For what reasons can card payments fail?

Modified on Sun, 26 Nov 2023 at 09:17 PM

It can happen that credit card payments are declined, which can lead to inconvenience and delays. This article highlights the most common reasons for such refusals in the context of business travel.

Exceeding the credit limit

A common reason for declining a credit card payment is exceeding the available credit limit. Business travel can be expensive, and if the cost of flights, hotels and other expenses exceed the set credit limit, the payment will not be approved. It is important to check the credit limit regularly and adjust it if necessary to avoid such problems.

Suspicion of fraud

Credit card companies monitor transactions for suspicious activity. If a credit card is suddenly used in another country or for unusually high amounts, this can be interpreted as an attempt at fraud. In such cases, the payment may be declined as a precautionary measure. Therefore, inform your credit card company in advance of any planned trips to avoid this problem.

Technical issues

Technical problems, whether with the credit card machine or the card provider's network, can also lead to refusals. Although this is less common, it is still a possible reason for payment problems during a business trip.

Misinformation or miscommunication

Sometimes incorrect or outdated information can lead to a rejection. For example, if the credit card information is not up to date or errors occur when entering the card details, the transaction may fail. Make sure that all credit card information is correct and up to date.

Inadequate travel expense guidelines

In some cases, a rejection may also be due to inadequate travel expense guidelines within the company. If certain types or amounts of expenses are not covered, this can lead to rejections. Clear communication and guidelines regarding the use of business credit cards when traveling are therefore essential.

Acceptance of virtual cards

On the one hand, virtual cards have been in use for a long time. On the other hand, there are still some points of acceptance that cannot handle modern means of payment. These are mainly smaller hotels or car rental providers that have not been activated for virtual payments - in these cases, neither the direct debit of the card (which was communicated at the time of booking) nor payment via Apple or Google Pay works.

System behavior

Notifications for declined transactions

If a transaction is declined, we always send an e-mail notification to the cardholder.

In the case of reasons for refusal that require administrator intervention, such as "Card transaction limit exceeded" or "Monthly card limit exceeded", we will also inform the administrator(s) by e-mail as soon as the transaction is refused.

Rejected transactions and balance

Rejected transactions have no influence on the available limit of your organization.

Accounting export and rejected transactions

Rejected transactions are not displayed in the accounting export and cannot be exported to an accounting system.

Non-permitted dealers

In the following list you will find providers that are excluded or restricted from using the Pliant credit card:

  • Gambling

  • Tobacconists

  • Drugstores/pharmacies

  • Trading and other payment providers

  • Adult Entertainment

  • Physio and massage service provider

  • Telemarketing

  • Doctors/hospitals


Rejections of credit card payments on business trips can occur for a variety of reasons, from exceeded credit limits and suspected fraud to technical issues and unclear policies. It is important to be aware of these potential issues and take preventative measures to ensure the smooth running of business travel. Careful planning and communication can avoid many of these issues and ensure successful business trips.

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