Common Issues with Payments

Now, payment issues rarely happen. Of course, when they do, siren bells ring inside your head and you go into red alert. It’s only natural for us to worry if we’re being charged too much, or too often.

We invite you to treat this chapter as a little troubleshooting guide. Skip it if all goes well and skim it if you think something is wrong.

You could face issues in two different realms:

  • Issues with payment—the actual transaction that occurs between your bank and Google
  • Issues with charges—the details listed on your receipt or invoice

The first issue is usually flagged up and resolved by the bank; while the latter is controlled by Google.

Issues with payment

If your credit card, debit card or bank transfer is declined, the only thing you can do is contact your bank. There should be a number printed at the back of your card; otherwise, you can Google it. You should tell the representative that you were trying to pay for Google AdWords online. It usually helps if you provide the date and amount of the decline.

Usually, it’s one of these reasons that your card was declined:

  • The account doesn’t have sufficient funds.
  • You’ve exceeded the card’s credit limit.
  • The amount exceeds the card or bank account’s single transaction limit.
  • You exceeded the maximum number of charges the card can receive in a certain timeframe.
  • Your account doesn’t allow internet or international transactions.
  • The card’s expired.
  • You entered an incorrect card number or CVV number.
  • The name of the bank account owner doesn’t match the information provided in AdWords.

The bank representative would usually assist you in solving these problems. Then, you can try updating the payment details on file. After you’ve checked the billing details (in the section titled “Billing”), click “Fix it” and let Google retry the transaction. Alternatively, you could provide different billing information.


Don't Get Caught Out!

If there is an issue with payments, Google will pause all ad activity on your account. If you’ve got enough funds, you could get ads up and running again by using a different credit card. Credit card payments are processed immediately, so you won’t suffer too lengthy a downtime.

Quick Tip

It is a good idea to enter backup credit card details to make sure your ads keep running at all times. It is a simple 6-step process:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click on the gear icon and choose “Billing.”
  3. Click “Billing Settings.”
  4. Scroll to “Your selections” section and click “Add new payment method.”
  5. Fill in your 16-digit number, CVV code, etc. and click “Save.”
  6. When you are redirected to “Billing Settings”, find the credit card you just added and click “Set as Backup.”

Issues with charges

We’ve hardly faced any problems from Google. However, here are some questions that we frequently receive from some AdWords users.


Common questions regarding the chargesExplanation
You were charged more than once a month.If you recall how Google’s payments work, you are charged if the costs exceed your account threshold or every 30 days, whichever is sooner. You can contact Google and request an increase in threshold, if you like.
You were charged more than your daily budget some days.Google allows for 20% more clicks than your budget specifies, to make up for internet traffic fluctuations. However, Google ensures that you’re never charged more than your 30-day budget (30 days x daily budget).
The amount on your monthly bill doesn’t match the amount charged to your account.The payment charged may have included any outstanding balances from the previous month. The equation goes: Charged amount = Costs from this billing period—Outstanding balance from previous billing periods

Another reason could be that the payment request could have been sent to your bank in the middle of the day. Meanwhile, the advertising costs keep accruing until the end of the day—this is the number that is reported later in your monthly report. The bank and AdWords can only be reporting different timeframes.

An identical charge appeared on your bank statement.This is most likely a temporary authorisation request, telling the bank to process the charge. Only if the double-charge doesn’t disappear in a few days, should you report it as a technical error.


AdWords never charges you more than your billing threshold in a single transaction. If the total charged amount is more than your billing threshold, Google will automatically carry these costs forward and add it as an outstanding balance for your next charge.