What Does It Mean if the ATM Says Restricted?

by Mary Jane Freeman
Finding out your card is restricted can be a frustrating experience.

When you use your debit or credit card at an ATM and receive a "restricted" message instead of money, this usually means your card is blocked. When this happens, you won't be able to retrieve cash from your account. This can happen for a number of reasons.

Common Reasons for Card Restrictions

When an ATM tells you your account is restricted, it will often direct you to your financial institution for answers. Once you contact your bank, there are a number of possible explanations the customer service rep may give you. Your card may have been reported lost or stolen, there may be suspected fraudulent activity on the card, you may be attempting to use the card in a foreign country that is on your bank's ban list, or the card may be canceled. Although these are the most common reasons for a card being restricted, your bank could restrict your card for other reasons, so it's best to contact your bank for specifics if this happens to you.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images