Posts may contain affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Answered: Why Is My Debit Card Being Declined?

Have you recently found yourself asking “Why is my debit card being declined?”.

While it may be very embarrassing when it happens in-store, it's good to know that bank declined transactions are common.

Even if you've got money in the bank you might still have your debit card declined.

In this post, we'll be discussing the things to check when you find that your debit card has been declined.

If this has happened to you, here's a number of reasons why that might be, and how you can quickly resolve the situation and get back to using your debit card for purchases both online and offline.

Insufficient Balance

The debit card you choose to use will be directly linked to a bank account. Before you can use your debit card you'll need to have funds in your bank account.

It's highly liked that the transaction will be declined if you have insufficient funds in your account to cover the cost of the purchase or the amount that you'd like to withdraw.

One way you can avoid your debit card from getting declined due to insufficient funds is to monitor your account with mobile banking.

Pretty much every bank service in the UK now offers a mobile banking application with additional features such as a push alert if you go below a certain amount in your balance.

Exceeding Withdrawal Limits

Debit cards come with maximum withdrawal limits. These limits depend on the type of your account.

Once you've reached your daily limits, you'll be unable to withdraw cash until the following day – however, you should be able to use your card for online and in-store transactions as normal.

To avoid exceeding your daily withdrawal limit, you should familiarise yourself with your bank's withdrawal limits.

Another way to avoid this is by informing your bank ahead before you will go beyond your daily limits.

Most banks will gladly extend your withdrawal limits, or provide you with information on how to withdraw the amount of money you need.

Making Unusual Transactions

Your debit card may be declined when your bank suspects a fraudulent transaction.

In the bid to protect you from being a victim of fraud, your bank can place your account on hold.  

Doing this will bar you from using your debit card to purchase or withdraw.

Transactions that are often flagged as unusual to banks are; a large volume of transactions or transactions that are made from a new location.   

Every bank has its fraud protection features.

To avoid your bank placing your account on hold I recommend contacting your bank prior to making a significant purchase and informing them prior to any international travel.

Inputting The Wrong PIN Multiple Times 

After you've been given your debit card, you will be advised to set up a personal identification number (PIN).

This PIN will safeguard others from using your debit card and is required for every transaction (except contactless or online payments)

If you input the wrong password multiple times, your debit card may be declined and blocked. This is a safety measure banks use to bar other people from guessing your debit card password.   

Whenever you're setting up your debit card PIN, you should choose a number combination that's both personal, and easy for you to remember.

If you've input an incorrect PIN multiple times and your debit card is declined, you should try and contact your bank to unblock your account.

Trying To Use An Expired Debit Card

Debit cards come with expiry dates. After your debit card expires, it will become invalid. Most of the time, banks will issue a new card to you before the one you're using expires.

However, if they do not, you will need to get another as you can make withdrawals or purchases with an expired debit card.  

Mismatch Of Information

Debit card transactions can often be declined online due to a mismatch of information.

This is one of many banks many safety percussions. So be sure that your billing details and banking details match.

If your transaction still keeps getting declined or if you need to update your information then you should contact your bank.  

Debit Card Deactivation 

A popular new and fantastic feature, in my opinion, is the ability to deactivate your card if it becomes lost or you suspect it may have been stolen.

Not all banks offer this right now, so be sure to check with your bank if they do and how you access the details.

However, once you've deactivated your card you'll need to reactivate it before you can use it again.

Often following the same or similar method that you used to deactivate it. Otherwise, it simply won't work.


That concludes my guide on what to do if you're debit card is declined.

As always, if you know of ways in which your card may be declined that I've not covered that you believe to be useful to others then please share them in the comments below.

1 thought on “Answered: Why Is My Debit Card Being Declined?”

  1. I work in retail, and sometimes the pin machine just plays up, so it’s always worth giving it another try or using your pin instead of contactless. Sometimes I think there might be a connection error and sometimes I think the customer has used contactless too many times and the bank wants them to use their pin just to make sure it’s still them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.