How to manage declined member payments

  • Updated

This article details what a declined payment is, what Patreon does to recover declined payments, and what members can do to help prevent declined payments in the future. If a member needs help with a declined payment, you can send them our failed payment help troubleshooting guide

What are declined payments, and why do they happen?

A declined payment can happen when a member’s payment is not processed successfully. Common reasons for declined payments include:

  • Insufficient funds
  • Expired credit card information
  • Incorrect payment details
  • The issuing bank has blocked the transaction
  • Patreon’s authorization has been revoked (most often with PayPal)
  • Card network or issuing bank authorization issues if it is the first time the payment method is used

How does Patreon handle declined payments?

We automatically retry your members’ declined payments up to six times within the month they decline. If a member has backup payments turned on, we’ll retry their payment with a backup method if their original method fails.

When a member's payment declines, Patreon will:

  • Retry membership payments
  • Email members to let them know their payment has failed and instructions to retry
  • Let members know that their payment has failed with an announcement banner on their accounts
  • Restrict access to member-only content until past-due bills are collected

Viewing declined member payments

Creators can view each member's status using their Audience Relationship Manager and send messages to those who have declined. To view members with declined payments:

  1. Visit the Audience Relationship Manager
  2. Click on Payments declined — this quick link will show you all members with a declined payment status
  3. You can click the Filter button to view a list of members with a declined payment in a specific tier or during a certain time
  4. Click the CSV button to export your data to view on your preferred platform

What can I do to prevent declined member payments?

  • You can encourage your members to turn on backup payments for their accounts. Backup payments help ensure that members don’t lose access to membership benefits due to failed payments
  • We automatically email members about updating payment methods when their payments decline, but personal messages can provide a helpful and effective reminder to members. To reduce declines, consider sending a personal note with our failed payment help guide


  • You can filter your Audience Relationship Manager to view a list of members with a declined payment.

    You can also review your total monthly declines by visiting your Earnings dashboard. It's important to note that if you view this dashboard at the beginning of a month, the current month's decline rate typically exceeds the rate from prior months. This is normal. The decline rate is typically high in the first few days of the month and falls over time as we retry payments and encourage members to update their payment methods.

  • If a member’s payment declines, their access will be revoked until their payment is successfully processed.

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