Being slapped with a credit card decline notice can be uncomfortable for both parties involved. For a customer, it’s understandable why it could be embarrassing—one might think there’s some sort of judgment coming from the employees about the state of their finances.
This probably isn’t the case, however, as credit cards can be declined for numerous reasons that don’t pertain to non-payment. Even if it was because the individual’s card was maxed out, it’s not uncommon. With inflation rates spiking since 2021, more and more Americans are becoming encumbered with credit card debt.
One industry that sees a lot of credit card declines that aren’t due to nonpayment is hotels. One Holiday Inn clerk named Jake Ryan (@thinkjakeryan) posted a viral clip detailing the reaction customers often have when their credit card declines.
Ryan’s clip about this common experience has accrued over 938,000 likes as of Saturday.
@thinkjakeryan Plssss spare me the deats #fyp ♬ original sound – 🦖🦖
Ryan records himself giving some side eye to a customer in a skit. The audio used in the video is that of a grown man whining in a gratingly annoying fashion as the Holiday Inn employee in the one-man skit attempts to calm them down.
The TikToker writes in a text overlay of the clip, “Pov : when a guest card declines and they start explaining how they own 6 buildings and make 9 million dollars a year.”
Many users who work in the hospitality industry seemed to have experienced this phenomenon.
One person shared a common argument that they receive, commenting, “‘It’s $2,000 on this card’ okay tell that to the reader.”
Another shared the futility of customers who attempt to explain their financial situation to a hotel worker they just met.
“‘I have PLENTY of money in this account’ like ok what does that information do for me,” another said.
Users shared the different methods in which customers try to prove that they’re good for the money and that there must be some kind of error on the hotel’s part for their card to be declined.
“Calling the bank on speaker with the volume up so you hear the balance stop playing with me,” someone wrote.
“Then try n show u how much money they have on their bank app,” another TikToker penned.
A card decline issue is a simple one that can’t really be resolved by employees—if a POS system doesn’t authorize the sale, then there really isn’t much that they can do, something one user explained in a comment.
“Like idc about all of that all I need is an approved authorization babes,” they said.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are several reasons why a person’s credit card might be declined.
“The card has expired; you’re over your credit limit; the card issuer sees suspicious activity that could be a sign of fraud; or a hotel, rental car company, or other business placed a block (or hold) on your card for its estimated total of your bill,” the Commission’s consumer advice webpage reads.
So in these situations, the best thing to probably do is to suss it out with your respective financial institution to find out what’s going on. Oftentimes, it could just be a block because you’re traveling and your credit card company/bank may have automatically flagged the purchase as suspicious.
Or maybe your kid ended up accidentally incurring $3,000 worth of Roblox charges on your Apple account, without you even knowing.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Ryan via TikTok comment and Holiday Inn via email.