Why is My Card Being Declined?

Posted by Frank Gogol

In social situations, having your credit card declined can be highly inconvenient and awkward. But it may also be worrying if you do not know why your card was declined.

Your credit card might have been declined for a variety of reasons, ranging from a simple technical glitch to more significant errors such as potential frauds or scams on your account.

What Does It Mean If Your Credit Card Was Declined?

One of the reasons your card might have declined could be that something went wrong during the processing of your order and that it was not completed. Try rechecking the information that you entered, like your billing ZIP code, to avoid the situation. If that is not the case, then there might be other issues causing the decline. Ultimately, you will not be able to use your card until the problem is resolved.

However, the good news is that, often, declined transactions are for your own safety. Credit card companies have advanced over time. This means that when a card is used in a way that hints at fraud, the activity is automatically detected.

Once a card has been marked, it will continue getting declined no matter where you use it. Resolving the issue is one of the only ways you can get it to work again. This can be as simple as calling the credit card issuing company to clarify that the activity that led to your card being flagged was your own.


6 Reasons For A Credit Card To Be Declined

As mentioned before, suspected fraud or scams are among the top reasons why credit cards get declined. Try double-checking that the correct pin was entered, that funds are accessible, and that the card is still active. In rare situations, information such as your zip code may differ from what you submitted to your bank. A daily spending restriction could also have been exceeded by making expensive transactions.

Your Credit Limit is Maxed Out

You will not be able to borrow any more cash unless you make a payment to the credit card company. Not only does maxing up your credit card make it difficult to make payments, but it also hurts your credit score. In general, you should not use more than 30% of each card’s credit limit, so if your credit card is maxed up, you have gone much above that credit usage threshold.

You will need to make a payment on your card right away if you want to use it again and protect your credit score from plummeting.

Your Credit Card Has Expired

Check to see whether or not your card has expired. Prior to your credit card expiration, your bank should also have mailed you a new one. Nevertheless, not all banks are expected to provide it to you on time. If your credit card has expired, you must contact your issuer to obtain a new one.

Your issuing bank will notify you when your card is about to expire and will send you a new one before it does. However, if you have just moved, be sure that your issuer has your current contact details, or else your replacement card may get delivered at the wrong address or never arrive. After receiving it, you will need to activate it over the phone or internet and use it for any future payments after discarding the old one.

You Made an Error Inputting Your Card Info

If you are making an online purchase, you will need to provide a multi-digit bank account number, an expiry date, a CVV number, the delivery, and a billing address to the vendor. That is a lot of data, and there are a lot of ways to mistype or skip a digit.

Before buying something, remember always to check the details twice to make sure you have not missed out on anything.

A Company Has Placed A Hold On Your Card

When a customer checks into a hotel or rents a car, hotels and rental vehicle businesses typically place a hold on their credit card for a specified amount of money. The goal of the hold is to ensure that when the final costs are computed, the client will have sufficient accessible credit.re the burden of their vigilance.

Contact your credit card provider to confirm that your card has not been hacked. This will generally clear up any concerns and issues.

Your Card Has Been Exposed to a Threat

Referencing the above point, credit card firms have grown quite good at detecting suspected fraudulent activity. As a result, if your account details have be

When your final bill is calculated and credited to your card, the hold should be lifted. However, until it is, you may have less spending power than you believe, resulting in a decline.

Your Bank Found Suspicious Activity

As mentioned earlier, credit card issuers have been quite good at detecting unauthorized transactions made with your card, and they can frequently identify them even before you can. If your card looks to have been used outside of your residence or to make many similar charges, the issuer’s fraud detection systems may be triggered.

On the other hand, Issuers throw a broad net to catch credit offenders – sometimes too broad. Credit card providers may identify normal transactions as possible fraud activity and suspend the card’s use if they believe it has been hacked. They think they are preventing theft, but you are the one who has to endure being compromised or revealed, your card may become temporarily invalid. Your provider may take actions to prevent your card from being used for illicit transactions, including suspending all activity. If you bought anything on the internet at a site that was not safe or paid using your card at a store this might have been the victim of a cyber-attack.

Call your credit card provider if your card has been refused and you are not sure why. They may be attempting to safeguard you against fraud.

What to Do if Your Credit Card is Declined

There is generally a straightforward explanation of why credit cards are denied. Here is what to do if you are attempting to pay at a restaurant or store and receive the unpleasant notification that your card has been declined.

Stay calm and be kind. This may sound like common sense, but it is easy to forget when there is a big queue behind you who are presumably wondering why you are taking so long.

Re-enter the details or swipe the card again. It could have been a technical glitch. Request the cashier to swipe your card again if you are positive that you have enough credit available on your card. More often than not, the card works on the second attempt.

Choose a different form of payment. You can take care of your bill and leave if you have another method of payment. When you arrive home, contact your credit card provider or bank to see what the reason behind the decline could have been.

Until you come back, provide your ID as security. Provide your identity and request the cashier if you may pay later if you do not have an alternative method to pay. This could be even more uncomfortable, but it might not be acceptable to just about every cashier or store. However, it does not hurt to try since you are not left with that many choices. You can even give them a copy of some official documentation like your driver’s license so that you can leave and arrange for a way to pay the bill.

Contact your bank or credit card company. Contact the card company or your bank to figure out why your card was denied after you have set some way to pay your tab or bill.  The card company or bank should definitely help you verify that you have enough credit or balance on your card.


Lastly, do not be alarmed if your credit card is denied. It is natural to be anxious at the prospect of your private details slipping into the hands of the wrong people. Still, most of the time, you are dealing with a minor mistake or an overzealous scam protection system designed with your monetary security in mind. It is essential to monitor and ensure that your card is in good working order, but unless you feel you have been the victim of theft and fraud, there is typically no need to be frightened.

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