Indigo Card Declined: Troubleshooting Tips

Having your credit or debit card declined at the checkout counter is one of the most embarrassing and inconvenient things that can happen during a purchase. But it happens to everyone at some point! Declined credit card transactions are common, usually due to a simple issue that can be easily resolved by contacting your bank.

The key is to stay calm and handle the situation gracefully if your Indigo card is rejected for any reason. Don’t panic, even though it can be mortifying. Follow some quick steps to get your card working again or to provide an alternate form of payment. With the right approach, you can overcome the declined card in no time and be on your way.

Common Reasons an Indigo Card May Get Declined

There are a variety of reasons why your Indigo card may get declined when you attempt to make a purchase, including:

  • Insufficient funds – The most common reason for declined transactions is not having enough money in your account to cover the amount of the purchase. This can happen if you’ve forgotten to make a deposit recently, transferred too much to another account, or simply overspent your available balance.
  • Suspected fraud – If you’re trying to make a large, unusual purchase that looks out of character for your typical spending, the bank may block the transaction due to suspected fraud. This is their way of protecting you. Making purchases while travelling abroad can also sometimes trigger a fraud alert.
  • Expired card – Your credit or debit card naturally expires after a certain period, usually 2-4 years. The expiration date is printed on the front of the card. A card past this date needs to be renewed before it can be used for transactions again.
  • Damaged card – If your actual credit card is damaged, worn out, or has a faulty chip or magnetic strip, retailers may not be able to process payments when you try to swipe or insert it. This can lead to declined transactions.
  • Incorrect information – Something as simple as entering an incorrect CVV or transposing numbers in the cardholder name, number, or expiration date can lead to it being declined.
  • Exceeding limits – Most credit cards have preset spending limits when you first open the account. Trying to make a large purchase that exceeds your established limit could trigger a decline.
  • Mistaken card – Having multiple credit cards in your wallet could mean accidentally grabbing the wrong one when it’s time to pay. If you swipe an invalid card, expire, or have no funds, it will be declined.
  • Forgotten payments – For credit cards, not making at least the minimum payment by the due date can result in a declined card until you pay your outstanding balance. The same goes for debit cards if you overdraw your account and don’t bring it current.
  • Over-limit fees – Exceeding your credit limit can incur over-limit fees and cause your card to be declined until fees are paid and your balance is lowered under the limit.
  • Holds from other transactions – If another transaction was authorized but has not been officially posted yet, holds from that pending activity could temporarily make funds unavailable leading to a declined card. For example, getting gas at the pump authorizes $100 initially even if you only pump $40 worth.
  • Issues on account – Sometimes there are problems with the card account itself, such as being past due, having a hold from the bank’s fraud department, being reported lost or stolen, or being closed altogether. Any of these situations can lead to declined transactions.

As you can see, Indigo card declines can happen due to technology errors, account problems, suspicion of unauthorized use, and just simple oversight on your part as the cardholder. But there’s no need to fear a declined card. Just stay calm and take the appropriate action to rectify the problem.

How to Handle the Situation Gracefully

When your Indigo card gets rejected, how you handle the awkward situation makes all the difference. Follow these tips:

  • Stay calm and polite – Getting visibly angry or upset only makes a declining card more embarrassing. Politely ask if you can swipe the card again or if another form of payment might work.
  • Provide an alternate payment method – Offer another credit/debit card or payment app on your phone to complete the transaction if re-swiping doesn’t work. In dire situations where no electronic payments go through, using cash or check can resolve it.
  • Ask the clerk to hold your items – If you need to step away to call your bank or get cash from an ATM, request that the sales clerk keep your items at the register until you return and pay. Most will happily oblige.
  • Get manager assistance – If the clerk can’t seem to resolve the decline issue, ask to speak to a supervisor or manager to see if they have any other options for processing the payment.
  • Stay to one side – Don’t hold up the checkout line dealing with a declined card. Step to the side or away from other customers whenever possible.
  • Remain gracious – Being sincere, apologizing for the trouble, and thanking staff for their help can go a long way, even if you feel embarrassed. Kill them with kindness!
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With the right polite, patient, and cool-headed approach, you can resolve a declined Indigo card without further humiliation. The key is staying composed and avoiding taking your frustrations out on retail clerks who are just doing their job.

Call Your Bank Immediately

After a declined transaction, the first thing you should do is call the number on the back of your Indigo card and speak to customer service about why it was rejected. Here are some things the bank can help with:

  • Confirm if they declined the charge or if it was the retailer
  • Review your account for any holds, freezes, or activity that would cause a decline
  • Check when your next payment is due or when the card expires
  • Look for pending transactions that could be temporarily holding funds
  • Increase your credit limit if you’re consistently bumping up against it
  • Take fraud prevention steps if your card was compromised
  • Immediately overnight a new card if yours is damaged or expired
  • Approve a large transaction if you verified available funds

Calling as soon as your card is declined gives the bank a chance to rectify issues on the spot, approve a transaction, or get to the bottom of any suspected fraud. Be ready with details about the transaction being attempted, location, and merchant name.

Many times the bank can fix the problem within minutes during the call and payment will go through upon trying again. Don’t leave the register until speaking to your card issuer first. They should be able to pinpoint the reason for the decline.

Troubleshoot Card and Account Issues

If the bank doesn’t identify an obvious reason for your Indigo card being declined, some self-troubleshooting may be needed. Here are things to double-check on your end:

Verify your information: Log into your account and make sure all your personal details, card numbers, and expiration dates are correct in the system. An error like a wrong security code or transposed account number can lead to instant declines.

Check your balances and credit limit: Make sure you have available funds and are not over your established limit, which varies by account. Even being a few dollars over the limit could trigger a decline. See if unused credit on other cards can be transferred temporarily.

Review recent transactions: Scan your recent purchases to see if anything looks fraudulent or unauthorized. Dispute unknown charges which can tie up available credit.

Monitor expiration: Check if the card is past its printed expiration date and needs to be renewed. Most issuers will mail a new card before expiration.

Inspect the card: If you still have possession of the declined card, check it visually for damage, cracks, wear and tear or anything that could prevent scanning and processing.

Update contact info: Make sure your account contact information is current in case the bank needs to reach you about account issues that could lead to declines.

Notify of travel: If travelling domestically or abroad, contact the bank beforehand to avoid blocks on unfamiliar purchase locations.

Doing some self-checks on the card and account can reveal potential problems leading to rejection that you can then proactively address with the card issuer. Don’t assume declines are the bank or retailer’s fault without investigating first.

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Strategize to Prevent Future Declines

While occasional declines happen to everyone, steps can be taken to minimize how often your Indigo card gets rejected in the future:

  • Only make purchases within your available credit limit
  • Pay at least the minimum monthly payment by the due date
  • Set up account alerts to be notified if your balance is getting high
  • Don’t max out cards, maintain low card utilization
  • Request a higher credit limit if eligible
  • Sign up for transaction monitoring to catch unauthorized purchases
  • Check statements routinely for errors or fraudulent activity
  • Avoid using debit cards at the pump since gas stations put holds
  • Use credit instead of debit for higher daily spending limits
  • Keep card information current and renew cards before they expire
  • Carry a backup form of payment like a second credit card or cash
  • Know in advance what large recurring payments are coming due
  • Communicate upcoming big purchases to the bank beforehand

A little planning and responsible credit card habits can minimize the frustration of having your Indigo card rejected at checkout. Designate one card for everyday purchases and another with a higher limit for big-ticket items.

What To Do If Your Card Keeps Getting Declined

Having an Indigo card declined once can be chalked up to bad luck. But if it is declined repeatedly both in-store and online, that indicates a deeper issue needing investigation. Here is the action plan if your card keeps getting rejected:

Contact customer service – Inform the bank of the recurring declines and find out if there is a hold, freeze or closure on the card. See if old cards have been compromised and need replacing.

Review account standing – Make sure the account itself is in good standing. Avoid maxed credit limits, past due amounts, overdrafts in checking, or other dings to your account status whenever possible.

Check credit reports – Declined cards can mean your credit score has dropped, making issuers leery about approving purchases. Order free reports and check for errors negatively impacting your score.

Change payment date – If the payment due date causes you to consistently miss making payments on time, request that the bank move it to better align with your pay schedule.

Submit dispute – If you notice unauthorized recurring charges on your statement, submit a fraud dispute to recover lost funds faster.

Set up alerts – Many banks allow you to customize notifications for account balance thresholds, large transactions, international use and other triggers that can prevent surprise declines.

Increase credit limit – Ask for a higher spending cap if you keep brushing up against your current one. Having room between your limit and monthly spending helps avoid declines.

Apply for a new account – After improving your credit, see if you qualify for a fresh credit card with better terms, rewards and more protective features than one causing repeated declines.

Persistently dealing with denied transactions is a red flag of larger issues impeding card usage. Work proactively with your issuing bank to uncover what factors lead to repeated declines and remedy those account problems for smoother purchasing.

When to Use a Debit Card vs a Credit Card

To minimize declined transactions, it helps to use your debit and credit cards strategically based on their inherent features:

Use credit for:

  • Large purchases – Credit has higher limits
  • Online shopping – Added fraud protections
  • Transactions needing dispute resolution – Can challenge fraudulent credit charges
  • Renting vehicles/hotel rooms – No holds that reduce available funds

Use debit for:

  • Small, everyday purchases
  • In-store shopping – Avoid providing credit card numbers online
  • Controlling overspending – Debit limits you to your account balance
  • ATM withdrawals and transfers – Direct access to checking funds
  • At your bank – May have lower fees

Other advantages to credit cards:

  • Rewards points and cashback on spending
  • Ability to carry a balance and pay over time
  • Improves credit profile with responsible use
  • Provides detailed monthly statements
  • Offers extended warranties, price protection, rental coverage
  • Allows chargebacks on disputed purchases

Other advantages of debit cards:

  • Withdraws directly from a checking account
  • No interest, annual fees or late charges
  • Lets you only spend what’s in your account
  • Avoid taking on debt or overspending
  • Simple to monitor transactions via online banking
  • Can be used anonymously for purchases
  • Often has daily spending or withdrawal limits
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As you can see, debit cards and credit cards each have their advantages and preferred use cases. Get familiar with the unique features and limitations of both, and use debit or credit strategically based on the specifics of each purchase. Combining them wisely helps avoid the hassle of declined transactions.

FAQs About Dealing With Declined Cards

Can a merchant charge me extra fees if my card gets declined?

In most cases, merchants are not allowed to charge customers additional fees specifically for having a declined credit or debit card transaction. However, they can charge standard return fees if you need to come back and exchange an item you could not originally purchase due to the decline.

Do banks charge fees for declined purchases?

Banks and credit card companies typically do not charge fees for declined transactions. The decline is their way of preventing fraud or overdrafts on your account. Fees are more commonly assessed for late payments, over-limit amounts, and cash advances.

How does a bank decide to decline a transaction?

Banks use sophisticated algorithms and analysis to determine in real-time whether to approve or decline transactions. Things assessed include your account history, available balance and credit, suspected fraud, card validity, creditworthiness, merchant reputation, and other data sources.

Can a merchant ban me if my card keeps getting declined?

If your card gets frequently declined at the same merchant, they have the right to refuse service and ban you from making further purchases. This usually only occurs in cases of repeated suspicious declines or suspected fraud though, not isolated incidents.

Do credit card declines hurt your credit score?

Hard declines directly from issuers don’t negatively impact your credit score or show up on credit reports. But if a merchant runs your card as a charge card transaction, the decline may get reported to bureaus as bad debt which can slightly ding your credit.

What should I do if my card gets declined while travelling?

Call your bank to notify them of your travel dates and locations to prevent false fraud alarms that lead to declines. Also, carry a secondary credit card from a different issuer in case your primary card fails, ensuring you have backup payment options. Withdraw emergency cash as a last resort.

Final Tips for Handling Indigo Card Declines

Having your credit or debit card declined can be a disconcerting experience. However, simply stay calm, take proactive steps to identify the reasons why, and work on resolving whatever issue triggered the rejection. With the right approach, you can get declined transactions figured out in no time and be back to seamless spending.

Here are some final tips for handling Indigo card declines smoothly:

  • Don’t panic or get angry if your card is rejected. It happens!
  • Be discreet and step aside to deal with it rather than holding up lines.
  • Try re-swiping the card slowly and double-check the account information entered.
  • Offer another form of payment if available. Or request items be held while resolving.
  • Contact your bank ASAP to validate the information and check your account status.
  • Troubleshoot potential causes like low funds, expired cards, exceeds credit limits.
  • Monitor your statements routinely to stay on top of payments and fraudulent charges.
  • Carry a secondary card from a different issuer when travelling or making big purchases.
  • Ask the bank for higher limits if you keep bumping up against your spending cap.
  • Only use debit cards for small amounts to avoid holds that block available funds.
  • Sign up for account alerts to stay informed of issues that may cause declines.
  • Maintain good credit and responsibly manage your accounts to lower the risk of rejections.

Staying proactive and informed goes a long way in minimizing embarrassing moments at the register. But take a deep breath and know a declined card can be quickly fixed when handled the right way. Just stay calm, be polite, and you’ll be spending smoothly once again in no time!

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