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Top 9 reasons your credit card was declined

Why was my card declined?
Why was my card declined? © Chookiat K/

We've all been there -- a perfect moment shattered by the disgrace of a declined credit card.

Maybe it was a flawless date -- romantic ambiance, carefree banter, flirty eyes -- ruined by that record-scratching moment when your waiter tells you in hushed tones that your credit card "didn't go through."

Or maybe it was that celebratory vacation halted by the aggravating inconvenience of a credit card paralyzed at the worst possible moment. Cruising around the south of France is not so possible when your card is denied at the rental car office. This hiccup might make you blush ... or blow a gasket.

Either way, these are cringe-worthy moments we'd all prefer to avoid. And we can. It's easy enough to sidestep these deflating episodes by employing a few practical tips. Here are nine reasons why your credit card issuer would freeze you out and what you can do to prevent these blunders in the future.

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Perhaps the most cringe-worthy financial faux pas is having your credit card declined. We've all been there. Here are common reasons why your card issuer would freeze you out.

The obvious reason for a nonfunctioning card could be that you hit your credit limit, and you're cut off. For the sake of your credit score, cap your balance below 30 percent of your limit.

If you're trying to make a splashy purchase, such as a flat-screen TV, you may trigger your card's fraud protection program. If you don't normally buy big-ticket items, alert your issuer ahead of your purchase so they know it's legit.

If you're traveling, make sure your card company is in on your travel plans, too. Otherwise, a purchase far from home could raise an alert and stall your card.

Lastly, if you've missed payments, you'll have to catch up before you can use your card again.



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