Your card can be declined for several reasons: the card has expired; you are over your credit limit; the card issuer sees suspicious activity that could be a sign of fraud; or a hotel, car rental company, or other business has blocked (or placed a hold on) your card for the estimated amount of your bill. Some banks or credit unions use blocking: they retain a part of the available credit on your credit card. that means you have less to use until the block is cleared. If your debit card is blocked, your account balance may be low, a check may be returned, or a recurring payment you authorized may be declined.
what should I do if my card is declined?
First and obviously, check that you entered your information correctly. If there is still a problem, contact the customer service number of the bank or credit union that gave you the card. they may be able to tell you what the problem is and how to fix it. If it takes time to resolve any issues with your card, you may be able to pay that fee with another form of payment, if you have one.
can I reduce the chances of my card being declined?
Keep track of your account and know when your card expires. Usually, your bank or credit union will send you a replacement card before it expires. activate it soon after you get it. If the card is nearing its expiration date and you haven’t gotten a replacement, call your bank or credit union to locate it.
Monitor your accounts regularly. track spending, your account balance or how close you are to your card’s credit limit, the maximum amount of credit you’re approved for. If your bank account balance is too low, or approaches or exceeds your credit card credit limit, your card may be declined.
If your bank or credit union offers alerts to flag fraud on your account, sign up. these alerts can alert you to potential problems before your card is declined. Large purchases, charges from sellers in foreign countries, or activity that seems unusual may cause the bank or credit union to block your account to prevent fraud. Before you travel, contact your bank or credit union to let them know you’ll be out of town. do the same if you’re going to use your card for a large or unusual purchase. Even if you do these things, your card may still be declined due to a hold or hold. if possible, carry an extra card as a backup in case the first card is declined.
what can I do to avoid the block?
Companies use blocks to make sure you have enough money to pay your bill. this reduces the amount of credit or cash available in your account. If you are close to your credit limit or have a low balance in your bank account when a freeze is placed, your card could be declined if you want to use it for something else before the freeze is lifted. Follow these steps to reduce discomfort:
1. ask about blocking. When you check into a hotel or rent a car, or if a restaurant or other business asks for your card in advance, ask for it
- are you blocking my card?
- what is the amount of the block?
- how did you choose that amount?
- how long is the block?
- When you pay your final bill or check out, ask when the old lock will be removed.
- If you pay with a different card, cash or check, please remind the person at the front desk that you are using a different form of payment. request that the previous lock be removed immediately.
- Do you allow companies to place blocks?
- how long are the blocks?
- What types of companies do you allow to place blocks? If you’re thinking of getting a credit or debit card, shop around. shorter blocks can be a factor when comparing offers.
- Do you offer a plan that can automatically cover the overdraft?
- How does the plan work?
- How much does the plan cost? If you choose a plan that can automatically cover the overdraft, you may end up paying fees and interest on the loan until you pay it off. But many banks and credit unions have eliminated or reduced overdraft fees. If you think you may need to use overdrafts, consider one of those financial institutions.
- For more information on overdraft fees and protection, read CFPB’s information on bank overdraft policies or visit helpwithmybank.gov, a site maintained by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
2. reduce the blocking time of your card. If possible, pay a “blocked” bill with the same card that you used to make the reservation or reserve the service. (think hotels and rental cars, for example). paying your bill with that same card means your final charge will likely replace the lock in a day or two. but if you pay that bill with a different card, or with cash or check, the block can last up to 15 days. that’s because the card issuer doesn’t know you paid in another way.
To know where you stand, follow these steps:
3. talk to your bank or credit union. if you already have a credit or debit card, or are considering getting one, ask the bank or credit union
For debit cards, banks and credit unions may offer an overdraft line of credit. This is a type of loan attached to your checking account. If your account balance is low, an overdraft line of credit may help you avoid bounced checks or a debit card decline.
Because there are different types of overdraft plans, make sure you understand what the bank or credit union offers. ask