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Why was my card declined?

Unfortunately, HostGator may not always know when the payment processing company declines a transaction on behalf of your bank or card issuer. We've gathered several common reasons as to why your card may have been declined by your bank or card issuer.

You will need to contact your bank or card issuer to find out the specific reason your card was declined since they are the ones declining the transaction and not us.

This article discusses the common reasons why your card was declined. These common reasons include:


Requires a Card Verification Code (CVC)

Many credit card companies require the Card Verification Code (CVC) found at the back of your card to be submitted with every transaction attempt. It is illegal for us to store this number, and the card issuer decides to require the CVC, not HostGator. As a result, some cards will work the first time but fail every subsequent time.


Insufficient balance

There are not enough funds available to process the transaction. If you recently deposited funds to your debit or prepaid card, sometimes those funds are not available right away. Likewise, if you recently made a payment to your credit card, your payment may not have been applied to your account yet. Also, if another merchant has placed a hold on your account, this may unexpectedly reduce your available balance. Contact your bank or card issuer, or log into your account on their website to check your balance.


Unsupported card type

We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover Network, American Express, JCB, and Diners Club International. Some other card brands may work since they may have an alliance with one of these major brands. You can always try your card and see if it works. (See the article What forms of payment do you accept? for more details.)

Prepaid cards and gift cards

Some prepaid card and gift card issuers allow you to register your card, typically through their website. In some cases, registering your card and entering your name and mailing address will enable the card to work. Information on registering the card is usually listed on the back of the card or the packaging the card came in.

Electronic cards

Some electronic cards may work, but others may not. This will depend on the card's issuer and whether our payment processing company supports that card type. Unfortunately, not all electronic cards are supported.

Cards issued outside the US.

Some cards issued outside the United States marked for domestic use only, or something similar usually won't work because those cards are typically not connected to the international payment network and only work locally. Some banks offer two cards; one can only be used locally, and one works worldwide. Ask your bank or card issuer if your card can be used internationally for internet transactions.

Use of "Verified by Visa" or "MasterCard SecureCode"

Your card issuer or bank may require that you use Verified by Visa" or "MasterCard SecureCode" to complete online sales; unfortunately, these are not currently available.

Please try making a payment using another form of method. See the list of methods we accept for purchase and renewal in the article, What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?

Fraud detection

Your bank has aggressive fraud detection measures and is blocking the transaction. Some banks and card issuers will block any transaction they feel is not normal for your spending habits. This is usually based on what you have purchased in the past and what they expect you to purchase in the future. You would need to contact your bank or card issuer and explain that you are trying to purchase and request they remove the block.


Still not working?

Here are additional tips to help you identify why the transaction was declined.

Your card issuer or bank has disallowed internet transactions.

Although not typically seen on cards issued in the US, some foreign card issuers and banks disable internet transactions. Contact your bank or card issuer to make sure you can use your card for internet purchases. Sometimes all you need to do is request that it be enabled. Other banks issue more than one card with different features and may ask you to upgrade to a different card type.

Your bank or the payment processing company's network may be experiencing technical difficulties or be down for maintenance.

This does not happen very often, but it does happen from time to time, usually when large numbers of transactions flow through the system, such as during the holidays. If the payment processing company cannot reach your bank to approve the transaction, they will typically decline the transaction in the bank's place. In this case, the only thing to do is try again later when the system is back up.

These are the only possible reasons why your card was declined. Since the bank or card issuer did not tell us why you will need to contact them for the reason your transaction failed.

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