American Express Chargebacks

How to Get an Amex Chargeback

If you have an unauthorized or disputed charge on your credit card and are seeking fund recovery, the reversal of charges is called a credit card chargeback. The right to a credit card chargeback was established through U.S. laws, but you can make a claim for an Amex chargeback even if you live outside of the US. 

Each credit card company has its own guidelines for chargebacks. The following is a summary of Amex chargeback policy. 

American Express (Amex) has its headquarters in New York City, but operates worldwide. For that reason, its payment dispute policies not only need to comply with American laws and regulations, but in many cases are also fine-tuned for compliance with the jurisdiction of a particular cardholder, merchant, acquiring bank, or transaction.

The history of chargebacks dates back to the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 which, among other things, gave consumer protections including chargeback rights to holders of credit cards. In 1978, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act extended many similar rights to debit card holders.

Although the rights of credit card and debit card holders are not identical, for practical purposes, American Express has combined its policies for both types of cardmembers in almost all cases.

A Guide to Amex Chargeback Policy

Although at first glance it seems similar to its key competitors, Visa and Mastercard, American Express is quite different in one fundamental way. Visa and Mastercard do not actually issue any credit cards. They are simply networks that handle payments. Your card was issued to you by your bank.

American Express, by contrast, is both the payment network and the card issuer. Except when it is not. Once upon a time, American Express issued all its cards, and it still issues the vast majority of them, but nowadays a significant minority are indeed issued by banks, just like with Visa and Mastercard. So if your card was issued by Wells Fargo, for example, there will be a number of differences for you compared with a typical Amex card member. Your points and benefits will likely go through your bank, as will your disputes.

U.S. and international cardmembers who were not issued their cards through a bank (again, this is the vast majority of consumers) can turn directly to Amex to raise a chargeback. To do so, contact Amex using the American Express chargeback phone number provided to you by the company (in the U.S., 1-800-528-4800), or online via their website or mobile app. 

When you make an Amex chargeback claim, one of three things can happen. 

  • Your claim will be declined
  • You will be given an immediate Amex chargeback
  • You will enter the Amex dispute resolution process

At any phase, there is an opportunity to raise objections to have your case heard. If you feel your Amex chargeback claim has been unfairly rejected, speak with MyChargeBack professionals who can help you discuss your concerns with American Express. 

Amex Chargeback Reason Codes

Like Visa, Mastercard, and other issuing companies, Amex chargeback disputes are categorized by type. American Express chargeback codes are made up of a letter followed by two digits. Unlike Visa and Mastercard, however, which use four different chargeback categories, Amex uses five. Still, there are only two that will apply to most payment disputes you are likely to encounter: fraud and cardmember dispute.

  • Fraud. In the world of credit cards, “fraud” refers only to unauthorized payment disputes, such as those arising from a stolen card, stolen card data, or identity theft. Even if you were defrauded by an unscrupulous merchant, American Express does not call it “fraud.”
  • Cardmember Dispute. This is the dispute category for authorized Amex transactions. (Visa calls them “consumer disputes” and Mastercard calls them “cardholder disputes.”) Common cases that fall under the various subtypes of this category include not receiving what you paid for or receiving products or services that were of poor quality, damaged, or in some way different from what you were promised.

Amex Chargeback Time Limit 

As for timelines, in most cases an Amex chargeback must be requested within 120 days of the transaction, but the chargeback time limit can be extended to as long as 540 days under certain circumstances. The rules for this are rather complicated, and even many experts are unaware of them.

If you find yourself in a complex American Express payment dispute, contact the professionals at MyChargeBack for a free no-commitment fund recovery consultation.