When your credit card issuer suspects fraudulent activity on your credit card, it triggers a red flag to deny the charge. Generally, it is a great protection. But if you are making the purchase and not a thief, it can be frustrating. Some purchase patterns that could cause your purchase to be denied include:
- A purchase for a small dollar amount, followed by a large purchase. Credit card thieves sometimes make a small dollar “test purchase” followed by big ticket items, so this raises a red flag.
- Multiple purchases back-to-back in a short span of time.
- Making purchases in a new city, in a different part of town, or in stores where you do not normally shop.
Though inconvenient, these protections are to keep you from being a victim of fraud. Take these steps to prevent or deal with a credit card purchase being denied by mistake:
- Inform your credit card company if you will be using your card out of town (especially internationally).
- Update your billing address if you move, so that the company recognizes the new pattern of purchases as a new normal.
- Make sure the company has your cell phone number so that it can contact you faster to verify or authorize a purchase.
- Contact your credit company immediately if your purchase is denied.
For more information go to http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/consumer-action-handbook.pdf
- Ask students if their credit card was ever denied in error.
- If the transaction was denied, how did they resolve the problem.
- What are a few reasons that your credit card purchase might be denied?
- What can you do to avoid such an embarrassment at the check-out counter?