Why Was My Discover Credit Card Declined?

If your Discover card has been declined and you don't know why, you need to figure out what went wrong and how you can fix it if you want to access to your money again. There are a number of reasons your Discover card might have been declined, including suspected fraud, having a hold put on your account, not paying your bills and more.

If you have a Discover card that was declined during a recent transaction, you're probably eager to get the problem fixed. You should find out what the issue is as quickly as possible, so you can get started resolving it and begin using your card again. Below, find the most likely reasons for the rejection.

Insufficient Money or Credit

If your Discover card is a debit card, check your balance to see if you have enough money in your account. If your Discover card is a credit card, check to see if the purchase you attempted to make was more than your available credit.

Expired Card

You should also check your Discover card's expiration date. If it's expired, then any transactions you attempt to make will be declined. When this happens, check your mail to see if your bank has sent a replacement card. If a replacement isn't there already, one should be on its way; but you can always call your financial institution to double check.

Data Error in an Online Transaction

If your card was declined during an online transaction, it's possible you entered some information incorrectly. You may have even had the transaction auto-filled with incorrect information and just thoughtlessly clicked through. Errors like entering the wrong credit card verification number or the wrong billing address can cause your card to be declined.

Discover Suspects Theft or Fraud

Discover is always on the lookout for signs of theft and fraud. If your card was used well outside of the area you most frequently use it, Discover may think your card was stolen. If you recently tried to use your Discover card too far away from your usual neighborhoods, this might be the source of the problem. You need to contact Discover to verify that the suspicious transaction was actually made by you. To prevent this from happening in the future, tell Discover whenever you plan to travel.

Account Problems

Certain problems can cause Discover to shut off your card either temporarily or permanently. If you're too far behind on your Discover card payments, your card may be shut off until you catch up. If you violated one or more of Discover's terms of service, your card may have been shut off as a punishment. If you aren't aware of any violation, look over Discover's terms of service to see if you accidentally violated any of them.

A Merchant Put a Hold on Your Account

Some merchants, like car rental companies, will put a hold on your account in an amount that should cover the rental. It's essentially insurance that they can get the rental money when the bill is submitted. If the hold freezes most of the rest of the money in your account then your card could be declined.

Broken Card

The chip inside your card could have been damaged in a way that doesn't let card readers scan it properly. This damage might not be something you can see with the naked eye. It's always possible that your card was just damaged and will need to be replaced.

Contacting Discover

If you need further help addressing issues with your card, you can reach a Discover representative by phone, help forum or chat.

Why Did GetHuman Write "Why Was My Discover Credit Card Declined?"?

After thousands of Discover customers came to GetHuman in search of an answer to this problem (and many others), we decided it was time to publish instructions. So we put together Why Was My Discover Credit Card Declined? to try to help. It takes time to get through these steps according to other users, including time spent working through each step and contacting Discover if necessary. Best of luck and please let us know if you successfully resolve your issue with guidance from this page.

Why does GetHuman Write How-to Guides for Discover Problems?

GetHuman has been working for over 10 years on sourcing information about big organizations like Discover in order to help customers resolve customer service issues faster. We started with contact information and fastest ways to reach a human at big companies. Particularly ones with slow or complicated IVR or phone menu systems. Or companies that have self-serve help forums instead of a customer service department. From there, we realized that consumers still needed more detailed help solving the most common problems, so we expanded to this set of guides, which grows every day. And if you spot any issues with our Why Was My Discover Credit Card Declined? guide, please let us know by sending us feedback. We want to be as helpful as possible. If you appreciated this guide, please share it with your favorite people. Our free information and tools is powered by you, the customer. The more people that use it, the better it gets.


Asked a year ago
Updated a year ago
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