What do you mean my card was declined?
A credit card not going through is the No. 1 'awkward money moment,' according to a new survey. It's also the most preventable.
The evening was perfection. Your dinner guest was entranced by the restaurant's ambiance and by the superb food and wine. You couldn't be happier.
Then the server leans over to murmur discreetly, "Do you have another credit card? This one didn't go through."
Having a card declined was the "most awkward money moment" for 41% of the more than 2,100 people recently surveyed by CouponCabin.com.
The embarrassment factor is exponentially worse if this is an important occasion, such as landing an important client or successfully proposing to your sweetheart. In either case that person might be thinking, "Just what kind of deadbeat am I doing business with/spending the rest of my life with?"
This is a largely preventable moment, of course: Pay your statement promptly and the card should go through just fine. Except when it doesn't: My Visa was canceled after a data breach and it was terribly embarrassing to have a cashier give me the hard squint and a "This card is no good."
But sometimes stuff just happens and we need to be ready for it. Or ready to dodge it: According to the survey, 48% of those surveyed have specifically avoided a person or situation for fear of an awkward money moment. Such as:
- Feeling pressured to donate to a charity on behalf of a co-worker, family member or friend (34%).
- Saying "no" to a panhandler (29%).
- Feeling pressured to chip in on a group gift at work (25%).
- Sharing salary/wage amounts with co-workers (also 25%).
- Splitting a dinner bill with a large group (17%).
Oops, I forgot my wallet -- no, really!
Those surveyed were allowed to offer their own real-life experiences. A few examples:
- "Being asked by a boss to contribute to his political party."
- "Paying for something in all coins."
- "I knew they were collecting money for someone at work and I could hear them going around, so I ducked out of the office."
- "When a co-worker learned my bonus was much more than hers."
- "Forgot my wallet (for) a client lunch and had to ask them to pay for me."
I'm feeling better about my own life all the time.
Unless you're independently wealthy and blessed with perfect family and friends you will almost certainly have your share of awkward money moments. Jackie Warrick of CouponCabin.com acknowledges that such situations can be "difficult to navigate," but suggests that honesty is the best policy when it comes to money matters.
"Be upfront with others when it comes to your finances, and respect others who do the same," Warrick says. "When all else fails, laugh it off and make a resolution to handle (things) better the next time.
It's hard to be the person who won't join in a discussion about salaries, or who prefers to choose his own charities. Be that person anyway, if your budget depends on it or if you're simply tired of being pressured.
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Don't wreck your finances or your peace of mind to make other people feel better. Practice saying things like "Sorry, but I don't have any cash on me" or "I understand that others have given $20 to the wedding gift fund but my contribution will be $10."
Easy? Nope. But much classier than ducking out of the office.
More on MSN Money:
While on vacation, I've had my credit card blocked because of "unusal charges".
I guess the company couldn't put together a string of charges - airport, car rental agency, motel room...
I don't avoid any awkward money moments, because if I can't afford it, I just say so.
And if someone tries to pressure me into "giving for THEIR worthy cause," I just let them know that I have MY OWN worthy causes, and give them a look that dares them to comment any further.
I've only had one person [a co-worker] make a rude comment on how "cheap" I was; told this person that it was MY money and not theirs; and since they didn't KNOW how much I was making, my giving or not was MY business and not theirs. I also threatened to go to personal with this person and her rude remarks, THAT shut them up real fast!!
I've had strange ones occur with my check card from time to time. Check online banking, expecting yes, there to be money, to get the confirmation. Go out, to pick something up from the store, a restaurant, what have you, to get a decline. Check mobile banking, and it still shows a positive balance, by well more then what I'm charging to it.
No explanation, and the next day it's cleared up, without a decline in the account balance at all. It hasn't happened often, but it has happened a few times over the years. Luckily, I have a couple credit cards also, so can just pull one of those out. But it is embarrassing, especially when I can triple check the account balance right there, and pull up, on the spot, that the money is right there.
One thing that can cause it, is buying gas off a check card, it does seem the gas pump one puts it in, will put a hold for more then one spent. And even after the transaction clears... For that reason, I do not use the check card for gasoline, would rather run a CC (doesn't happen on those), and then pay the card back through online access when I get home. But that wasn't always what was going on...
Recently I had a credit card denied in the middle of a transaction at a supermarket. When I called to inquire I was told "We sent you an email....". Though I have a "smart" phone I am not constantly checking my email. Sheesh.
I received a call from our CC company. Seems someone had charged 2 items (separate charges) at a local jewelry store, within 15 minutes of each other. I started laughing. It was in early May (before Mother's Day) and my husband had been gone from home that morning.....seems he went to the jewelry store and bought me a beautiful Mother's necklace and an anniversary ring. (We were married in June.) He had to put them on separate transactions because he ordered the ring. We were happy that the CC company had the sense to call us, but he had thought he was going to surprise me! Oops! The guy from the company said he felt terrible! LOL
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