My Credit Card Was Declined

Declined credit card purchases can be frustrating and embarrassing.

Most credit cards have limits as to how much you can spend. If you hit that limit, you typically cannot use the card until you pay down the balance. Using your card and paying down the balance on time each month helps you establish a good credit rating. However, credit card companies can deny purchases for a number of reasons.

Insufficient Funds

A common reason your credit card can be declined is due to insufficient funds in the credit card account. This means that you do not have enough available credit to cover the purchase. You need to pay down your credit card balance, or increase your available credit limit before you can successfully make the purchase. Or, you can use different payment methods to break up the purchase amount, such as other cards with available credit, cash or check.

Wrong Information Entered

Your credit card might also be declined if the wrong credit card information is entered with the purchase. This is more common when buying items online, as you typically have to manually enter the credit card information. If you type in the wrong credit card number, expiration date, security code or even the wrong billing address, your card will likely be declined. This is usually an easy fix; if you have the credit available, simply double check the information you entered, fix any mistakes and make the purchase.

Call the Company

If your card is declined and you are not sure why, call your credit card company to make sure all is well with your account. They might have closed or blocked the account due to non-payment or suspicious activity on your account, such as several large purchases made in a short amount of time or purchases made in another state or country. Ask the company why the card was declined. They might need you to verify that recent transactions were in fact made by you before they activate it again. Or, they can inform you that you have reached your credit limit and how much you need to pay before you can use the card again.

Merchant Does Not Accept the Card

Another reason your credit card might be declined is because the merchant does not accept the type of card you are trying to use. Also, if your card was issued from a foreign bank, or if you are in another country, the merchant might not accept the card.