Decline of Credit Card

What Can Credit Card ‘Decline’ Message Mean

All of us at some point may be faced with ‘declined’ message during credit card transaction. This could happen for various reasons:


Your card may have expired. Check expiry date on your card.

Credit limit

You may have crossed your credit limit.

Unpaid bills

You may not have paid your past few months’ bills. Usually, the company will block the card if payment record is bad and you have regularly not been paying bills. First warning will come through lowering of credit limit.

Technical fault

The credit card machine at which your card is swiped may have technical problems. You may need to check with your vendor for clarification.

Forgotten pin

If the data you are entering, like credit card number, expiration date or security code, is mis-typed and does not match the records, the company will freeze the card.


Sometimes the card company will block transaction if it thinks there is something suspicious about the card activity. This may happen if there are too many back-to-back transactions or too many online transactions. Or one large transaction involving a huge amount of money. If it is genuine, alert your credit card company of the big purchase.


An ongoing issue with the credit card company regarding bill payment could prompt the latter to block transactions.

International travel

If you are using your credit card abroad and the card company is not aware of it, your card can get blocked. Also while purchasing online from a company based abroad, the purchase will be registered as a foreign purchase leading to decline of transaction. The credit card company needs to be informed of international travel to allow transactions abroad.


If an account has more than one user and one has asked for its deactivation, the other user under the same account will experience deactivation too.