Fidelity Travel Nightmare

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Mar 31, 2019
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#1
In the early hours of the morning on 3/30/19 I was traveling to a funeral out of my home state when I attempted to use my Fidelity Cash Management Card. The transaction was declined due to insufficient funds. I knew this to be a mistake as I had an adjustment into the account 9 hours before I attempted to use the card for well over any deductions for I would have had for the day. I also opened my fidelity app after the adjustment to find the adjusted amount was available for use. Hoping to get this matter resolved quickly I called Fidelity card services.

The first woman offered me no explanation as to why my account was negative or what happened to the amount that was adjusted into the account. She simply passed me on to someone in account services who was not able to help me either. He transferred me back to the first representative I’d spoken with. With no resolve I ended the calles and called back again expecting to speak with a different set of representatives. The second set of people I spoke with seemed a bit more willing to help. I was told banks audit accounts at night so sometimes monies disappear during that process while things are settle it that the should appear by 9am. I explained to all four of the initial representatives I was traveling & that was the only access to any monies I had. The representatives reviewed my debits & credits of make sure the money had not been spent (which it hadn’t) and couldn’t answer the question of where the money had gone.

When 9am comes I open the app to find the negative balance still showing in my cash management account. I called back to card services. I was immediately told she could see the notes on my account, couldn’t help me and that she had to transfer me. I was told yet again that one department couldn’t help me it had to be the other. That back & forth went on several times within several phone calls. I was eventually told several hours and phone calls later that sometimes adjustments from merchants appear in your account balance even when only pending(meaning the electronic funds transfer hadn’t been fully completed). I again pleaded with them as I had no money & I have had adjustments(monies returned from merchants) post to my cash management account with Fidelity same day in the past any times and never had any problems. The gentleman said again, he couldn’t help and that I had to wait until the next business day(two calendar days away) to truly receive the adjustment as available in my account.

As I type this form to you I sit still without any resolution or the slightest bit of empathy from any of the representatives I spoke with beggin for assistance as I had no money to pay for food, hotel, or gas. I had to resort to selling my iPad for $200 to get money for a hotel room for the night & gas. I unfortunately did not have enough to buy myself anything to eat.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#2
Vendor adjustments are transferred using the ACH system. When you see "pending" in your Fidelity account, that means the transaction has been started. The sending institution can choose to transfer the funds on the same day, next business day, or in two business days. Fidelity doesn't allow you to withdraw funds until they are actually received.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but pretty much every bank works this way.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#3
Generally, banking transactions that occur after a certain time on Fridays (that time can be determined by each institution) will not process until the next business banking day, usually Monday. If the adjustment performed on your account occurred after the Friday cut-off, it may not have been available to use.

Years ago I had a Fidelity CMA account and card, and was able to use it as a credit card as well. Does your card have a Visa logo on it? If so you might have been able to use it that way.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

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#4
Were you trying to use your card to check into a hotel? Debit cards shouldn’t be used for travel and this is exactly why.

When you check into a hotel or pick up a rental car, a hood is placed in your account which lasts until the “matching “ transaction comes in.

A hotel might put a hold on your account for say, $200 at check in. That hold can sit up to 10 days waiting for an actual charge of $200 from the hotel to match and drop. If your actual hotel charge with you check out is say, 109, that is charged but the initial hold of $200 is still there waiting for it’s mate that will never come.

That’s how the hold system works and why your funds weren’t available- you don’t have a large credit line like you would with a credit card to absorb the holds. And if you have checks outstanding or pay bills automatically from your account those payments would be returned for insufficient funds .

That’s how debit cards work. When traveling you should only use a credit card to avoid this. Fidelity did nothing wrong.
 
Likes: VoR61
Mar 31, 2019
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#5
Were you trying to use your card to check into a hotel? Debit cards shouldn’t be used for travel and this is exactly why.

When you check into a hotel or pick up a rental car, a hood is placed in your account which lasts until the “matching “ transaction comes in.

A hotel might put a hold on your account for say, $200 at check in. That hold can sit up to 10 days waiting for an actual charge of $200 from the hotel to match and drop. If your actual hotel charge with you check out is say, 109, that is charged but the initial hold of $200 is still there waiting for it’s mate that will never come.

That’s how the hold system works and why your funds weren’t available- you don’t have a large credit line like you would with a credit card to absorb the holds. And if you have checks outstanding or pay bills automatically from your account those payments would be returned for insufficient funds .

That’s how debit cards work. When traveling you should only use a credit card to avoid this. Fidelity did nothing wrong.
I understand how banking works credit lines and holds. The problem is one department of fidelity says they can not see the adjustment while another department says they can. Yet no one knows for sure what happened to it. The amount of the adjustment would have been well over anything I would need to use. This is not the first time I would be attempting to use my card for a hotel or other travel expense so I am aware of what procedures a hotel would do.
 
Mar 31, 2019
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#6
Generally, banking transactions that occur after a certain time on Fridays (that time can be determined by each institution) will not process until the next business banking day, usually Monday. If the adjustment performed on your account occurred after the Friday cut-off, it may not have been available to use.

Years ago I had a Fidelity CMA account and card, and was able to use it as a credit card as well. Does your card have a Visa logo on it? If so you might have been able to use it that way.[/
Vendor adjustments are transferred using the ACH system. When you see "pending" in your Fidelity account, that means the transaction has been started. The sending institution can choose to transfer the funds on the same day, next business day, or in two business days. Fidelity doesn't allow you to withdraw funds until they are actually received.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but pretty much every bank works this way.
I never was pending. What I saw was available to use.