merchant has 30 days to claim the amount for debit card transactions and 5 days for credit card transactions.

Pre-authorisation holds

Pre-authorisation holds most commonly occur at car rental companies, gas stations and hotels. The merchant initially places a certain amount on hold. Once you complete your transaction and make your final payment, the initial amount placed on hold will be released back into your account or credit card.

The process of pre-authorisation release (in this example, a hotel) is as follows:

  • You provide your card to the concierge. The concierge puts an amount on hold (let's say, AED 200)
  • The hotel sends the pre-authorisation request. If approved, you book your room
  • When you check out and make the final payment, the hold amount of AED 200 is released

End of service benefits

Your end of service benefits will be placed on hold or restricted when you have liabilities with the bank. Learn more about the hold on your End of service benefits here.

Liability payments

When you fail to make the scheduled payments towards your liabilities such as your credit cards or loans, an amount will be put on hold. Learn more about how to release a hold on your funds.


Get help!

If you are finding it difficult to pay your bills and dues, let us help. Learn more about our Debt Assist programme here.


Transactions can be debited twice if the merchant accidently swipes the card twice, or if you receive an error message during an online transaction and you attempt again, but both amounts go through.

In cases like this, you can reach out to us on +971 600 54 0000.

Your pre-authorisation hold is cleared once you complete your transaction with the merchant by making your final payment.

The funds are then released and can take up to 2 working days to be credited to your account.

This could be because the amount is still on hold and the merchant is yet to claim it.