Ultimate List Of Credit Card Decline Codes (2023 Update)

Article Summary:

Whether it be insufficient funds in the account, details entered incorrectly, or technical issues, most of us have seen a credit card decline code. Although nobody wants to see their credit card declined, credit card error codes offer useful clues to help merchants and customers make sense of what went wrong with the transaction.

Every shopper’s nightmare is having their card declined at checkout. It’s embarrassing and frustrating — especially if you don’t know why it happened. In reality, there are dozens of reasons why a transaction can be declined — and credit card decline codes that appear on the payment processor can give us the answers.

In this article, we’ll explain what these card decline codes mean so you can better understand what went wrong at checkout and resolve the issue.

What is a credit card decline code?

A credit card decline code is an industry-recognized two-digit code assigned to each declined credit card transaction. This code helps merchants and customers alike determine the reason behind the declined transaction, such as lack of funds or suspicious activity on the account.

You’ll generally see this two-digit code appear on the merchant’s payment processor or your screen if you’re online shopping.

IMPORTANT! Keep in mind that a credit card decline code could be the result of the customer’s credit card, the customer’s issuing bank or credit union, or the merchant’s terminal. If you see an error code pop up, look up what it means first before assuming blame.

List of credit card decline codes

Credit card decline codes can be confusing. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all credit card decline codes so you can quickly understand what each of them means.

CodeWhat it meansDescription
01Refer to issuerYour issuing bank (Visa, Discovery, Mastercard, American Express) declined the transaction without a specific reason.
02Refer to issuer (special condition)Similar to 01, 02 also means that your card’s issuing bank or institution prevented the transaction. This could often happen when you’ve been traveling or you made a larger-than-usual purchase.
04Hold-call or pick up cardYour issuing institution blocked the transaction and tells the merchant to seize the card. This situation typically occurs when the card was reported as lost or stolen.
05Do not honorThe financial institution blocked the transaction and is asking the merchant not to accept the credit card as a valid form of payment. In this case, you’d have to use an alternate payment method to complete the transaction.
06Other errorThere was an unidentified error with the issuing institution that caused the transaction not to go through.
07Pick up the card, special condition (fraudulent)The institution blocked the transaction because the credit card or the bank account has been flagged as fraudulent.
10Partial approvalThe financial institution only accepted part of the payment and declined the rest. Partial approvals typically happen when you’ve exceeded your credit limit.
12Invalid transactionInvalid transactions are usually due to issues on the merchant’s side. For example, the merchant may have attempted to refund a refund or entered non-numerical symbols instead of dollar amounts in the payment system.
13Invalid amountThe amount entered for the transaction was invalid. For example, you can’t enter a negative amount or non-numerical symbols.
14Invalid card numberThe payment processor couldn’t find the related account because the credit card number is invalid.
15No such issuerThis credit card decline code is similar to 14 but more specific. It means that the first digit (which identifies the card’s issuing bank) was entered incorrectly. Here’s the first number of the four major credit card networks in the United States:
• American Express: 3
• Discover: 6
• Mastercard: 5
• Visa: 4
19Re-enterAn unknown error occurred, and you should restart the transaction.
28File is temporarily unavailableThere was an issue during the authorization process of the transaction.
41Lost card, pick upThe card issuer declined the transaction because the card’s original owner has reported the card as lost.
43Stolen card, pick up (fraud account)The card issuer declined the transaction because the card’s original owner has reported the card as stolen.
51Insufficient fundsYou’ve exceeded your credit limit or the pending transaction could put your card over the limit.
54Expired cardThe expiration date has already passed, which means the credit card is no longer valid.
57Transaction not permitted – CardThe credit card isn’t properly configured for the transaction you’re attempting to make. This code can show up when you try to transfer funds to a foreign merchant account.
58Transaction not permitted – TerminalThe merchant processing account is not properly configured to process the transaction.
62Invalid service code, restrictedSome merchants don’t support certain card issuers like American Express or Discover cards due to high chargeback rates. If you attempt to purchase an item using an unaccepted card, you may see this decline code.
63Security violationThe three- or four-digit CVV was entered incorrectly or wasn’t read properly by the credit card reader.
65Activity limit exceededYou’ve exceeded your credit card limit or hit the maximum number of transactions for a specific period of time.
85 or 00Issuer system unavailableThere’s a temporary communication error between the merchant and the issuing bank.
91The issuer or switch is unavailableThe payment processor was unable to complete the payment authorization due to a temporary communication error.
92Unable to route transactionThe payment terminal failed to reach the issuing bank to process the transaction.
93Violation, cannot completeThe issuing bank has declined the transaction because there has been a legal violation on your part.
96System errorThe payment processor is experiencing a temporary system malfunction.
R0 or R1The customer requested a stop of specific recurring paymentThese codes pop up when the merchant tries to process a recurring payment that you’ve already asked to cancel.
CVCard type verification errorThe card reader had problems verifying the credit card, typically because of issues with the microchip or magnet strip.
W1, W2, W9Error connecting to bankThis error code generally occurs due to a power or service outage.

What to do if your credit card is declined

If your credit card transaction was declined when you’re online shopping or at the mall, don’t worry. Here’s what you should do.

First, look for the decline code. This will offer more information about why the card was declined and give cues as to how you can fix the problem quickly. If necessary, contact your bank or credit card company directly. They can help you fix the issue, whether it’s because your account is overdrawn or there has been suspected fraudulent activity.

And if your credit card was declined due to an error with the merchant’s system, try switching payment methods or attempt the transaction later when things have been sorted out.

Pro Tip

It can be disheartening if your credit card is declined due to suspected fraud. To protect yourself from future attempts of fraud, exercise caution at all times. Take the time to review and keep track of monthly spending. Also, be diligent when using unfamiliar websites when making online payments. For additional protection, consider using a credit card with fraud liability and identity theft protection.

What are the red flags for credit cards?

Before choosing a credit card, watch out for these red flags that could cause you major headaches down the road:

  1. Sky-high interest rates. Interest rates that are unreasonably high compared to other cards in the market can become a major source of financial strain and cause you to struggle with debt repayments.
  2. Excessive fees. Credit cards that have high excessive fees could quickly become expensive. With this in mind, make sure to read the fine print and understand all charges involved.
  3. Limited credit reporting. Make sure your card issuer reports to at least one of the major credit bureaus so that responsible use can boost your credit score.
  4. Low credit limits. Low credit limits may affect your credit utilization ratio, which could put a damper on any positive progress you’ve made building your score.

FAQs

Are credit card decline codes universal?

Yes, credit card declined codes are universal and will not differ between point of sale (POS) systems. This way, both store clerks and customers alike can easily determine what went wrong if a payment is declined.

What are credit card response codes?

“Credit card response codes” is another phrase for credit card decline codes.

Why does my card keep declining even though I have money on it?

Here are some reasons why your debit card was declined even though you have enough money in your account:

  • You’ve exceeded your daily limit.
  • You entered the incorrect PIN.
  • Your card has expired.
  • There have been suspicious activities on your account.

Though your credit card won’t be declined due to insufficient funds, here are some of the most common reasons why a payment might not be going through:

  • You’ve reached your credit limit.
  • The purchase was flagged as fraudulent.
  • You’ve inputted the incorrect card number.
  • You’re using an expired card.
  • Your credit card was closed due to inactivity.

What is credit card redlining?

Credit card redlining is an illegal and discriminatory practice where financial institutions set credit limits on revolving accounts based in part on the racial composition of the borrower. Rather than assessing creditworthiness on an individual basis, unethical institutions use financial redlining to deny people of certain races and communities access to credit cards and other types of financial products.

Key Takeaways

  • A credit card decline code is assigned to a declined credit card transaction and helps merchants and customers alike recognize and fix the issue.
  • Declined credit card transactions can happen due to insufficient funds, technical errors with the payment processor, or entering the wrong card information.
  • If your credit card transaction was declined, use the decline code to figure out what the issue was. If necessary, contact the issuing institution to resolve the problem.

Monitor your spending with the right credit card

Always pay attention to your current credit card balance so you won’t accidentally exceed your credit limit and get declined at checkout. Remember, credit utilization is a key factor that affects your credit score. Ideally, you’d want to keep it under 30%.

If you’re looking to apply for a new credit card to build your credit, take the time to compare and contrast a few options. There are plenty of excellent personal credit cards on the market that offer features like rewards points, cash back, no annual fee charges, and more.

View Article Sources
  1. Credit Card Redlining Revisited — Federal Reserve Board
  2. When a Company Declines Your Credit or Debit Card — Federal Trade Commission
  3. Why Is My Debit Card Declined When I Have Money? — SuperMoney
  4. My Debit Card Chip Is Not Working — What To Do? — SuperMoney
  5. How to Get an Apple Card Credit Limit Increase (2022 Update) — SuperMoney
  6. How to Get Money Off a Debit Card Without a PIN — SuperMoney
  7. Can You Track a Debit Card? — SuperMoney
  8. Where Is the Zip Code on a Debit Card? — SuperMoney
  9. I Got A Double Charge On A Debit Card – What Do I Do? — SuperMoney
  10. Do Credit Cards Have Pins? — SuperMoney
  11. Best Egg Credit Card — SuperMoney
  12. Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® — SuperMoney
  13. Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Card — SuperMoney