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Reasons for card declines

  • Updated

If your card doesn’t work for a purchase, Neo will send you an email with the reason for the decline and what you can do to make your card work. 

Here are some common reasons why your card might have declined based on how you made your transaction:

  • In-store: Transactions made in person are commonly declined because the tap limit ($250) was exceeded or the PIN was incorrect.
  • Online: Transactions made online are mostly declined because the card information (card number, CVC, and expiry date) are incorrect. Online purchases may require a purchase authentication code that will be sent to your email or phone. 
  • ATM withdrawals: ATM transactions may be declined because the cash withdrawal exceeded the limit or the PIN was incorrect.

When a transaction declines, you’ll receive an email from Neo with the reason for the decline. Finding this email can help resolve the issue.

Reasons why cards decline

To resolve a declined transaction, it is helpful to identify the reasons for the decline and address them accordingly. Check your ‌email from Neo with more details about why your card declined. 

Tap limit

Tap is not available for purchases over $250. To make purchases over $250, insert your card and use your 4-digit PIN. 

Card not activated

If you’re using your physical card for the first time, make sure it’s activated. You can activate your physical card online. 

Credit limit exceeded or insufficient funds  

You may have reached your credit limit, daily purchase limit, or cash withdrawal limit. If you’re using a Neo Money™ card, confirm you have sufficient funds in your Neo Money™ account for the purchase. Check the limits on your account by logging in on the Neo app or website.

The daily cash withdrawal limit is $500. There is no way to adjust this limit for cash withdrawals. 

You have outstanding payments

Your credit card may be locked if you have outstanding payments to your credit account. After you catch up on your outstanding payments, your card will be unlocked and will work again for purchases. 

Here’s how to make a payment to your credit account

Transaction category not supported

Transactions linked to gambling, crypto, or cash transfers are blocked on all cards. Purchases made in these categories will be declined.

Information doesn’t match

When entering your card number for online purchases, ensure these details are accurate:

  • Card number
  • CVC number
  • Expiry date
  • Address and postal code

For your online purchase to go through, the information entered should match the information on your Neo account.

If your purchase requires a one-time purchase authentication code, make sure this code is entered correctly. This code is required for larger online purchases, and the on-time code will be sent to your phone or email by Mastercard.

Frozen card

Your transactions will decline when your card is frozen. To complete your purchase, make sure your card is unfrozen. You can freeze or unfreeze your card from the Neo app or website.

Submitted a request for a replacement card 

If you requested a replacement card, your old card will be deactivated as soon as the request is made. You can view your virtual card for your new card details and use that card information for purchases. 

Transaction type disabled

You can disable or enable your card’s online purchases, ATM cash withdrawals, or tap, chip, and swipe transactions. If you’ve disabled a type of transaction on your account, this can cause a decline.  

You can manage your card’s transaction settings on the Neo app or website.

Transactions outside of Canada

You can use your card internationally, but there are countries where your card won’t work. Learn more about using your card while travelling.

If you’re making an online purchase from a merchant that is located in a blocked country, then your purchase will be declined. 

Terminal problem or system issue

If there is an issue with the terminal or system connection, then your purchase may be declined. Try your transaction again using a different terminal or a different method (like tap, swipe, or with the chip and PIN). 

If you can’t find the reason for your card decline, chat with us and we can look into the transaction for you.

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