Credit Card Dispute Rules You Should Know

Credit Card Dispute Rules You Should Know

Many consumers buy from online merchants only for their order to arrive at their doorstep, and it's not the exact thing they paid for. Sometimes, it could be a faulty or expired product. The sad thing is that many of these consumers don't know that they can dispute such transactions.

Sometimes, credit card disputes can result from a charge on your card, which you find fraudulent. Generally, the causes of a credit card dispute are unsatisfactory goods, errors in bills, and fraudulent charges. We'll share some rules to guide you if you ever have any reason to dispute a charge. Read along to know more.

Rules for credit card disputes

  • There are time limits

Some people receive goods without checking their authenticity. Sometimes, they open the good after some months to find out that the seal or the product is broken. In scenarios like this, you can contact the issuer of your credit card to assist you in getting your money back.

Following the time when you receive your statement, you have a 60-day time limit to act. However, the time limit is only for disputes concerning billing errors or unsatisfactory service. For fraudulent charges, you have unlimited time to act.

  • Contact your merchant first

This tip is limited to situations when you don’t receive goods or services you paid for. In other cases, you may not receive the goods at all. When any of these happens, the first step is to contact the vendor that sold the goods to you. The Fair Credit Billing Act states this as a necessity.

Sometimes, it could result from a miscalculation during packaging or a crack during transmission. The concerned merchant may try to make amends. But if they don't, keep documented evidence to show that you tried to reach them. Only then can you contact your card issuer to file a dispute.

  • How to contact your credit card company

If your efforts to resolve the issues with the merchant you had business with prove futile, proceed to the credit card company. However, you mustn't wait beyond 60 days after discovering the charge you're disputing before contacting your card company.

First off, you must have evidence to show that you contacted the merchant. When you contact the credit card company, you must include important information such as your account number, the bill's closing date, your reasons for withholding the payment, and a description of the disputed item. Note that you're sending your complaint to your credit card company's "billing inquiries" address.

  • Fraudulent charges

If you notice a charge on your credit card that you can’t account for, contact your card issuer. However, you must first ask others who have access to the card before contacting your company. A seemingly fraudulent charge could arise from miscommunication or a family member who didn't inform you of a transaction they made with your card.

You're not liable for fraudulent charges exceeding $50 on your credit card by law. Also, you're legally permitted to involve the police during such investigations – the FDIC recommends this. This is because the fraud on your account could be a smaller part of a larger scheme that anti-crime bodies can uncover.

  • You mustn't pay for card disputes

Some folks stay quiet with a dissatisfying product or service from a merchant due to the charges they think they'll incur from the card company. If your dispute claims meet the criteria provided by the FCBA, you'll not have to pay for disputes.

However, note that you’re still responsible for undisputed payments. Also, the credit card company has the right to hold back your money equivalent to the charge amount while they resolve the issue. If they find any errors on the merchant's part, they must pay back the withheld amount into your account.


Laws in many countries make provisions that protect the interest of consumers. While you can dispute charges on your card, you must also know that your dispute can be declined. This may result from insufficient evidence or satisfying the necessary criteria for such complaints.

Before reporting to your card company, you must first complain to the service/product provider. You can only proceed to your card issuer if this effort proves futile. Also, we recommend confirming with other persons who have access to your card if they made any transactions with the card without informing you.

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