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American Express Chargeback Reason Codes Explained

Unlock the mysteries of Amex chargeback reason codes. Learn what each code means & how to respond to disputes.

If you haven’t yet reduced your chargeback rate down to 1%, you’re likely getting many chargebacks.

Regarding chargebacks, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all try to explain why you received one. Still, you may be a bit confused by their presentation: It’s all in code.

Today, we’ll look at American Express chargeback codes.

AMEX gives you a reason code number and a few descriptive words.

You’re supposed to either:

  1. already know what the code means,
  2. puzzle it out from the brief description,
  3. or look it up in their documentation.

However, the proper documentation is often hard to find, even online.

Our ChargebackStop.com list of concise AMEX reason code explanations will guide you when you need more information about your American Express chargeback.

The reason codes are presented here in numerical order, so it’s easy to find the one you need.

Keep this list handy as a go-to reference. Share it with your staff and colleagues. They’ll thank you for saving them a lot of time looking for them in dense documentation.

Let’s begin.

American Express Chargeback Codes Explained

05:  Declined Authorization

Transaction completed despite being declined at the time of authorisation indicates that the merchant proceeded with the charge without proper approval from American Express.

10:  Fraud - Card Present

Cardholder claims a transaction was fraudulent, but the card was physically presented at the point of sale. It suggests that an unauthorised individual may have stolen or misused the card.

13:  Incorrect Transaction Amount or Account Number

Amount charged differs from what the cardholder expected, or the account number processed doesn’t match the account number on the card. Indicates a clerical error or a misunderstanding about the transaction amount.

14:  Invalid Card Number

Card number doesn’t exist or is invalid—possibly a keying error or fraudulent use of a fake card number.

17:  Invalid Merchant Category Code (MCC)

An MCC that doesn’t accurately reflect the merchant's type of business. Affects the applicability of certain benefits or restrictions.

20:  Fraud - Card Not Present

Cardholder claims the transaction was fraudulent when the card was not physically present, such as in online or phone purchases.

30:  Card Not Present

The card wasn’t physically present. Includes issues of authorisation, fraud, or cardholder recognition of the transaction.

43:  No Authorization

Failure to obtain an authorisation for a transaction processed without following proper procedures.

53:  Not as Described or Defective Merchandise

Merchandise or services received either were not as described or were defective. Used for disputes regarding the quality or description of goods and services.

71:  Cancelled Recurring Billing

The cardholder has cancelled a recurring charge, but the merchant continues to bill the card. This is a failure to cancel the recurring billing agreement as requested by the cardholder.

75:  Credit Not Processed – Not as Described or Defective Merchandise

Merchandise returned or services refused because they weren’t as described or were defective, and the merchant hasn’t processed a credit yet.

81:  Duplicate Processing

A single transaction is billed more than once to the cardholder's account. Indicates an error in processing.

82:  Unauthorized Card Use

Cardholder claims that a transaction was unauthorised. The transaction was possibly completed without the cardholder's consent, indicating potential fraud.

83:  Late Presentment

Transaction processed for payment after American Express allowed timeframe and transaction date. Affects the timeliness and validity of the charge.

85:  Credit Not Processed

Merchant fails to issue a credit for a return or cancelled service. The cardholder disputes the merchant’s failure to process a promised credit.

86:  Credit Not Processed – Other Reasons

Applies when a credit wasn’t processed for reasons not covered by other codes. Covers various scenarios where a credit hasn’t been issued as expected. (Similar to code 85 above).

90:  Non-Receipt of Merchandise

Cardholder claims they didn’t receive the merchandise they purchased. Indicates a dispute over the delivery or availability of purchased goods.

93:  Services Not Rendered

Cardholder paid for services that were not provided as agreed. Disputes involve the failure to receive services already paid for.

Avoiding Chargebacks: The Best Recipe

At the beginning of this article, I suggested you could reduce your chargebacks by 99%. This is true.

ChargebackStop.com, our service, deploys an automated platform for reducing chargebacks and the associated fraud that comes with them. Our platform puts the power in your hands to stop the transactions which may lead to disputes and, ultimately, chargebacks.

If sketchy transactions are never processed, or you can provide an immediate automated refund for an unhappy customer, you can reduce your chargebacks to a 1% rate.

All it takes is 24/7 real-time monitoring. That’s what ChargebackStop provides.

Looking Forward

You now have an AMEX chargeback reason code lookup guide.

We also have chargeback reason code guides for Visa and Mastercard. Check them out. Save them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t need them very often?

If you have further questions, please visit ChargebackStop.com/contact-us. We’d love to help you. We can also offer you a free demo of our platform.

Give ChargebackStop.com a free try today.

FAQ: American Express Chargeback Reason Codes

Can I dispute a chargeback if I disagree with the reason code?

Yes, merchants can dispute a chargeback if they believe it was issued in error or if they have evidence that contradicts the reason for the chargeback. The process involves submitting evidence to American Express for review.

Where can I find more information about American Express chargeback reason codes?

You can find more information on the American Express website or by contacting their merchant services. Visit ChargebackStop.com/blog for a concise guide to AMEX Chargeback Reason Codes.

What is a chargeback reason code?

A chargeback reason code is a numerical or alphanumeric code that identifies the specific reason for a chargeback. It helps merchants, cardholders, and banks understand why a transaction is being disputed.

How does American Express decide which chargeback reason code to use?

American Express assigns a chargeback reason code based on the information provided by the cardholder or the acquiring bank. The reason code reflects the nature of the dispute or the issue with the transaction.

About the author

Don is an expert technical content writer and researcher. He works with ChargebackStop to write informative and digestible content on the topic of chargebacks, payments and more. His writing is crafted, not computed.

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