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Troubleshooting Common Issues with the U.S. Unlocked Card

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This post is also available in: Spanish

The US Unlocked Card is accepted mostly anywhere where pre-paid debit cards are accepted (U.S. merchants only). For best results, please follow these guidelines.

If for some reason your card is not accepted where you think it should, check the following:

  • Did you fill out all the details EXACTLY as they are showing on the US Unlocked Card page?
  • Do you have enough balance to cover the purchase? See Note 1 and 2.
  • Does this merchant have a policy where it does not ship to freight forwarding addresses?
  • Did you connect over VPN? This merchant might block purchases from a non-US IP address, connecting over VPN solves this issue.
  • Does this merchant accept prepaid debit cards?
  • Is this a merchant processing payments in the U.S.? This card supports only U.S. transactions.

Note 1: In many cases the merchant might try to put a hold on a larger amount than needed as part of the authorization process. If you do not have that amount on your card, the transaction does not  go through due to insufficient balance.The failed transactions potentially put a pending hold (reserve) on your card for the same amount causing your available balance to diminish each time. Such hold usually disappears after 30 days if the transaction does not process. The funds are not available until the authorization hold is released by the processor. Please contact the merchant and ask them to reverse or refund the authorization.

Note 2: The processor charges a POS (point of sale) fee of $0.50 per successful transaction. Example: if your balance is $10 and the purchase costs $9.99, the transaction will fail. For more info regarding fees click here.In many cases, a phone call or email to the customer service of the particular website helps to find out what the issue was. Often they will offer to run your card over the phone.

 

Other possible causes:
  • We have found that some merchants pass a second address line as the first address line in the authorization request. This is the case with e.g. Google Wallet. In those cases, your payment will go through if you omit the second address from the billing address (not the shipping address).
  • Some merchants do not ask for a street address in the billing details but only require card details and zip code. In these instances, the bank will have insufficient data to do an AVS check (address verification) which will result in a declined transaction due to AVS failure. Examples are Hulu Plus and Feeln. You could instead download the Hulu, Feeln (or any other) app from the U.S. iTunes store and pay for the subscription that way. For instructions on how to set up a U.S. iTunes account with your card: https://www.usunlocked.com/blog/how-to-set-up-an-itunes-account-with-us-billing-address/. Another option, if the merchant offers Paypal, is to set up a U.S. Paypal account linked to your card and pay the merchant through Paypal. Tutorial: Link your US Unlocked Card to Paypal for even greater access to US online shopping.
  • If you are using a Shop and Ship billing address, the dash in 182-21 sometimes causes an AVS error because the merchant will sent it through as 182. To solve add the street number as 18221 instead.
 
Important to remember
Merchants maintain certain anti-fraud policies and will accept or deny transactions to their own discretion.
In many cases a phone call or email to the customer service of the particular website helps to find out what the issue was. Often they will offer to run your card over the phone.
If a merchant needs to verify the billing details they can call FirstView at 1-855-298-8362, Mo-Fr 9-5 PST. 

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know.

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