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Why was your credit card transaction denied? Many reasons...

We’ve all had these moments: You’re at a romantic restaurant and an embarrassed waiter appears and whispers, “I’m afraid your card has been denied.”        

It can happen anywhere. Banks and other credit card issuers have developed complex algorithms that track credit card behavior and highlight unusual usage patterns commonly associated with card theft or fraud. 

“Unusual activities” that jump out to card issuers ·When you ordinarily use your card only rarely, but suddenly make several charges in one day.

  • Making multiple purchases at the same store (or website) within a few minutes of each other.
  • An unusually large purchase – say for a major appliance, furniture or jewelry. Alert your card issuer before making large purchases.
  • One small purchase quickly followed by larger ones. Thieves will test the waters to see if a small purchase is denied; if it’s not, they’ll quickly run up major charges.
  • Exceeding daily spending limits. Some cards limit how much you can charge per day, even if you have sufficient remaining credit.
  • Making large purchases outside your geographic area.
  • Multiple out-of-town purchases in short succession. (Always tell your card issuer when you’ll be traveling.)
  • International purchases, whether online or while traveling. In fact, some card issuers automatically decline international transactions because of the high potential for fraud.
  • Outdated or incorrect personal information – for example, when you’re asked to enter your zip code at a gas station. Always alert your card issuer whenever you move.
  • Also, make sure you don’t mistype your credit card number, expiration date, security code, address or other identifying information.
  • Expired card. Always check the card’s expiration date. You should receive a replacement card weeks beforehand.
  • You’ve reached your credit limit. For the sake of your credit score, try to keep your overall and individual card credit utilization ratios (credit available divided by amount used) as low as possible.
  • A temporary hold has been placed on your card – say for a rental car or hotel reservation – that puts you over your credit limit. Always ask whether a hold will be placed, how much and for how long, and factor that into your remaining balance calculations.
  • You miss a monthly payment. Card issuers may let this slide once or twice, depending on your history with them, but eventually if you don’t make the minimum payment due, your card will probably be frozen.
  • The primary cardholder made changes on the account and forgot to tell other authorized users.

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