We’ve all been there – that awkward moment when the person at the register says your card has been declined, and you aimlessly flip through your wallet as though that will magically produce a fix.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having your card declined when you think it shouldn’t have been, and depending on the where and when this occurs, it could be quite a serious situation.
While an expired card, entering the wrong PIN or simply not having available funds are some of the most common reasons for cards to be declined, we’ve outlined a few other reasons that might catch you out.
Not surprisingly, all of the below are instances where a bank’s fraud protection system may trigger a suspicious transaction flag.
Fraud protection is in place to help banks recognise unusual activity on customer accounts and protect them from fraudulent transactions.
Although this is probably the more obvious reason, a big purchase – whether it be one you’ve just made successfully or one you’re in the process of making – can often catch you (or the banks) by surprise. If you make a purchase that is significantly higher than your usual average purchases , your bank may temporarily suspend or freeze your account until the purchase can be verified. Provided you’re not prone to large impulse buys, and you’re able to commit to an expensive transaction ahead of time, it’s definitely worth letting your bank know before you make an unusually large purchase – especially if you’re travelling!
Speaking of travelling, using your card overseas and making international purchases is one of the quickest way to raise red flags with your bank. Travelling internationally is something you should always notify your bank about, even if you aren’t planning on using your card. Any activity (or inactivity) could cause your bank to take pre-emptive anti-fraud measures and suspend your account.
Company Based Overseas
Overseas travel is not the only international payment issue that could cause your card to be declined. Making a purchase from a company with accounts based overseas is the same as making a purchase in another country and could result in your purchase being flagged as a suspicious transaction. If you’re shopping online, be aware of the potential issue of purchasing from a new or unfamiliar website, and consider using transaction security programs like Verified by Visa or PayPal where possible.
Funds on Hold
One other possible reason for a declined card that often catches vacationers unawares is funds being placed on hold by a third party. Car and other rental agencies, and accommodation providers will often place a temporary hold on credit card funds as collateral for any potential damage that may be incurred during your use of their property. This is not something you can avoid if you use these services, but it is definitely something you should consider beforehand. It can take up to a month for funds to be released, and if this takes you to your credit limit, your card may be declined until you have available funds.
If you suspect fraudulent activity on your Virgin Money credit card, get in touch with our team as soon as possible on 13 37 39.
If you want to explore your credit card options, compare our range of Virgin Money Credit Cards today to see if they meet your needs.