What Is a Post Date?

The post date is the day, month and year when a card issuer posts a transaction and adds it to the cardholder’s account balance. The post date will typically follow the transaction date however it can also be the same.

Understanding Post Date

Post date is the final date on which funds are taken or added to an account. It can also be referred to as the settlement date. The post date can be the same as the transaction date. Oftentimes however the post date will occur one to three days later. The period between the transaction date and the post date is called the float.

Transaction Processing

Electronic payments often require communication with multiple entities which can affect a transaction’s post date. Banks have systems in place that help an account holder to manage the balance on their account during the floating time period between when the transaction occurs and when it is posted or settled.

Once a transaction has been authorized the account issuing bank will typically place the funds on hold. For a credit card transaction, this will reduce the available credit balance by the purchase amount. For a debit card transaction, the account holder will see a reduction in their available funds. For both debit card and credit card accounts, the account holder will typically see the transaction listed as a “pending transaction.” Most issuing banks will use the post date as the final date recorded on an account holder’s monthly statement.

Credit Card Account Maintenance

Credit card accounts can be especially important for understanding the post date. The post date on a credit card account can affect the interest charged in a particular statement period. If a cardholder is close to reaching the credit limit on their account then they want to keep an eye on the charges that haven’t posted yet to make sure future transactions won’t be declined or that they will not incur an over-the-limit fee. Generally, the earlier a posting date the sooner that funds will be paid off, requiring less interest on outstanding balances. It is also important to ensure that a credit card payment post date occurs before the card’s monthly due date to avoid any late fees.

Usually, the credit card issuer will inform a user of the date payment will post to their account. The post date is important because it determines whether the credit card issuer will consider a payment to be on time. Each credit card issuer has different rules about when a payment will be posted based on when it is received. For example, online payments to Discover Financial Services that are submitted after 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time will not post until the next business day.