declined credit cards

Was Your Credit Card Declined? Here's What To Do Next

Trying to pay at a store only to find your credit card declined can be frustrating and embarrassing. But all hope isn't lost when you see this flush-inducing message. If you have another way to pay, do so, leave the store, and contact your card issuer. It's that simple! Here are a few reasons why your card was declined and how you still pay for your expenses.

What To Do If Your Card Was Declined

Why Was Your Credit Card Declined?

There are plenty of reasons your credit card company may decline a transaction. Keeping track of your credit card is important because it means you will be aware of any issues as soon as they happen and nothing will get you by surprise – especially while you are trying to pay for a transaction. Here are six of the most common reasons your credit card declined:

tips when credit card declined

  • You've reached your credit limit — If you've used your credit card a lot in the last few weeks, you may have accidentally maxed it out. Sometimes, credit card providers will give you leeway, so you don't have to deal with your credit card declining in the store. That said, they will probably insist on a fee for funding the above-limit transaction. You should avoid using your entire credit card limit as it will affect your credit utilization rate, which could result in a decreased credit score.
  • You have a sizeable pending transaction — Companies like hotels or rental car companies might put a hold on your credit card until you've paid their bill. In this case, your card provider might decline other transactions until they remove the hold. If a merchant hasn't told you they're putting a hold on your account, this won't be the reason your credit card to be declined.
  • It's expired — While your credit card company should send you a new card before your current one expires, you might not receive it if you've moved and forgotten to update your address. Alternatively, you may accidentally keep using your old card. Of course, shops can't accept expired cards, hence the decline.
  • Your account is closed — Card issuers withhold the right to close accounts without telling you for a number of reasons, including:
    • Your credit score drops significantly since you received the card, turning you into a high-risk borrower.
    • Your account has been inactive for a while and doesn't have outstanding balances.
    • Someone has removed you as an authorized user from their account.
    • The creditor has made a mistake.
  • You're late on payments — Providers will likely restrict use if you haven't made a payment lately. While you may have to pay a late fee, some lenders waive it to help you get back on track with your finances.
  • Your purchase was deemed fraudulent — Credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft. Therefore, card issuers are always looking out for suspicious transactions. Of course, the decline is frustrating at the time, but it ultimately saves you and your money.

What To Do When Your Credit Card Declined

If your credit card is declined, the thing you have to remember is to remain calm. While it can be stressful to deal with a sudden credit card decline, just remember that it happens to everybody. And the good thing is there are ways you can deal with this. Just follow the four steps below to deal with your declined credit card and your financial emergency without completely stressing yourself out.

1. Use Another Payment Method

If your credit card declined while you are in the middle of paying for your items, you’ll have to decide if you’ll just leave the items for when you’ve gotten your credit card situation resolved or if you really need the items right now. Hopefully, if you really need the items, you have another way to pay so you can purchase your items – like using cash instead of a credit card.

2. Contact Your Provider And Ask For Specifics

Another thing you can do if your credit card is declined is to call the phone number on the back of your card. Tell them where you are, what you were purchasing, and when the card was declined. Ask them about the incidents that led to the decline and how you can fix it to restore your ability to use the card.

3. Delay Future Use

The third thing you can do if your credit card is declined is to stop future use of that card. Don't use your card until the provider rectifies the problems completely. If you continue attempting to utilize the credit card before the problem is completely gone, you could inadvertently cause deeper problems in the long run.

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How To Prevent Future Credit Card Declines

Once you’ve solved the problems that caused your credit card to decline, you shouldn’t stop there. You need to be vigilant to make sure you don’t face the same issues in the future. In order to do that, you need to have some tips to follow in order to prevent future declines. Here are some quick tips on how to prevent future credit card declines:

  • Switch on account alerts so you know when you're reaching your limit.
  • Pay attention to your providers' messages.
  • Pay off your balance at the end of the month.
  • Use autopay to avoid late fees.

Need To Pay For Emergencies In The Meantime? Get A Title Loan Online

If you're using your card to fund an emergency and it declines, you may not have another means of payment. Luckily, you can get a title loan online from Cash Cow in Louisiana to help. If you have a lien-free vehicle title, a vehicle for inspection, and a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID, you can get through our process. Just fill out the form and you’ll get a call from the nearest location.

From there, you can either come to the store or have the representative meet you at another location to continue the process. And the good thing about our title loan is, if you are approved, it won’t affect your credit score. This means you can continue working on your credit card issues and still pay for your emergency expenses with the title loan online.

Get Your Credit Card Issues Fixed Right Now

If your credit card is declined while you are in the middle of paying for your transactions, don’t panic. Instead, check out these tips to help you out! And if you don't have another way to pay for your emergency expenses, you can turn to us at Cash Cow for a title loan online. Fill out the online form to start the process with us in Louisiana right now.


Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

Emma Frost

Emma Frost is a lifestyle and finance blogger with a talent for communication and a passion for financial literacy. She uses her writing talents to explore topics that help her readers gain financial stability and growth.