If you use your credit card at checkout, and the cashier says the system rejected your card, you may wonder why your credit card was rejected. The truth is, there are many reasons why a credit card is rejected when buying something online or in-store. Before you panic and call your credit card company angrily, here are seven possible reasons why your credit card was rejected.
1. You’re Maxed out
Maxing out your credit card is one reason why your credit card was rejected. Some credit card companies allow cardholders to go over limit, at which time the company charges a fee. But even when you’re extended credit beyond your limit, your credit card company will eventually cut you off. Therefore, if your credit card is rejected at check out, check your balance to see if you’ve exceeded your limit.
2. Fraud Alert
Sometimes, credit card companies suspect fraud and they’ll freeze your account to prevent additional fraudulent charges on your credit card. If you attempt to use your credit card after the company places a fraud alert, the retailer’s system might reject your card. However, if you call the company and verify activity, they’ll unfreeze your account and you'll regain access to your account.
3. You’re Abroad
When traveling outside your home country, you might feel that it’s easier and more convenient to use credit cards rather than cash. This way, you don't have to worry about currency exchange. However, if you plan to use your credit card outside the country, make sure you call your credit card company in advance. Your Visa and MasterCard will work overseas wherever these cards are accepted. However, for your protection, your credit card company may not allow these transactions — just in case someone uses your card fraudulently.
4. You’re out-of-state
This has only happened to me once, but if you’re traveling to the other side of the country, there's a chance that your credit card may not work. However, if your card is rejected, simply give you credit card company a call and confirm that you're traveling. A representative can unfreeze your card in a couple of minutes.
5. It Has Expired
Credit card companies typically send new credit cards within 1 to 2 months of an expiration. But if for some reason they don’t send a new card, a rejected credit card at checkout might result from using a card past the expiration date. If this occurs, double check your mail — maybe you forget to open the letter containing the new card — or call the credit card company and they’ll overnight a new card to you.
6. No Longer an Authorized User
As an authorized user on someone’s credit card, you can use the card whenever you like. But since you're not the primary account holder, the person who owns the account can remove your name from the account at anytime. When this happens, you can no longer use the card.
If you haven't paid your credit card bill in 30 or more days, the credit card company may freeze your account. And if you attempt to use the account at checkout, it'll be rejected. If the cashier calls the credit card company to inquire, your credit card company may instruct her to cut your card in half.
Having a credit card rejected at checkout can be slightly embarrassing. But if you call your credit card company, the issue might be something minor and fixed in a matter of minutes. What are other possible reasons for a credit card to get rejected?