American Express Chargeback Dispute Process

American Express chargeback disputes work differently than Visa and Mastercard.

One of the main reasons American Express chargeback disputes differ is because American Express operates differently than other card networks. Unlike Visa and Mastercard, American Express has their own financial institutions that issue credit cards to consumers.

What Happens after a Customer Disputes a Transaction?

The American Express chargeback dispute process may look complicated at first glance. So we are going to breakdown the entire process step-by-step, so you will understand exactly how it works.

The process is initiated if an American Express cardmember contacts American Express to dispute a transaction. A customer might dispute a transaction for a number of reasons, including undelivered goods or services, dissatisfaction, or more.

American Express will review the customer’s dispute and act in one of THREE ways:

  1. Dismiss the case
  2. Issue an immediate chargeback to the customer
  3. Send you (as the merchant) an enquiry

Most merchants won’t ever receive an enquiry unless American Express doesn’t have all of the information they need to settle the dispute.

In the event that you receive an enquiry, here are four ways to respond:

Four Ways to Respond if you have been Issued an Enquiry

Whether you have been issued a chargeback or an enquiry, you have 20 days to respond. Cardmembers aren’t subject to the same time restrictions. They are free to dispute a transaction at any time.

Within the 20 day period, here are four ways to respond if American Express gets in touch with you for a transaction dispute:

  1. Authorize the chargeback
  2. Issue a credit to the customer (or prove that you have already issued credit)
  3. Issue partial credit
  4. Provide sufficient evidence to validate the charge

Chargeback disputes can happen to any business, but you’re going to want to keep your chargeback levels to a minimum. Exceeding the chargeback threshold set by card associations could land you a spot on a chargeback monitoring program.

The best way to avoid chargeback disputes is to prevent chargebacks altogether. Here’s how…

How to Prevent American Express Chargebacks:
  • Process credit immediately and let cardmembers know when they will receive a refund
  • Share the return or exchange policy before completing the checkout process
  • Ask for the Card Identification Number
  • Use the Automated Address Verification Service
  • Keep dissatisfied customers in the loop about the steps you are taking to resolve the dispute
  • Obtain the customer’s signature for items picked up in store, work orders, etc
  • Bill customers after products are shipped or service provided
Need Help with an American Express Dispute?

If your business has been subject to an American Express chargeback dispute, or if you have received an enquiry – you need to act fast.

Get in touch with us right away so we can help you successfully navigate a chargeback dispute with ease and confidence.