Deep Dive

Reasons why your credit card is being declined

Emma Nunes-Vaz
January 16, 2024

Sometimes the word ‘declined’ pops up after inserting or tapping your card (trust us, we’ve been there too🙄) and whilst the initial feeling is embarrassment or confusion, this is more common than you think. According to Visa and Mastercard, an average of 15% of recurring payments are declined and it can occur for a plethora of reasons.

Your card has expired

It may seem simple and obvious, but it’s actually one of the easiest to miss. Normally when you are issued a credit card, the expiration date is the MM/YY figure in the bottom half of your card. You are entitled to use your card until that date however, any time after and your card is invalid, meaning you can’t make any purchases. Whilst it may seem obvious that cards expire, sometimes the date creeps up faster than you think, so make sure to keep an eye out for when you need to renew.

You’ve reached your credit limit

A credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow on your credit card set by your provider and once that amount is reached, you can no longer make purchases with that card. Credit limits vary for different cards, and different people and are dependent on your credit score rating. However, they are not set in stone and can change throughout the duration of you possessing the card, for instance, it can increase if you are deemed a trusty borrower as well as be decreased.

To protect you from suspicious behaviour

We’ve all probably been there, we’re going to pay and know we have enough in our account or on our limit, but it gets declined. While frustrating, it’s actually often to protect us. Sometimes your card issuer might suspect unusual activity, like a high-value purchase that’s outside your normal behaviour or spending in a country you’ve never spent in before. If your card has been stolen, this precautionary action by your provider is fantastic as it prevents fraud from occurring. If not then it can be annoying and often require you to take action to get it unblocked by contacting your provider and verifying that it’s you making the purchases.