Why Is My Visa Gift Card Being Declined? (5 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to make a purchase, and your Visa gift card gets declined? There are a few reasons why this might happen.

We want to get to the bottom of this for you so that you can use your Visa gift card without any issues. Here are five reasons why your Visa gift card might get declined.

Why Is My Visa Gift Card Being Declined?

1. Low Balance

If you’re trying to make a purchase that is more than the balance on your Visa gift card, it will decline. Make sure to check your balance before making any purchase.

You can do this by visiting the website or calling the customer service number on the back of your card.

There may be fees associated with your card that you are unaware of. These fees include activation fees, monthly fees, or even transaction fees.

If any of these fees have been deducted from your balance, then there might not be enough funds remaining on the card to cover the purchase you’re trying to make.

This is why it’s always good practice to thoroughly read the terms and conditions of your card before using it. That way, you’ll know what fees to expect and can avoid surprises down the road.

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2. Expired

Every Visa gift card has an expiration date, usually on the front of the card. If you’re trying to use a card already expired, it will get declined.

You can usually still get the balance refunded if you have an expired card. However, you will need to contact the customer service number on the back of the card to do this.

It’s always important to keep track of the expiration date of your Visa gift card. That way, you can use it before it expires and avoid any issues.

There’s no question; it can be embarrassing when your Visa gift card gets declined in front of others. However, it’s important to remember that it can happen to anyone.

An expired card is a simple enough mistake to make, and the best thing you can do is buy a new card.

3. Activation Issue

Activation Issue

Some Visa gift cards need to be activated before you can use them, and you can do this by calling the customer service number on the back of the card.

If you try to use a card that hasn’t been activated yet, it will get declined. Fortunately, activation is usually a quick and easy process.

In most cases, you just need to provide some basic information like your name and address. Once you activate the card, you should be able to use it without any problems.

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4. Lost Or Stolen

If your Visa gift card has been reported as lost or stolen, it will be declined if you try to use it.

If you think your card may have been lost or stolen, you should contact the customer service number on the back of the card right away.

5. Card Reader

In some cases, the problem isn’t with your Visa gift card at all. It could be that the card reader is having some issues.

If you’re using your card at a physical location, try swiping it again. But if that doesn’t work, try using it at a different location.

Some card readers only accept chips via the chip reader if your card has a chip. So make sure you double-check that the card reader accepts chips before attempting your purchase.

If you’re still having trouble, then the best thing to do is contact customer service for help. They can help troubleshoot the problem and figure out a solution.

But what if you make an online purchase and your card declines? First, try refreshing the page. If that doesn’t work, try using a different browser. You can also try clearing your cookies and cache.

In most cases, one of these solutions will work, and you’ll be able to complete your purchase. But if you’re still having trouble, you should contact customer service.

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To learn more, you can also read our posts on why your Venmo is not working, why Discovery Card is a joke, and why Coinbase fees are so high.


These are just a few of the most common reasons your Visa gift card might decline. If you’re having trouble using your card, check the balance and ensure the card isn’t expired.

You should also ensure the card is activated and that you use the right card reader. And if all else fails, contact customer service for help.


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