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. It is the date on which funds are taken or added to an account. Also called the settlement date, the post date can be on the same day as the transaction date. Often, 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.
- Post date is the day when funds are added or subtracted from a credit card account balance.
- Also known as the settlement date, the post date can be the same day as the transaction date or one to three days later.
- Each credit card company has rules on when a transaction is posted based on when a charge is made or when a payment is received.
- Post date is important because it can affect late fees and the amount of interest rate charges on a credit card.
Understanding Post Date
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 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 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. Consumers pay less in interest the earlier a payment is posted. That's because the card company recognizes that balances are paid off sooner.
In addition, 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, and also to ensure that they will not incur any fees for going over the credit limit.
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 that 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. ET will not post until the next business day for Non-Discover It Card Members. For Discover It Card Members, payments submitted before midnight Eastern Time (ET) will be credited to your account that day, except for payments made on the cycle date. Payments made on your cycle date submitted before 5:00 p.m. ET will be credited as of that same day.