We've all been there. You're shopping at a store or paying for a meal, and your credit card gets declined. It can be embarrassing, confusing and just plain frustrating.
So why exactly do credit cards get declined? Here are three common reasons for a declined card:
- Typos and mistakes: If you’re shopping online and accidentally input the wrong information, such as an incorrect ZIP code or billing address, your credit card may be declined. Double check that the information is correct and try again.
- An over-the-limit transaction: Every credit card has its own credit limit, which is the total amount you are allowed to spend. If you try to purchase an item that will put you over the available credit limit, your credit card may be declined. In some cases, you may be allowed to exceed your credit limit by a small amount. Depending on the issuer, you may be charged additional fees or the credit limit extension fees.
- Suspicion of fraudulent activity: If you try to complete an unusual purchase, say for a large amount or in a foreign country, your card may be declined because of possible fraudulent activity. Automated protections try to protect you from fraud, so they might initially decline any suspicious requests, especially if the purchase is outside the norm for you.
For each of these situations, you may receive a text, notification or call asking if you’re making a purchase. If you can respond, the purchase may be allowed, or you may be instructed to try again.