Why is my Capital One credit card currently restricted?

Have you recently gone to make a charge on your Capital One card and noticed that it's declined? Here's the best way to check your status and get your card working again.

Jeff Whelpley is the editor / author responsible for this content.
Jul 9, 2019

If you're one of the guys out there who love using credit cards, then there is one card on the market that you can't afford to ignore- the Capital One Secured Card. This card easily beats out the competition from other card issuers because of the many added perks and protection that come with it.

With a Capital One card, you've got nothing to worry about. However, everything isn't rosy when it comes to using the Capital One card. If you aren't careful with how you make purchases using the card, you may wake up to a card restriction message from the company.

If your card is restricted, it means that you can no longer use it to make purchases. Capital One cardgets restricted for various reasons. Here are some of the top reasons why your Capital One card may be declined:

Shopping Where You've Never Shopped Before

The moment you shop in a new location and pay using your Capital One card, there is a high probability that this may be detected as unusual activity and your card may be restricted.

Although shopping in new places may seem nothing serious to you, Capital One doesn't want to take the risk and assume that it is you who is doing the shopping.

If your card is restricted immediately after shopping in a new place, you need to contact Capital One and let them know that it was you who did the shopping and not someone else.

Charging Something Small, Then Something Big

Card issuers understand the fact that criminals usually "test the waters" with a stolen card by charging a relatively small amount before they embark on a wild spending spree and pay everything using the stolen card.

Therefore, if you trigger that small-big spending pattern in your buying habit, it may result in card restriction. You need to be consistent with your shopping habit so that any unusual activity on your Capital One card can easily be detected and thwarted.

Buying Things in Different Geographic Locations on the Same Day

If you're purchasing something in Tampa, Florida using your card and a few hours later you're making another purchase from Washington DC, you can be sure that your Capital One card will be restricted.

Even if this is you, such activity will look suspicious to the computers and your card may be restricted. In fact, online purchase to merchants located in different parts of the world can trigger the same thing.

Charging Travel Expenses from Your Card

All credit card issuers, including Capital One, usually discourage cardholders from charging unnecessary expenses from their cards. While on the road, any purchase from restaurant meals to gas can trigger card restriction. And this is true for both local and international travelers.

The moment you use your card while on the road, it won't take long before it is declined. If you contact Capital One and inquire why your card was restricted, you'll be told that it is because they detected travel expenses on your card.

Making Several Purchases Quickly

Lastly, making several purchases quickly can also get your card restricted. For instance, if you hit three grocery stores in a row- may be to take advantage of high discounts- you will be increasing the chances of your card being restricted.

Shopping at three or more different stores within a short period is prohibited by the card issuer, and it is usually considered as unusual activity. Your card may also be limited if you shop away from your home base, which is quite common when you are moving.

For instance, if your billing address is Idaho and you are buying something in Massachusetts, it will be recorded as an anomaly and may lead to card restriction.

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Jeff truly believes that all customers deserve good service. He’s been building tools, inventing phone tree hacks and helping customers since before his days at GetHuman. He's also a Google GDE and involved in the Angular community.
Why is my Capital One credit card currently restricted?

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