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Rich and famous people who have had a credit card declined

Even the rich and famous fall into trouble and get their credit card declined – we look at how you can avoid the same problems with your credit card

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From millionaire pop stars and actors to even the president of the United States, nearly everyone has had the experience of getting their credit card declined.

It can be a humbling and often embarrassing experience no matter what your status is, but above all it can be incredibly inconvenient when you need to pay for something and you simply can’t.

Read on to find out more about how some celebrities had their credit cards declined, and what the best practices are to help ensure that you avoid a similar fate.

Credit card declined for making a large purchase

Singer and actress, Miley Cyrus, had her credit card declined after trying to purchase over $100 worth of records. Despite being reportedly worth over $100m, her attempted purchase was still denied.

At the time it was reported that the bank put the purchase on hold because it was unusually large. Many banks and credit card issuers look at the potential for fraud at every purchase, so they might deny your payment if it’s unusual or very expensive.

The total sum of Miley Cyrus’s purchase may not seem that large – after all, many people spend much more money in one go and never get their credit card declined  – but her credit card issuer may have seen it as an usually high purchase amount for one shop.

This is due to the fact that it was a record store and the average spend there might not be as high as what Miley Cyrus spent that day.

So if you are planning a shopping spree in one particular place, consider how your credit card issuer might look at the risk potential behind the spending there.

For example, your statements may only include shopping at fairly budget clothing stores and restaurants, then one day you pay for the entire bill at a Michelin-starred restaurant or on designer shoes.

You may have your credit card declined purely because of this anomaly in your usual spending habits.

Being spontaneous shouldn’t be punished, but credit card companies are very cautious, so sometimes it can help to give your credit card issuer a call beforehand to avoid embarrassment at the till.

Credit card declined for a small purchase

The last person you might expect to have their credit card declined for trying to pay for a relatively inexpensive meal is the president of the United States.

But that is what happened to President Barack Obama, who fortunately had his wife on hand to pay for the meal on her credit card after his was declined.

During his time in office, Bill Clinton also had his credit card declined. Despite being paid a sizeable salary each year with an annual expense allowance, even the president is susceptible to having his credit card declined.

Credit card issuers and banks will also look at how often someone uses their credit card as a sign of potential for risk from fraud and identity theft.

In Barack Obama’s case, he had not used his credit card often enough. When a credit card is not used at all for a while, then all of a sudden is used, the bank might put that purchase on hold.

The bank might have assumed that the fact that the credit card was being used again might be a sign that it was stolen, and so rather than take the risk, decided to decline the transaction.

If you have any credit cards you don’t use, then read our guide to unused credit cards to see whether it’s worth cancelling the old ones or to use them every now and again to ensure they’re active.

Credit card declined for going over the spending limit

The reason you certainly don’t want to get your credit card declined for is exceeding your spending limit.

All credit cards have a spending limit, and going over it doesn’t just mean you could get your credit card purchase declined, but it could also significantly damage your credit score.

One Direction singer, Harry Styles, reportedly went over his credit card limit and had his credit card declined when trying to download one of his own albums.

Despite having more than enough money to buy just one album, Harry Styles is still said to have exceeded the limit on his credit card. It can happen to anyone regardless of how big your credit card spending limit is.

For many people it can happen just by not regularly checking your credit card statements and forgetting how much you’ve spent on there, especially if you pay back your balance in instalments.

If you pay back your credit card balance in full at the end of each month, then chances are that you will avoid going over your limit. It’s important to check your credit card bills regularly and make note of what the agreed spending limit is to ensure you never go over it.

Other famous people reported to have had their credit card declined include Lindsay Lohan, who was turned down while buying drinks in a nightclub, Britney Spears who was caught short at a clothing boutique in Hollywood, and actress Mischa Barton, who was trying to make a purchase at an electronics store.

How to avoid having your credit card declined

Firstly, it comes down to ensuring you have enough money to spend. Always make sure that your purchase fits into your credit card spending limit.

Secondly, it’s worth having a look over your recent purchase history on your credit card statements. Perhaps, it’s worth trying to anticipate which of the next few purchases that you plan to make will look suspicious to the bank.

For instance, a holiday booking might be more expensive and more unusual compared to your last three months of purchases. Consider whether it’s worth telling your credit card company about it before making the purchase.

Certainly if you plan to use your credit card abroad you should always tell the bank or the company that issued your credit card about it before you go away. It’s not worth the risk of having your credit card declined while trying to buy something in a foreign country.

Finally, if you decide to dust off the cobwebs of a really old credit card that you’ve not used in a long time, be aware that there might be a block on it as soon as you try to use it again. Contact the credit card issuer to let them know you plan to use it again before making a purchase.

Although it can happen to the rich and famous, it’s worth remembering that they usually have several back up options, including plenty of cash in the bank. If you can only pay for the items on credit, then weigh up whether you need to make that purchase in the first place.

Compare credit cards with uSwitch

Compare all sorts of credit cards from 0% cards to rewards cards.

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