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When Your Credit Card Gets Declined – 13 Things to Do Immediately

When Your Credit Card Gets Declined – 13 Things to Do Immediately

Picture this: you’re at the checkout counter, eager to complete your purchase, when the cashier swipes your credit card and… it gets declined. Your heart sinks as you start to wonder what went wrong. Did you max out your credit limit? Did you forget to pay your bill? Or is it something more sinister, like fraud?

Credit Card Gets Declined – Things to Do Immediately

If you’ve ever experienced the embarrassment and frustration of a declined credit card, you’re not alone. It’s a common occurrence that can happen to anyone, regardless of how financially responsible they are. But what should you do when it happens?

Rather than panicking, calm yourself by taking a deep breath and follow these 13 steps to get your credit card back on track. We’ll guide you through each step, from checking your account balance to reaching out to your bank, so you can resolve the issue and quickly get back to your routine.

So, if you want to be prepared for the next time your credit card gets declined, keep reading. These tips could save you a lot of hassle and stress in the long run.

Check your account balance

Upon facing a declined credit card, the initial step is to verify your account balance. Ensure that you have sufficient available credit to cover the intended purchase. If you are nearing your credit limit, it may be wise to pay off a portion of your balance before utilizing your card again.

Verify your card details

Double-check your card number, expiration date, and CVV code to ensure you entered them correctly. Even a small typo can cause your card to be declined.

Contact your bank

Assuming that your card information is accurate, and you possess adequate available credit, the subsequent course of action is to reach out to your bank. They can furnish you with an explanation for the declined transaction and aid in finding a solution to the problem.

Confirm your identity

On certain occasions, your bank might require you to verify your identity before enabling you to use your card again. You should be ready to answer security queries or furnish supplementary details to authenticate your identity.

Report fraud

If you suspect your card was declined due to fraud, contact your bank immediately. They can cancel your card and issue you a new one to prevent further unauthorized purchases.

Pay with a different card

In the event of a declined credit card, attempt to utilize an alternative card for payment. In case you don’t possess another card, contemplate using an alternative payment method, such as cash or a debit card.

Check for payment holds

Some merchants may place a hold on your credit card for a certain amount of time after a purchase. This can cause your card to be declined if you don’t have enough available credit to cover the hold. Check with the merchant to see if a hold was placed on your card and when it will be released.

Update your payment information

If your credit card was declined due to it being invalid or expired, proceed to update your payment information with the merchant or service provider.

Consider a secured credit card

If you have a history of missed or late payments, consider applying for a secured credit card. These cards require a security deposit and can help you build or rebuild your credit.

Negotiate with your bank

If your credit card was declined due to a missed or late payment, contact your bank to negotiate a payment plan or lower interest rate.

Monitor your credit report

To ensure there are no inaccuracies or fraudulent activity on your credit report, monitor it regularly. If you detect any discrepancies, notify the credit bureaus without delay.

Practice good credit habits

To avoid future credit card declines, practice good credit habits such as paying your bills on time, keeping your credit utilization low, and checking your credit report regularly.

Seek financial advice

If you’re struggling with credit card debt or financial management, seek advice from a financial planner or credit counselor. They can help you develop a plan to get your finances back on track.

Also read:

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5 Steps to Budget Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt


Why was my credit card declined?

Your credit card can be declined for a variety of reasons, such as exceeding your credit limit, entering incorrect card details, suspicious activity on your account, or missed payments. Contact your bank to find out why your card was declined.

What should I do if my credit card is declined while I’m traveling?

If your credit card is declined while traveling, contact your bank immediately. They can verify your account and lift any security holds that may be preventing you from using your card. You may also want to carry a backup credit card or use cash as a backup payment method.

Will a declined credit card hurt my credit score?

No, a declined credit card does not affect your credit score directly. However, missed payments or high credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score over time.

How can I avoid getting my credit card declined in the future?

To avoid getting your credit card declined in the future, practice good credit habits such as paying your bills on time, keeping your credit utilization low, and monitoring your account regularly for suspicious activity. It’s also a good idea to update your payment information with merchants and service providers if your credit card details change.


Experiencing a declined credit card can be a frustrating and embarrassing situation, but it’s important not to panic. By following these 13 steps, you can quickly resolve the issue and get your credit card back on track.

To address a declined credit card, some of the initial measures to take include examining your account balance, validating your card information, and reaching out to your bank. In the event of suspected fraud, report it promptly. You may also wish to contemplate utilizing an alternative payment method or modifying your payment details.

Building good credit habits can help prevent future credit card declines, and seeking financial advice can be a great resource if you’re struggling with debt or financial management.

Remember, a declined credit card is not the end of the world, and it happens to the best of us. The most important thing is to stay calm and take action to resolve the issue. By doing so, you’ll be able to use your credit card with confidence and avoid any unnecessary stress in the future.

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