What Happens When a Credit Card Gets Blocked?
This article tells you about blocks in credit cards, what happens and how you can unblock a credit card.
Imagine you are out on a date – it’s a perfect evening and you’re date has been all things perfect, then when you call the waiter for the cheque your cards suddenly refuse to corporate. That’s surely not going to get you are the second date!
Picture another situation – you’re out shopping grocery for the month on a weekend, you have everything you might need and after waiting in line for a good 15 minutes, as the person behind the counter rings up your items and you forward your card to pay, it refuses to work.
Well, that’s going to be a double whammy – a weekend spoilt and in the end, you didn’t even get the groceries! Have you ever been in such embarrassing places? If you luckily haven’t, we can assure you it’s not a nice situation to be at!
Keeping aside the utter horror of embarrassment, one’s got to ask the question – what’s got the card to stop in the first place? Well, there can be many possibilities. One can be that your card has been demagnetized and you’d need a new one to the quickest to ensure safe and easy payments in the future.
The other and most common one that we usually overlook is that your credit card might have been blocked. Well, there is no reason to get flustered, you just need to be a bit more informed and a little more aware.
During block If you have a low balance in your account or you are close to your credit limit, then you will not be able to do further payments with your credit card. Additional Payments cannot be done with a blocked card and the credit card becomes no use after getting blocked.
But there’s a lot more to know about blockage in credit cards so stay tuned!
Before we dive more into the topic, let’s find out how exactly does is get blocked in the first place?
1. How Do Credit Cards Get Blocked?
There can be several reasons for your card getting declined while you are trying to make a payment. One could be that your company can be suspecting some fraudulent activity like unusual spending and to avoid that, your card could be blocked.
Another reason could be that you might be reaching your credit limit. If you are close to or have crossed your card limit, then there are chances that your credit card might be failing to make payments.
So, when you use a credit card to, say check into a hotel or even rent a car, the concerned company contacts your credit card issuer with an estimate of your bill, this reduces the amount available in your account.
Understand it this way – you plan to say at the “X Hotel” for four days during your vacation. The hotel charges 100 bucks for a night, the hotel will put a hold on a least 400 bucks and maybe even more for room service, to the blocked amount.
Now, if you decide to make your final bill payment with the same card that you used during check-in, your final charge will replace the block within a day or two, tops. However, if you decide to pay your bill with cash or a different card, then the previous block may last up to 15 days after you’ve checked.
This is because the credit card issuing company doesn’t know that you have paid with another mode of payment.
2. How Do I Check If My Credit Card is Blocked or Not?
The first way to check this is while you are making a payment. If your card is blocked or inactive, it is likely to be declined. To save yourself from embarrassment, don’t forget to carry an extra card while you are at it.
Another and easier way to check this is by simply calling the customer care service of your credit card lender. Just call up the number provided at the back of your card and place your inquiry to know the status of your card – it’s easier and more convenient.
3. How to Unblock a Credit Card?
Whatever be the reason for the card block, the first and the foremost thing you got to do to unblock your credit card is call up your issuer. If you find out that your credit card has been blocked because of the company suspecting some fraudulent activity like unusual purchases, then you can get them to reactivate your card right away by informing them that the purchase was by you.
If the reason for your card block is because your payment is overdue, the easy and obvious solution is to make the payment at the earliest and keep your account up to date. This way the issuer will unblock your card and you’d be able to use it freely.
Another reason for the card block is that you might have reached your credit limit. In such cases, you can get in touch with your issuing company and ask them to increase the limit so you can continue using your card easily. This will be an easier task if you make sure your track record with the credit card company is solid.
4. How To Prevent Getting Your Credit Card Blocked?
Now, this is the most important question – how to avoid blocking the credit card, to begin with? While you are checking into a hotel or booking a rental car or any other service, ask them if the company is blocking your card or not.
Also, ask them the amount they are going to be blocking, how the amount is determined, and how long the block lasts. These questions will give you a fair idea of what lies ahead of you.
Another easier way to avoid credit card block is by paying the bill with the same credit card that you used at the beginning of the transaction. However, if you do decide to pay with another card or cash, let the person behind the counter know that you’re using a different form of payment, and ask them to remove the prior block, made at the beginning of the transaction, immediately.
4. How Long Does a Credit Card Block Last?
On Average, a credit card block can last for 15-16 days. While the time may increase or decrease depending on how quickly you take action.
Lastly, always ask your credit card issuer if they allow card blocks, how long blocks last, and what types of businesses they allow blocks from. This was you’d be better at being able to prevent your credit card from being blocked.