credit cards

Top 9 reasons your credit card was declined

You forget to pay attention on a trip
You forget to pay attention on a trip © Andresr/Shutterstock.com

Is there a note in your recent-purchase list saying the issuer will put a hold for X amount on your account? That reminder should be a red flag for your wallet.

Your card can be declined if you have a pending hold on your account. "This often happens when people are on vacation and they've done two things within moments of each other: They've gotten a rental car ... and then they've just checked in to a hotel," says Melinda Opperman, senior vice president at Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management. Both of these activities put a hold on a certain portion of a card's limit.

Traveling and only using one card for your entire vacation can be problematic, especially if you could easily reach your limit. One or two big purchases or holds, and your card will be declined.

"A lot of people aren't aware of that, and they're caught off guard," says Opperman. "It can take several days for the hold to be released," which is why Opperman advises travelers to bring two credit cards. Switch off between them for hotels, rental car check-ins, dining and other expenses while you're away.

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