It’s pretty embarrassing when your credit card gets denied, but it’s especially irritating when you know that you have the available funds for the purchase you’re trying to make. Instead of expending all your energy trying to convince the merchant – and all the other customers around you – that your credit is good, get to work finding out the problem and fixing it so you can make your purchases without fear of embarrassment.
Here are five common reasons why your credit card might get denied by a merchant:
1. You’ve exceeded your spending limit
Credit card companies can be fickle. Sometimes they’ll let a purchase go through even if it exceeds the preset spending limit, but they’ll fee you like there’s no tomorrow. Other companies deny the transaction but still fee you for the attempt. If you think you might be close to your limit and your card is denied,
chances are your credit card company isn’t the type of company to let you go over your limit.
2. Your payment is late
Some credit card companies shut off access to your card whenever your payment is late. It may not even be your fault…maybe your payment got lost in the mail or there was a glitch with your automatic payment. Whatever the reason, contact your credit card company and make the payment immediately so you can have access to your card again. Brace yourself; there will probably be some fees involved unless you can sweet-talk your way out of them.
3. Your purchase deviates from your normal spending habits
Credit card companies often keep tabs on the kind of spending you do. They know that you charge a latte every morning and occasionally overspend at the book store. If an attempted charge that is out of the ordinary for your usually spending habits occurs, like if you suddenly get the urge to buy up a bunch of adult DVDs off the Internet, then your credit card company might step in because they assume you aren’t the one making the purchase. You’ll have to contact the credit card company to verify that you are indeed the person trying to make the purchase before they’ll allow you to do it.
4. You’re trying to buy something overseas
Unless you are a frequent overseas traveler, you may find that in certain locations you’ll encounter problems with using your card abroad. The reasoning behind this is your credit card company assumes you’re still home and a criminal is trying to use your card number somewhere overseas. The best way to avoid this
situation is to call your credit card company before you start your travels and tell them to make a note of your trip in their system. This should stop them from freezing your account.
5. The system is down
As annoying as this may be, sometimes the merchant’s computer processing system just doesn’t want to work. Once in a while the technical issue may be on the end of the credit card company. Regardless of who is at fault, sometimes a credit card charge won’t go through just because the merchant’s computers and the credit card company’s computers aren’t talking to each other.
Don’t ever ignore an instance of your credit card being denied, even if you are pretty sure you know the reason. You should always call the credit card company and find out exactly what the issue is, and how you can fix it.
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