Simon Says: Debit Card Purchases Can Be Denied For Many Reasons

Simon Zhen

Updated on Mon Feb 23, 2015

debit card declined image

Q: I recently tried to make an online purchase with my TD Bank debit card but it was rejected, twice. It is not a new card and there is a balance in the account. Why is my card getting declined when shopping on the Internet?- Patrick W.

A: There are several possible reasons that your debit card was denied.

One reason is that you’ve already hit the daily spending limit on your debit card. Banks place daily spending limits on debit cards to minimize the financial harm that can be done to your finances if your debit card is lost or stolen.

On signature transactions (the type that often takes place with online purchases), TD Bank places a $5,000 daily spending limit on a regular Visa debit card or $10,000 on a Visa Platinum debit card. TD Bank customers are allowed to increase their daily spending limits by submitting a request over the phone or by secure messaging through online banking.

However, unless you’ve spent that much already during the day, this probably isn’t the reason that your debit card was declined.

On the other hand, it is quite common to have any card purchase rejected when the card issuer suspects an unauthorized purchase. It is a simple security measure that kicks in automatically when a purchase is unusually large or takes place at a location that is far from your place of residence.

A quick call to the card issuer will lift the security block temporarily.

In the most extreme scenario, your checking account was frozen without notice. There are various reasons for why the bank would do that. If your account had noticeable fraud or highly suspicious activity, the bank is likely to take such a drastic action.

Again, you’d have to contact your bank if this is the case.



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  • Jack

    Thanks! Realized that it was because of the purchase happening unusually far away from where I live. I’m visiting California, but I live in North Carolina. All sorted out now, thanks again.

    • Simon Zhen

      Glad you didn’t find it too much of an inconvenience when your card was declined. If you want to avoid this situation ahead of time, you can give your card issuer before traveling — so they already know not to flag your transaction in the first place.