Credit card transactions can be declined for various reasons, each indicating a specific issue that might need attention either from the cardholder, the merchant, or the bank. Here's a comprehensive list of common decline reasons along with their definitions and potential actions to resolve them:

1. Decline (Generic)

Definition: A general decline message without specific details.

Action: The cardholder should contact their bank for more information.


2. Do Not Honor

Definition: The cardholder's bank is unwilling to accept the transaction. This is a general response that can be triggered by various issues.

Action: The cardholder should contact their bank to identify the reason and resolve the issue.


3. Duplicate Payment Found

Definition: The transaction appears to be a duplicate of a previous transaction.

Action: Verify whether the transaction has already been processed. If not, attempt the transaction again with a unique reference number.


4. Insufficient Funds

Definition: The account does not have enough funds to cover the transaction.

Action: Deposit or transfer sufficient funds into the account.


5. Exceeded Credit Limit

Definition: The transaction exceeds the cardholder’s credit limit.

Action: Pay down the balance or request a credit limit increase.


6. Expired Card

Definition: The card used has passed its expiration date.

Action: Use another card or request a new one from the bank.


7. Incorrect PIN

Definition: The entered PIN is incorrect.

Action: Retry with the correct PIN or reset it through the bank.


8. Card Not Activated

Definition: The card hasn’t been activated.

Action: Activate the card as per the bank’s instructions.


9. Suspected Fraud

Definition: The transaction is flagged as potentially fraudulent.

Action: Contact the bank to verify the transaction.


10. Blocked Card

Definition: The card is reported lost, stolen, or blocked.

Action: Contact the bank to resolve the issue.


11. Invalid Card Number

Definition: The entered card number is incorrect or invalid.

Action: Re-enter the card number correctly.


12. Processing Error

Definition: A technical error occurred during transaction processing.

Action: Retry the transaction or contact the bank/payment processor.


13. Restricted Card

Definition: The card is restricted from certain transactions.

Action: Check card terms or contact the bank.

14. Exceeded Frequency Limit

Definition: The allowed number of transactions in a period is exceeded.

Action: Wait before retrying or contact the bank.

15. Invalid Transaction Type

Definition: The transaction type is not supported for the card.

Action: Use a different transaction type or card.

16. Address Verification Failed

Definition: The billing address doesn't match the bank’s records.

Action: Verify and re-enter the correct address.

17. CVV Mismatch

Definition: The entered CVV does not match the card’s CVV.

Action: Re-enter the CVV. If issues persist, a new card may be needed.


Understanding the specific reasons for credit card transaction declines is crucial for both merchants and cardholders. It aids in identifying and resolving issues promptly, whether it involves verifying information, contacting the bank, or using an alternative payment method.

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