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Express Card: Why It Might Be Declined

Learn why your Express Card might be declined at the point of sale.

Your Express Card purchase might be declined at the point of sale even if a merchant accepts the Express Card (Visa card). The mechanisms that trigger a declined card protect the cardholder, the merchant, and UCSD.

Why an Express Card can be declined

  • The purchase exceeds the allowed amount: A purchase cannot exceed the $4,999 maximum transaction amount. This maximum includes charges for tax, freight, and handling.
  • The supplier type is restricted. Restricted suppliers include:
    • Liquor stores
    • Airlines
    • Rental car agencies
    • Hotels
    • Restaurants
    • Automated teller machines (ATMs)
  • The card has not been activated: A transaction will be declined if the cardholder has not activated a newly assigned or renewed card. See How to Activate an Express Card for activation instructions.
  • The account number has been transposed: A transaction will be declined if either the cardholder or merchant transposes the card account number while completing the transaction. If a card is declined, verify the account number with the merchant in case this error has occurred.
  • The billing address does not match: A transaction can be declined if the billing address on file with the bank does not match the billing address provided by the cardholder at the point of purchase.

    If a merchant requests the billing address to validate the transaction, provide this address (fill in the blanks with your department Mail Code):
    University of California, San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code ____
    La Jolla, CA 92093-____

If you can't determine a reason for the declined card, contact U.S. Bank at (800) 344-5696 and ask the bank for the reason for the decline. The bank will provide a reason by the next business day.