Why Is My Debit Card Declined? 15 Reasons & How To Fix It Updated (2022)

why is my debit card declined when i have money

I know the frustration! The queue behind you is getting longer. But the debit card declined to give you cash. Your mind is desperately trying to answer your question, why is my debit card declined when i have money,’ before you could focus on the next question of figuring out a solution.

Here are all the potential reasons behind this frustration.

Insufficient Funds in Debit Card

Insufficient Funds

I understand that you believe that your card has sufficient funds but you should still consider the absence of cash if you have allowed direct debit to some of your vendors. Or think about the annual bank charges (How you can avoid bank fees). Is it that time of the year?

If you have recently purchased something online, you may also want to check the transaction history to know if you were charged taxes on that transaction letting your total balance fall.

Above all, you should see if the card you are using is the one with the balance you have kept in your account. You could have given the wrong card to the cashier by mistake.
In case of a lower balance, you should switch to the cash payment or you can use a different card.

Wrong PIN For Your Debit Card

Wrong PIN

Once you are sure of the sufficiency of cash, you should consider other reasons behind this decline. Using the wrong PIN can be an issue. Either you have given the wrong number to the cashier or he/she is typing the wrong value.

Recheck the PIN you are using and correct it to access your funds.

Numerous Invalid PIN Attempts for Debit Card

Numerous Invalid PIN Attempts

If the cashier has attempted many times with the wrong PIN, your bank may have blocked your card on account of suspicious activity. Although it might seem frustrating, the banks have their reasons to debit card declined. In the wake of such suspicions, a bank assumes that your card is stolen and your funds are at stake.

Consequently, it takes action by restricting your card so no one else can get your money.
If this security measure from the bank is causing you a problem when you are trying to withdraw cash, you can call your bank to get your card unblocked.

Wrong Debit Card Details

Wrong Card Details

If you are shopping online you should double-check the details you are inserting for the transactions. Sometimes, we don’t read the right numbers and sometimes, the error occurs while typing this detail into the device.

OTP is Required for Debit Card

OTP is Required

Another reason that may prevent you from making the transaction is incomplete details. If you have failed to provide all the information to the device – in online shopping – your transaction may remain hindered.

Most banks include an additional security step for online transactions to limit third-party access to your funds. This step comes as an OTP or one-time password. Banks generate this password as soon you add your card and CVV numbers and they send it to your mobile or email address.

The purpose behind adding this security step is to prevent a person – who has accessed your card – from using your funds.

The only remedy you need in this case is to get the password from your phone and type it in the given field.

Card Not Yet Activated

Card Not Yet Activated

It may sound stupid but more than a few people have made this mistake. They give their newly arrived card at the checkout counter without remembering that before they can use the card, they have to activate it and create a PIN.

Sometimes it happens because they forget that they have recently requested a new card from the bank and are not using the previous one. At other times, it’s their first time using a debit card – yes, it happens!

There is a simple solution to solve this issue – activate the card. You may have to spend some more minutes at the store and you may find yourself leaving the queue for others to move forward, but that’s the only solution.

Daily Transaction Limit Reached

Daily Transaction Limit Reached

One common issue with debit cards is the daily spending limit they carry. Again, this apparent nuance is a result of banks’ concern for your financial safety.

Banks put this limit so that in case of a theft of card as well as PIN information, the perpetrator can only access a limited amount of funds from your account in a day. Till then, you might have found out about the theft and gotten the card blocked thus preserving the remaining funds.

Don’t worry; navigating across this limit is as easy as one-two-three. All you have to do is to call the bank and ask them to increase the limit. Don’t forget to ask for reinforcing the previous limit immediately after making the transaction.

Expired Card

Expired Card

If you have given all the correct details to the system and your card is also active and is eligible to do the transaction in every other way, you should check the card’s expiry date. If the month of expiration has passed, you might want to get a new card.

In most cases, an expired card shouldn’t shock the user at the wrong time as banks follow a policy of sending new cards to their clients a month before the expiration of their previous card. But if you haven’t checked your mailbox for more than a month, this shock can become a reality for you.

If your debit card declined because it is expired, you have to switch the payment method for this transaction.

Card is Damaged

Card is Damaged

Although it’s rare, debit cards can get damaged. There are a few reasons that can render your card unusable. Sometimes a small act of letting your card near a strong magnetic field can damage your card.

You may also lose it if it breaks or folds under pressure. Even snatching your card out of an ATM forcefully can destroy the information your card stores.

Unfortunately, once a card is damaged, you cannot use it and your only option is to request a new card from the bank.

For this transaction, please switch the payment methods to either cash or a different card.

Suspicious Transaction will Declined Debit Card

why is my debit card declined when i have money

If you are doing nothing wrong with delivering the information and your card is usable in every possible aspect, suspicion from the bank can be a reason for this debit card declined.

It happens when you use your card at a machine away from the usual place of transactions. Banks usually block transactions outside of the country unless the client has confirmed the change of location. They assume that the client’s card is stolen and the thief has taken the card to a foreign location to use it.

If you are unable to complete the transaction when you are at a new place, you should contact your bank and report that you are behind the transaction.

They will allow the transaction in that location and voila! You can make the payment!
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Card is Declined

why is my debit card declined when i have money

If you are not using the card at a new place and your withdrawn amount also matches your average transaction amount, you should still consider the possibility of a blocked card because of suspicious activity.

It happens when your card is recently used at an unusual place – another city or another state. Banks also treat multiple failed PIN attempts as suspicious activity. Or your card may have tried exceeding the daily transaction limit without approval from your phone.

In all these cases, banks block the card in question.

The immediate solution to this problem is simple but you may have a long-term problem that needs your attention.

The immediate action you can take is calling your bank and reporting that your card is in safe hands. This should unblock the card for now.

Also, ask about the transaction that got your debit card declined. If you have done that transaction – or have authorized this transaction – you have no reason to worry. However, your cash is at risk if you don’t know the transaction. You need to take precautions to prevent unauthorized access to your card.

Technical Issues that Debit Card Declined

why is my debit card declined when i have money

In case, everything is okay at your end, the machine should give an indication of technical error indicating an issue in the machine or the network.

These technical issues can arise because of three different reasons. First, the machine can go out of order. In that case, your only solution is to pay with cash.

The second issue can arise out of the network. Again, this will affect all the cards from all the banks. You can only use cash in this case also.

The third issue can happen if your bank’s server fails to respond. If the issue is with your bank, you can use another card for payment.

Card Drained By The Joint Account Holder

why is my debit card declined when i have money

So, you are stuck in the ATM booth and can’t figure out the problem with your card. You know that the cash is available and you are sure about the PIN you have put in. There are no details of technical issues at the machine.

And you are thinking ‘why is my debit card declined when i have money.’

Think of your joint account holder. Can the issue be somehow related to them?

Maybe, they have drained the account without informing you. Or they can also deactivate the card by reporting fictitious card theft in some cases.

In those cases, you have not much choice about getting the money right now. You can, however, talk to your joint account holder and have a serious talk about money.

Store Doesn’t Accept The Card

why is my debit card declined when i have money

These days, most stores accept debit card payments. Most accepted cards include MasterCard, Visa, and Maestro. While you shouldn’t worry about a debit card declined when you are carrying a card from these vendors, you shouldn’t be too sure about your transactions including American Express

The best method to deal with this situation is to know about the store’s accepted payment methods before filling the cart and act accordingly.

And if it’s at the check-out counter that you come to know about the limitation on card use, you can always switch to a cash payment or use another card.

International Purchase Option Is Not Activated

why is my debit card declined when i have money

This reason applies only to internet transactions. If you are using your card for international transactions, your bank may prevent you from doing so. Most banks require authorization from the client before international transactions.

If authorization is required, the transaction page will give you the reason that your card isn’t authorized to do international transactions.

In the wake of such an error, your solution is to contact the bank and ask them to authorize international payments for a definite time. You will have to tell them the time till this authorization should remain in place. You can ask for it to continue for an hour, a day, or a couple of days before it expires.

The best practice is to ask for an hour of access as it will limit the possibility of fraud on your card.

Take Away

You spent five precious minutes of your life waiting for your turn at the checkout counter and now you are standing there thinking why is my debit card declined when i have money?!!!!

Although frustrating, the question has a list of potential answers. The good news is that you can deal with the majority of these answers on the spot with the help of your phone.

But before you check any of these issues, confirm that your account keeps the amount you believe it does?

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