What does it mean when Capital One account restricted?

Tim Vickers

A Capital One account allows you to manage your money and save for your children, vacation, or purchase, or any other goal you may have. 

The account comes with a credit card that lets you shop online and earn unlimited cash backs on daily purchases.

But like any other bank, Capital One tends to restrict specific user accounts for various reasons. Getting a message that your Capital One account is locked or frozen can be alarming and frustrating. 

If you are unable to use to check out at a grocery store, the whole experience can be embarrassing.

But why is your account restricted? Several reasons can explain why this happened to your account. Also, each reason will require specific actions from you to reopen it.

In most cases, a Capital One account will be restricted if the bank is unable to verify your information. The restriction can also happen if Capital One detects suspicious or illegal activity or if you are trying to bypass your reward points.

Although Capital One will restrict your account, you will still receive deposits. However, you will not be able to withdraw or use your account balance.

Furthermore, the freezing is temporary, which means you can recover your account by following the laid down procedures.

Note that before the bank freezes your account, you will receive a notice to be aware of what is happening.

Reasons why your Capital One account may be restricted

Here is a detailed breakdown of various reasons that can explain why your Capital One account is restricted.

Unverified account information

When opening an account with Capital One, you need to provide specific information. The information needed by the bank to manage your account include:

  • Your legal name.
  • A valid mailing and residential address (if different).
  • Date of birth.
  • Social Security number or other government identification number.
  • Telephone number(s).
  • Employment and income information.

In case you change any of the above information, you must inform the bank promptly. Capital One may ask you for more documents to verify the changes. If you do not provide it as requested, they may restrict or close your account.

Surpassed credit limits

When you open an account with Capital One, the bank will tell you your credit limits or view them in your statement. The bank tends to give users different credit limits for the separate segments of their accounts.

For example, you can get one credit limit for purchases only and a second for cash advances.

Regardless of the amount you receive, you have to remain below your credit limits. If you go beyond your limits, Capital

One may restrict your account. But even when that happens, you will have to pay for transactions you make above your credit limits.

Late payments

If you have late payments, missed payments, or any other default on your account, it will force the bank to restrict it. A Capital One restricted account due to late payment is one whose sum is over 25% of the total balance.

You need to pay back the money to avoid further charges. Note that late payments can affect your credit score.

Suspicious or illegal activity

A restriction can occur on your account if Capital One detects suspicious or illegal activity.

For example, if you make a payment that you have never made before, the bank, at its discretion, may decide to restrict the account and prevent further transactions. Also, activities like money laundering can freeze the account.

Understand that Capital One can restrict your account even if you are not at fault. However, you will have to repay all balances you owe the bank.

My Capital One card was restricted before it arrived

If the bank has restricted your card before it arrives, several things might have happened:

  • You did not provide the correct information when requesting the card.
  • You have not verified changes to your account, including personal data, as requested.
  • You have not activated the credit card as required.

Capital One tends to take a second look at applications before issuing cards. If they notice anything suspicious, they will restrict the card even if it is in transit.

How does a restricted credit card affect your credit?

A restricted credit card can affect your credit in different ways. These include:

  • You may lose your card benefits.
  • You may lose your accumulated rewards if any.
  • The restriction may affect your debt to credit utilization ratio. It is the amount of credit you are using currently compared to the balance already available. If the proportion of debt is higher, lenders may not lend to you.
  • A restricted credit card affects the different types of credit you may receive. Ultimately, it will impact your credit scores.

It will also damage your credit score. Ideally, your credit score depends on the length of your credit history. If you can use it, you will be adding more history to your credit profile, even if you have negative scores.

Having a working credit card is the ideal way to maintain your current score. Furthermore, the restrictions mean you cannot improve your credit score.

How to reopen a restricted Capital One account

If you are thinking of lifting Capital One restricted account, here are some steps you can follow:

Call Capital One customer support services

Calling Capital One customer support services is the best way of reopening your restricted account. Use the following numbers:

  • 1-800-227-4825 – For servicing of existing accounts only.
  • 1-800-655-BANK (2265) – Customer service for Retail Branch Banking Accounts.
  • 1-888-810-4013 – Customer service for Non-Branch Account.

Automated services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Check the bank’s contact page for more details.

Visit your nearest Capital One branch

Visiting the nearest Capital One branch to find out the exact reason behind your account restriction.

If the freeze happened because of suspicious activity, go with proof to show you did or did not authorize the transaction.

Pay your fees on time

If you have too much credit on your account, consider paying off your outstanding debt to reopen your account. The whole process may happen automatically.

But you may have to call the bank to inform them to lift the freeze after making the payment.


Capital One can restrict your account for different reasons. If you have surpassed your credit limit, provided unverified account information, and failed to pay your fees on time, the bank will freeze your account.

You can reopen it by giving correct information or calling customer services. Understand that Capital One has the discretion of restricting your account even if you are not at fault.

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