Card Declining? 3 Reasons Why It Could Be Happening

Picture it… You proceed to make a payment with your debit card. You swipe it, expecting to complete your transaction and carry on with your day. Instead, you're met with anxiety, shock, and a bit of discomfort when you learn that your card has been declined. Your mind starts racing with questions - what do you do, how did this happen?!

While the overall account balance can typically play a role in this scenario, that isn't always the case. We hope this won't impact you any time soon, but we've gathered three possible reasons as to why a debit card may decline, that do not involve your account balance. Keep these in mind to have peace of mind!


1. Daily Spending and Withdrawal Limits
To protect account holders, some cards have maximum spending and withdrawal limits. Once that limit has been reached, all other withdrawal transactions will be declined for the day. It's best for account holders to check with their financial institutions to see if their accounts are covered by such a limit.

At CVCU, your card might decline for the following reasons relating to withdrawal limits:
- Spending exceeding the daily limit of $1,500
- Attempting to withdraw more than $500 at an ATM


2. Transactions Outside the Norm
Your spending habits create a pattern that is monitored by your financial institution. If a purchase, or series of purchases, becomes inconsistent with the pattern, your financial institution may place a hold on your account. These patterns are determined by sophisticated algorithms, which monitor purchase frequency, size, and/or location. If your purchase is declined, a call to your financial institution can usually get it authorized for approval.


3. Account Holds
Some types of businesses will place a hold on your account in an amount greater than the original price. These businesses place a hold on funds to cover a margin that your final bill could potentially reach. This practice leaves many account holders thinking they have more money available than they really do. Furthermore, sometimes it takes a few days for holds to be released. You should talk to hotel and car rental agency employees especially to get an understanding of their policy regarding account holds.


By knowing your financial institution's policies regarding debit cards, you'll reduce the chances of your card being declined. Many of these policies are for your protection. In the long run, your financial institution works to safeguard your best interests.

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