This may be the difference in the way holds are applied between debit and credit cards, if they are applying a hold as part of the transaction. First thy apply a hold, then the real transaction, then release the hold.
With a credit card you never normally notice the hold because it doesn't appear on any statements, you may notice it if it affects your creit limit.
With a debit card they can't do that so they take the money away and then give it back but in the meantime it's your money that's gone!
Regards protection being the same between credit and debit cards in Oz that wasn't my point, my point was, as sbove, with a debit card, that money's still gone from your bank and worst case it could cause issues such as bouncing mortgage payments, whatever, and you have to fight to get it back. With a credit card,that money has not left your bank account and so you are buffered from any immediate consequences .
As an example, last year on my credit card BA put a hold on £1500 as well as a debit for the same amount, which took a week to be released due to a mess up on their part . Had that been a debit card, my bank balance would have been down £1500 for a week. A different thing entirely!
Edited: 4:13 am, December 29, 2012