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4 tips to prevent debit card declines

When making a purchase, one of the most frustrating—and sometimes confusing—things that can happen is having your debit card declined. Understanding the reasons or scenarios in which a card might be declined may help you avoid future declines and provide you with peace of mind.

Tip #1: Keep an eye on your balance

Insufficient funds in your account is one of the main reasons a card is declined. Although it may be frustrating in the moment, the decline is actually a safety measure to prevent you from overdrawing your account, which could lead to additional fees. Regularly checking your account balance via mobile or online banking will help ensure you have enough funds for purchases or recurring monthly fees/bills. Download our Mobile Banking app, or sign up for text alerts in Online Banking or your mobile app for additional peace of mind on the go. You can also contact your local Community Bank branch to ask about our Overdraft Sweep. It’s a service that automatically transfers funds from a savings or money market account to cover overdrafts. We also offer a ChekCredit overdraft protection line of credit.

Tip #2: Share your plans with us

Sometimes a temporary hold may be placed on a card, resulting in a transaction being declined. This commonly happens when unusual activity has been detected on your account, like large purchases or when you're traveling—especially abroad. Informing us in advance about your card usage outside your regular routine can help avoid temporary holds and declines. You can do this by calling your local branch or our Customer Care Center at 1-866-764-8638.

Tip #3: Know when your card expires

Debit cards remain active for years, making it easy to forget their expiration dates. To stay on top of this, sign up for text alerts or set reminders in your personal or business calendar. Once your new card arrives, remember to activate it immediately and update any necessary information. This ensures uninterrupted services for recurring payments you have set up through your card, such as internet payments, cell phones, tuition, car payments, streaming and subscription services, or utilities. Use our CardSwap services to change your direct deposits and automatic and recurring payments to a new or existing account in minutes.

Tip #4: Regularly review your account activity

Despite taking precautionary measures, fraud still occurs regularly and scams have become increasingly more sophisticated. Unauthorized transactions, unusual use patterns, lost or stolen cards, or scams and malware can automatically trigger a card decline as a safety measure. Protect yourself by using mobile and online banking to keep an eye on your activity in real time so you can quickly see and report any unrecognized transactions. If you notice anything suspicious, contact our Fraud Prevention Center immediately.

We’ve got your back

At Community Bank, we make it a priority to ensure that you always have access to the funds you need, exactly when you need them. We are committed to safeguarding your financial security, and by understanding and using these simple tips, together we can ensure you enjoy the smoothest banking experience possible.

If you have any questions or need assistance setting up any of these services, contact your local branch or our Customer Care Center at 1-866-764-8638.

Explore our Financial Literacy Hub and our blog for content that helps you make money decisions confidently.


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