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Current Accounts

Why was my debit card declined?

Sometimes your payments might be declined , this could be because:


  • You could have pending payments or direct debits which impact your available balance.
  • Some chip and PIN readers may experience connection issues which means the merchant cannot contact Tesco Bank to authorise your transaction.
  • Depending on the type of card you were issued with at the time of applying for your Tesco Current Account, you may not be able to use your card for offline transactions such as Pay at Pump or Transport for London (you will know if you have this type of card as the seventh digit of the long card number across the middle of your card will be a 5). 


  • This is a safety precaution as some merchants do not check that you have funds available in your account before taking a payment. This could lead to fees being applied to your account and placing you in an unarranged overdraft at 18.9% EAR (variable).

Representative example: 18.9% EAR variable (assumed overdraft £1,200).


For more information on our fees, please see our existing FAQ Why do I have a different type of contactless debit card?


None of the above comments cover my situation but my card was declined twice, I have asked WHY this was done and could not get an answer from the 0345 835 3353 number and asked to make a complaint, and have received an email pointing me towards The Financial Ombudsman, I do not wish to do this all I want is an answer to my question Why was my Card Declined twice and is this going to happen again. 

Hi @RD35, I'm sorry to hear that. Unfortunately I'm limited on the information that I’m able to give via this channel. However, the letter that we've sent you should have contact details with an advisor who's able to help you further. 

who idea not allowed use your card train are you for real grrr

I'm sorry to read that you've had issues with your card @bristolash91. Have you called the Current Account team to check on why the card was declined? The team are available 24/7 on 0345 835 3353 and they'll be able to help. 

Good morning, I have received my replacement card and just tried to use it to pay a phone bill on line, this has been declined although my account is in a positive as over paid my last bill. Last year I did restrict my card but this is a new one. I am reliable on internet and email currently due to circumstances.

Hello @Stephenjrichard, I'm sorry to hear your card was declined. You may need to use the Chip and PIN function first of all before you’re able to use the card online or contactless. Can you please try this and let me know if you have any issues? - Caroline 

This is on my credit card sorry, didn't realise I had put debit, sorry Caroline

No problem, @Stephenjrichard! The same would still apply. If you use the card for a Chip and PIN transaction, this will activate the other features of the card and you'll be able to use it online :) - Caroline 

Ok will try when out later thank you

Tried chip and pin, also a cash point, still no joy! Checked balance online still over £10,000 and in credit! Unable to phone and today was the first day i have been able to get out