If you use credit cards for everyday purchases and purchase protection, getting declined can be a real inconvenience. It’s important to determine the reason for the decline as soon as possible, as identifying the problem is the first step towards finding a solution.
1. Your Credit Card Has Expired
Forgetting a credit card’s expiration date is a common occurrence, especially if you don’t use it frequently. Although it is possible for a transaction to go through even if the card has expired, it is not the norm. If your credit card gets declined and you have been using it for a while, it’s advisable to check its expiration date. Fortunately, this is a simple issue to address as your credit card issuer should have already sent a replacement card ahead of time.
2. Your Credit Card Hasn’t Been Activated
If you’re experiencing a situation where your new credit card has been declined, it’s possible that it hasn’t been activated yet. To rectify this, you simply need to follow the activation instructions provided. This could either involve making a phone call or logging into your online account. Regardless of the method, the activation process should be straightforward and easy to complete.
3. You Have Gone Over Your Limit
Going over your credit limit is a frequent reason why your credit card may not work. In such cases, you will have to pay off some of your outstanding balance before you can use your card again. It is important to monitor your credit limit closely to avoid incurring costly over-the-limit fees. It is advisable to ensure that sufficient funds are available when using your credit card to prevent such a situation.
4. Your Limit Was Changed Without Notice
It’s important to keep in mind that going over your credit card limit can happen unexpectedly, even if you’ve been diligent in monitoring your spending. This is because credit card companies hold the power to alter your limit, regardless of your payment history. During times of economic uncertainty, it’s especially important to be aware of this possibility. Credit card companies may become more cautious and reduce credit limits to minimize their risk. It’s crucial to stay alert and keep a close eye on any changes to your credit limit.
5. Your Credit Card Might Have Been Cancelled
Credit card issuers have the authority to cancel a credit card for various reasons. Inactivity or delinquency for an extended period of time are some of the common reasons for cancellation. Instances of fraud, theft, and other related issues can also lead to the cancellation of a credit card by the issuer.
6. You’ve Missed Some Payments
If you’ve missed payments on your credit card, it’s possible that the issuer has blocked your ability to make payments using that card. Usually, missed payments indicate financial troubles on the part of the cardholder, which can cast doubt on their ability to repay their debts. In such cases, credit card issuers have a vested interest in minimizing their potential losses, which may prompt them to take action.
7. You’ve Entered the Wrong Information
It’s not uncommon for a credit card to be declined due to incorrect information being entered. Whether it’s the card number, CVV code, or some other detail, it’s crucial to verify that all the information you entered is correct. It’s important to note that a transaction cannot be completed unless all the details match up. So, take a moment to double-check everything before making a purchase with your credit card.
8. The Purchase Looks Suspicious
Credit card companies are highly cautious when it comes to purchases that appear suspicious. This is not only because such incidents can cause distress to their customers, but also because they will be held accountable for any fraudulent activity. Credit card companies have multiple reasons to be vigilant in this regard. For instance, if they observe a small purchase followed by a large one, they may block the transaction as this is a common technique used by fraudsters to test stolen credit cards. Similarly, if a credit card is used excessively, in an unusual place, or for an unusual purchase, the issuer may intervene. There are several factors that can cause a credit card issuer to become suspicious, but fortunately, this is one of the simpler problems to address on the list.
9. Your Credit Card Got Damaged
It’s highly likely that you carry your credit card with you wherever you go. This means that it’s susceptible to wear and tear over time. This wear and tear can make it difficult for your credit card to function properly, whether it’s due to a corrupted magnetic stripe or another physical issue. If you notice any signs of damage, it’s important to reach out to your credit card issuer to request a replacement. Don’t risk your ability to make purchases by continuing to use a damaged credit card.
10. Your Credit Card Can’t Be Used With the Credit Card Reader in Question
It’s possible for your credit card to be declined unexpectedly, even if you have no apparent issues. One common cause can be a malfunctioning credit card reader. In some cases, retrying your card can result in a successful transaction. However, this isn’t always the case. Another possibility is that your credit card format might not be recognized by the reader. Many places now use credit cards that rely on EMV chips instead of magnetic stripes. While some merchants may still be able to accommodate magnetic stripe cards, there’s no guarantee that they will be able to do so.