Anyone else having trouble buying Microsoft points?

I just tried to top off my pool of company scrip to pick up the new Puzzle Quest expansion, and suddenly Microsoft doesn’t like my credit card info anymore.

I’ve been paying my Live membership fee with this card since I bought my original non-360 Xbox, and my bank sure hasn’t said anything about there being a problem with it, but all of a sudden I get this:

Your credit card information is not valid. Please verify and try again

For extra hilarity, if I go to the Payment Method Information screen, it gives me this:

Credit card status: Good

The hell?

Anyone else seen this happen? Am I gonna be stuck waiting on hold to talk to some dude in India tomorrow?

Is it past the expiration date maybe?

It worked for me just a couple hours ago. Maybe try buying them through the page, or check your billing information there and see if there’s anything incorrect or suspicious there.

Nah, expires next year. And it’s a debit card, so I know there’s no over-the-limit issue.

I bought something with it online yesterday, so it sure seems like it’s a valid card.

The extra-awesome bit is the mail I just got from Microsoft:

Dear Nathaniel Lanza,

We have been unable to charge your credit card for your Xbox Live 1000 Microsoft Points bundle purchases. The following credit card is the current payment method on your billing account:

Credit card type: VISA

You will not have access to the service until you update the payment information for Xbox Live 1000 Microsoft Points bundle. If payment is due for other Microsoft services purchased with the above card, those services may also be affected.

To view or change your billing account, go to, and select one of the following options:

* To update payment information, click on the payment method's link under 'Payment type', on the next page click 'Go to payment method information', and on the next page click 'Edit payment method information'.
* To view a billing statement for a payment method, click the payment method's link under 'Payment type'.

If you have already resolved this issue, please disregard this notice and accept our thanks.

Thank you for using Microsoft Online Services.

Microsoft Customer Support

Note: Please do not respond to this message.

The way the message doesn’t give a phone number or email address to contact them about it is just super-friendly. I mean, I know I can go look it up on their website, but the impression they leave is very much “just shut up and get back to giving us money”.

Fails there too; when I try to re-add the credit card, it tells me the information isn’t valid.

So I guess I will have to call them tomorrow. Fabulous.

Are you able to use your credit card for other things right now? Try buying something right now from Amazon. Or maybe go to the corner gas station and buy some gas, see if it works there.

Of course, if you’re not able to do so right now, er… have a good night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite? :)

Doubly awesome.

Turns out it was my bank’s fault. They disabled the card because they decided that buying Microsoft Points was a suspicious purchase.

'Cause, hey, why would an Xbox Live Gold subscriber who regularly buys Microsoft Points do something crazy like buy Microsoft Points?

For extra hilarity, they tried to defend themselves by claiming they’d been attempting to get in touch with me since Tuesday… for a purchase made Wednesday night. Yeah.


Nowadays a lot of stuff like credit card fraud detection is done by neural net analysis, which doesn’t necessarily have a specific criterion you can pinpoint, so unfortunately it really does boil down to people acting on things “because the computer told me to.”