Chargeback Win RateHow to Calculate Your Win Rate, Plus Tips to Keep Chargeback Issuances as Low as Possible

February 14, 2023 | 9 min read

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Chargeback Win Rate

In a Nutshell

Chargeback-to-transaction ratios can help you determine how well you prevent chargebacks, but what about the chargebacks you can’t avoid? This article will explain everything you need to know about your chargeback win rate: why it matters, how it’s calculated, and what you can do to improve your numbers.

Chargeback Win Rate & Net Recovery Rate: Two KPIs That Hold the Key to a Winning Chargeback Strategy

In order to accurately diagnose chargeback sources and deploy solutions, you need data about the disputes being filed against you. A lot of this data hinges on the specific metrics you use to gauge performance.

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, can (and should) influence your strategy. Stats like order abandonment rate, refund rate, and decline rate are all important stats.

If you want to know whether your chargeback management strategy is working, though, there’s one KPI that stands out in terms of direct relevance: your chargeback win rate. This figure is crucial to overall loss prevention and revenue retention.

What is a Chargeback Win Rate?

Chargeback Win Rate

[noun]/chahrj • bak • win • rāt/

A chargeback win rate is the rate at which a merchant disputes and successfully recovers transactions following an initial chargeback. This figure is expressed as a percentage of overall chargebacks.

Your chargeback win rate is the cumulative tally of all disputes filed against you, compared to the number of transactions you recover through representment following an initial chargeback. It’s expressed as a percentage of overall chargebacks to gauge how successful you are at recovering revenue from chargebacks.

There are differing levels of granularity here. You can segment your chargeback win rate based on factors like product category, for instance, to compare representment success in different verticals. In all cases, though, you chargeback win rate can be calculated using this simple equation:

Your chargeback win rate offers key insights as to whether or not your chargeback management strategy is working. In short, it’s a measure of how effective you are at submitting chargeback representments, and overturning chargebacks to recapture disputed charges.

Tracking win rates over time can also help you tweak your strategy to get better results. Without this data, you’re basically flying blind. 


Your win rate (sometimes referred to as a “chargeback success rate”) is distinct from your chargeback rate (sometimes called a “chargeback ratio”). Your win rate looks at how well you manage to fight — and win — against disputed transactions. In contrast, your chargeback rate measures your total monthly chargebacks as a portion of overall sales.

Why Your Chargeback Win Rate Matters

Maintaining a high win rate is a vital indicator for merchants. The higher your chargeback win rate, the more revenue you recover from disputes. For instance, chargeback win rates can help you determine:

  • Whether a chargeback is worth fighting or not
  • The chargeback reason codes you are more likely to win against.
  • How to organize and format documents for representment
  • What compelling evidence you will need to gather
  • Estimated time and revenue you will spend fighting a chargeback
  • Which platforms or systems are gaining the most wins
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Not only that, but a higher win rate may incentivize banks to conduct greater due diligence before filing a chargeback in the future. In that way, winning one dispute may help prevent the next chargeback to come after it.

For best results, your chargeback win rate should be as close to 100% as possible. That said, there’s not really a solid universal indicator for what constitutes a “good” win rate.

It’s also important to note that win rate isn’t really the most precise or revealing chargeback KPI. Your chargeback win rate should be considered alongside another KPI, called your net recovery rate.

Chargeback Win Rate vs. Net Recovery Rate

Chargeback win rates and net recovery rates are two related, but separate KPIs. It’s important to distinguish between these two figures; the latter indicator may reveal issues hidden by your win rate.

Remember: your chargeback win rate is the ratio of chargebacks you "win" among a total number of submitted responses. In contrast, your net recovery rate is the ratio of chargebacks you won as a portion of total chargebacks filed by customers.

You need to factor both your chargeback win rate and net recovery rate to accurately determine what is (and is not) working for you.

To illustrate, let’s assume that a business receives 100 chargebacks in a month. The merchant fights 25 of those chargebacks and wins 12 of them. That means the business has a win rate of almost 50%, which is relatively high. Things are a lot less rosy if we look at the other figure, though, as the merchant in our example has a net recovery rate of only 12%. 


The average merchant in 2021 had a chargeback win rate of 42%. However, they had a net recovery rate of just 12%, meaning they only recovered revenue from 1 in 8 disputes issued against them.

The disparity between the average chargeback win rate and net recovery rate suggests merchants are overlooking the latter KPI. They’re relying solely on win rates to gauge the effectiveness of their chargeback management. Considering that first-party (or “friendly”) fraud was the most prevalent fraud attack method in 2021, this mistake could literally translate to billions of dollars in unnecessary losses every year.

If you’re not tracking both of these KPIs, you’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table. There’s a good chance that you’re choosing not to fight chargebacks which you could probably win if you took the initiative to contest them.

5 Tips to Maximize Your Chargeback Win Rate

You may not be able to win every dispute, but you can act to keep your success rate as high as possible. Here are our top five suggestions:

Know the Reason Codes

Every dispute comes with a reason code. This code is meant to offer insight on what caused the dispute, how you could potentially resolve it, and how you can prevent recurring issues. Be aware, though, that the codes vary from one card network to the next. You can use our chargeback reason code tool to look up reason codes.

Know the Timeframes

Chargebacks are limited to strict timeframes. In many cases, you’ll only have a few days to respond. Be aware of the chargeback time limits, how they differ from one card brand to the next, and how long different stages should take. Most importantly, remember to keep up with all messages from your processor so you don’t miss a dispute.

Understand the Components of a Dispute

You need two key items for representment: compelling evidence to show why the chargeback is invalid, and a chargeback rebuttal letter that gives the evidence context. Without these, the bank would have no reason to treat your second presentment any different from the first. They’re both essential to protecting your chargeback win rate.

Organize Your Data

You need to move fast when fighting a chargeback. The key to assembling strong cases in a timely manner is data organization. All relevant data sources, such as customer profiles, sales records, order details, and billing information, should be captured at the point of transaction and stored so as to be instantly recallable.

Draft Compelling Rebuttals

Your rebuttal should be fact-based and informative, but it should be engaging, too. It’s fine to break from the dry legal language in your rebuttal as long as you don’t let frustration or anger show. The goal is simply to make the reader envision that you did everything right when handling the initial transaction.

Multi-Layered Strategies Are Best

Your chargeback win rate plays an important role in chargeback management. It can also help you identify and isolate post-transactional threats like friendly fraud, return fraud, and cyber shoplifting.

KPIs like win rates and recovery rates can vastly improve your chargeback analysis and response, as well as provide critical data for a more comprehensive chargeback management system. To get the most of of your chargeback strategy, you should:

  • Look beyond reason codes to find the true sources of chargebacks
  • Be more proactive about future disputes
  • Identify new revenue opportunities
  • Aim to reduce fees, overhead, and other costs
  • Eliminate false positives and accept more transactions

With over a decade as a leader in chargeback prevention and management, Chargebacs911 is uniquely placed to help you discover true revenue recovery and sustainable growth. Click here to learn more and get started today.


What are the chances of winning a chargeback?

The average merchant wins roughly 45% of the chargebacks they challenge through representment. However, when we look at net recovery rate, we see that the average merchant only wins 1 in every 8 chargebacks issued against them.

How often do people win chargebacks?

All things considered, cardholders tend to win about 7 out of 8 chargebacks issued.

Merchants have less than a 50/50 shot of winning their representment cases. Although, their situations could be improved with better data leveraged through KPIs like chargeback win rates.

Is it easy to win a chargeback?

For consumers, it tends to be fairly easy. If the consumer’s claim is valid, they can often be issued a provisional credit by the bank and receive the funds almost immediately. It’s very hard for merchants, though.

The chargeback process is often a costly and time-consuming process for merchants. Merchants also have a very tight timeframe in which to submit a response (usually less than a week).

How long does it take to win a chargeback?

The length of time is takes to win a chargeback depends on how far it progresses.  If the consumer’s claim is valid, they can often be issued a provisional credit by the bank and receive the funds almost immediately.

If the merchant re-presentments the charge, though, it could take several weeks — or even months — to resolve a dispute.

What's a "good" chargeback win rate?

There’s not really a solid universal indicator for what constitutes a “good” win rate. Instead, win rates are intended to measure the efficacy of your chargeback management and prevention methods. 

Rather than aiming for a “good” win rate, you want your win rate to be as high as possible.

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