28.06.2023 Universepay

Decoding The Most Common Credit Card Decline Codes

Have you ever experienced the frustration of a credit card decline while making a purchase? These declines are usually accompanied by specific error codes, which provide valuable insights into why the transaction was unsuccessful. In this article, we will delve into the most common credit card decline codes, decipher their meanings, and explore possible solutions to overcome these issues.

What do credit card decline codes mean?

Credit card decline codes are numerical codes that payment processors assign to explain why a transaction has been canceled. When you try to make a purchase, your credit card details go through a verification process, and if there is an issue, the transaction is declined. Each decline code corresponds to a specific reason, indicating the grounds for the decline.

The most common credit card decline codes:

Code: 05: Do not honor

This decline code suggests that the card issuing bank has refused the authorization request due to detection of a potentially fraudulent or suspicious transaction.

Code 14: Invalid Card Number

The following decline code typically signifies an error with the entered card number. It may indicate that the card number is incorrect, invalid, has been closed, or doesn’t match the card’s issuer.

Code 41: Lost card, pick up

A transaction is declined because a cardholder reported a stolen card and requested to stop authorizing operations on his credit card.

Code 43: Stolen Card, Pick Up

It means that the card being used for the transaction has been reported as stolen, which serves as a warning to the merchant that the card may be in unauthorized hands.

Code 51: Insufficient Funds

It is one of the most frequent reasons for a declined transaction, which indicates that the cardholder’s account does not have enough funds or credit limit to cover the transaction amount.

Code 54: Expired Card

This decline code indicates that the credit card being used for the transaction has expired. Customers must ensure they provide up-to-date card information to avoid encountering this issue.

Code 57: Transaction Not Permitted

Sometimes, a card may not be configured and authorized for certain types of transactions, such as international purchases or cash advances.

Code 63: Security violation

There was an incorrect or invalid entry of the three-digit CVV or four-digit CID code located on the back of the card.

Code 65: Card Limit Exceeded

Every credit card has a preset spending limit, and code 65 indicates that the transaction amount exceeds the card’s credit limit.

Code R0 or R1: Customer requested stop of specific recurring payment

A cardholder has made a request to halt the recurring payment you are attempting to process.

How to Minimize Credit Card Declines in your business?

1. Educate Customers

Inform your clients about the possible reasons for credit card declines and provide troubleshooting tips. This way, they can resolve issues and complete the purchase.

2. Clear Error Messages

Ensure that your website or payment gateway displays clear and concise error messages when a credit card is declined. Ambiguous messages can confuse customers and deter them from proceeding with their purchase.

3. Retrying Declined Transactions

For temporary issues like insufficient funds or connectivity problems, it’s advisable to implement an automated retry mechanism that can improve the chances of successful purchases.

4. Accept Alternative Payment Methods

In addition to credit cards, consider offering alternative payment methods like digital wallets or bank transfers to give customers more flexibility and reduce the risk of cart abandonment.


By understanding the common credit card decline codes, you can troubleshoot issues more effectively and improve the overall purchasing experience for your customers. Remember to communicate clearly, provide helpful error messages, and offer alternative payment methods to mitigate the impact of declined transactions.

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