Resolve a declined payment

Payment declines are a pain, but sometimes they happen -- at the grocery store when your cart's full of groceries, in a ticket line at the movie theater, or when you're making an online payment to AdWords Express.

Below, you'll find details about declines related to specific payment methods, such as a credit or bank account, and how to resolve those.

Google can't tell you the exact reason for your decline. Like you, we don't know because we didn't decline your payment. But your bank or credit card company should. That's why it's best to contact your bank to identify and fix the reason for the decline. (Check the back of your credit card to get the phone number to contact support.)

Common reasons for declined payments

Your bank or credit card company will know why your credit card or direct debit was declined. Still, here are some common reasons for declines, which might help you troubleshoot. Click the links below to see details about each kind of decline.

Your card reached its limit

All cards have limits. Here's how certain kinds can cause a decline.

  • Your credit card limit was reached (insufficient funds).
    Check your credit limit. You may have reached your daily or total credit card limit on the day we tried to charge your card. If this is the case, ask your credit card company to increase your limit. You can also visit your billing summary page to add a card with a higher limit and assign it to be your primary payment method.
  • The charge exceeded the maximum amount allowed for a single charge.
    Check the maximum amount your card can be charged at a single time. If the declined charge in your AdWords Express account is higher than this amount, try asking your credit card company to increase the limit. You can also enter a new credit card with a higher limit. If neither of these solutions is feasible, contact us and we'll work with you to find a solution.
  • Your card reached the maximum number of charges allowed in a period.
    Check how many times your card can be charged in a given time period. If you've reached this amount, you can make a payment with a different payment method. You can also talk to your bank about increasing this limit or wait until your card can be charged again.
  • Your card doesn't accept charges from an online source.
    Check to see if your card allows online transactions. If it doesn't, talk to your credit card company about allowing AdWords Express charges. Or, you can use a different card as your primary payment method.
  • Your card doesn't allow automated billing.
    Ask your credit card company whether they allow automated billing, or whether they can occasionally call to verify a charge. If they won't, you can use a different card as your primary payment method.
  • Your card doesn't allow international transactions.
    Make sure that your card can accept international charges. If it doesn't, you can use a different card as your primary payment method.
Your credit card information was incorrect

This happens sometimes, too, especially if you've moved and your information changed. Here are some areas to look for -- all of which you can update in your Billing settings (within the billing summary page).

  • Incorrect expiration date: Review the expiration date on your credit card. If your card expired, add an up-to-date credit card to your account, and assign it to be your primary payment method.
  • Incorrect credit card number: Check that the credit card number is correct and up-to-date.
  • Incorrect billing address and phone number: Does the telephone number and billing address you gave for your credit card match those that your credit card company has? Either edit the credit card details in your Billing settings, or contact your credit card company to change the address and phone number associated with your card.

What to expect if your payment is declined

If your payment is declined, we'll alert you in your AdWords Express account. And if your bank shared the reason for your decline, we'll share that too and tell you what you can do to fix it. We'll also send you an email with this information.

If you added a backup payment method in your account -- a smart move -- we'll apply your costs to that payment method, so your ads will continue to run.

How to get your ads running again

If a declined payment brought your ads to a halt, there are a few ways to bring them back to life. Click the links below, depending on which approach you'd like to take:

How to re-enable your payment method

If your payment method has been declined many times, it'll be disabled in your AdWords Express account. To allow it to be used to pay for your AdWords Express costs again, re-enable it. Note that this might trigger an automatic charge of your outstanding amount, if you haven't paid it off yet.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at https://adwords.google.com/express/
  2. At the top right corner, click the gear icon and select Billing from the dropdown menu.
  3. Find the payment method with the Re-enable payment method link. Check to make sure that all the details are correct for this payment method. Call your bank or credit institution to ensure that you can use the payment method in your AdWords Express account, if necessary.
  4. Once you've made sure that the payment method will work, click the Re-enable payment method link.
Try it now

If you're on automatic payments and you've re-enabled your primary payment method, your ads will begin to run again. We recommend that you enter a backup credit card to help ensure that your ads run continuously in the case of another payment decline by your primary payment method.

How to make a payment for your outstanding balance

If you have an outstanding balance, you might see a red alert in your account. Here's how to make a payment:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at https://adwords.google.com/express/
  2. At the top right corner, click the gear icon and select Billing from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Make a payment.
  4. Enter your payment method and the payment amount.
  5. Click Review payment.
  6. Make sure all the payment details are correct, then click Make payment. If you used a new payment method to pay off your balance, you might still be prompted to re-enable your primary payment method.
Try it now

If you'd like to divide your outstanding balance between several payment methods, repeat the steps above for each payment method you'd like to use, until your outstanding balance has been paid.

How to update your payment method information

If your payment method details are incorrect, here's how you can update them.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at https://adwords.google.com/express/
  2. At the top right corner, click the gear icon and select Billing from the dropdown menu.
  3. Find the appropriate payment method, and click Edit.
  4. Enter your updated information.
  5. Click Save when you're done. Once you've entered your billing information, we'll initate a charge of the outstanding balance.
Try it now

If you're using a bank account, you won't be able to update its information. Instead, you'll need to add your bank account's correct information as a new payment method. Be sure to check the box shown to add it as your primary payment method.

How to add and assign a new payment method

If you'd like to add a new payment method and use that to pay for your AdWords Express costs instead of updating your primary or backup payment methods, here's how:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at https://adwords.google.com/express/
  2. At the top right corner, click the gear icon and select Billing from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Billing settings.
  4. In the "Your selections" section, click Add new payment method.
  5. Select either "Credit card" or "Bank account" to enter your payment information.
  6. When you're done entering your information, click Save.
  7. Click the button next to "Select as..." to make it a Primary or Backup payment method.
  8. Click Save.
Try it now

Tips

  • You can edit all details for your payment method except for the credit card or bank account number.
  • If the number of your credit card or bank account has changed, we consider this to be a new credit card or bank account. You'll need to add it as a new payment method.

Have more questions about AdWords Express?

Contact us via phone or email! We’re here to help.

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