Credit cards are a huge help with everyday purchases and purchase protection. As a result, if your credit card gets declined, you need to figure out the reason as soon as possible. After all, you can't fix a problem unless you know what it is.
1. Your Credit Card Has Expired
It is very easy to forget a credit card's expiration date, particularly if you don't type it in very often. Apparently, it is possible for a credit card transaction to go through even if the credit card has expired. However, that is very much the exception rather than the rule. As such, if you've had a particular credit card for a while, you might want to check its expiration date if it gets declined. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest issues to resolve. Your credit card issuer should've sent out a replacement ahead of time.
2. Your Credit Card Hasn't Been Activated
Speaking of which, it is possible for a new credit card to get declined because it hasn't been activated. If you haven't done so, you should follow the instructions to do so. That could mean calling in. Alternatively, that could mean logging on to your online account. Whatever the case, the process should be very simple.
3. You Have Gone Over Your Limit
The single most common explanation is that you have gone over your limit. If that is the case, you won't be able to continue using your credit card until you've paid off some of your outstanding balance. It is a good idea to keep a close eye on your limit because over-the-limit fees can become very expensive if you aren't careful. Consider ensuring that there are readily available funds when you need them.
4. Your Limit Was Changed Without Notice
On a related note, you can go over your limit even if you've been keeping a close eye on it. This is because a credit card issuer can change your limit at any time even if you've been making your payments on time. You need to watch out for this kind of thing during bad economic times. Credit card issuers can get anxious in much the same manner as consumers, meaning that they become much more willing to cut limits for the sake of reducing their potential exposure.
5. Your Credit Card Might Have Been Cancelled
A credit card can be cancelled by the credit card issuer. This kind of thing can happen for a wide range of reasons. For example, it might have been inactive for too long. Alternatively, it might have been delinquent for too long. Fraud, theft, and other problems on that level can also convince a credit card issuer to cancel a credit card.
6. You've Missed Some Payments
It is possible that a credit card issuer has removed your ability to make payments using your credit card because you've missed some of your payments. After all, missed payments often mean that a credit card user has run into financial issues, which doesn't say good things about their ability to repay their outstanding debts. As a result, credit card issuers have very good reason to act in order to reduce their potential losses when this happens.
7. You've Entered the Wrong Information
Sometimes, your credit card gets declined because you've entered the wrong information. This could mean the number, the CVV code, or some other thing. Regardless, you should always double-check that you've entered everything correctly because a credit card transaction won't go through unless everything matches.
8. The Purchase Looks Suspicious
Credit card issuers are very concerned about suspicious-looking purchases. In part, this is because consumers can get extremely upset about such occurrences. However, credit card issuers are also the ones who will be held responsible for such occurrences, so they have very material incentives to be concerned about this as well. In any case, credit card issuers can become suspicious for a wide range of reasons. To name an example, they might block a purchase if they see a small purchase followed by a large purchase because thieves often use that as a way of testing out stolen credit cards. Similarly, they might intervene when a credit card is being used too much, being used in a strange place, or being used for a strange purchase. There are a lot of things that can cause a credit card issuer to become suspicious. Fortunately, this is one of the easier issues to resolve on this list.
9. Your Credit Card Got Damaged
Chances are good that you bring your credit card with you wherever you go. As a result, you should expect it to experience a fair amount of wear and tear. Over time, that can ruin your credit card's ability to actually function as a credit card, whether because the magnetic stripe has been corrupted or some other physical problem. If you suspect that this is the case, you should contact your credit card issuer about getting a replacement.
10. Your Credit Card Can't Be Used With the Credit Card Reader in Question
Under certain circumstances, your credit card can get declined even if you have no issues whatsoever. For instance, it is possible for credit card readers to start malfunctioning for one reason or another. If that happens, your purchase might go through if you try to use your credit card a second time. Unfortunately, it is also possible that this won't be the case. Be warned that it is also possible for your credit card to be in a format that isn't recognized by the credit card reader. There are a lot of places that use credit cards reliant on EMV chips rather than magnetic stripes. If you are lucky, you can find a merchant to help you complete the purchase even if you are using a credit card with a magnetic stripe. Sadly, there is no guarantee that you will be able to do so.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee