American Express Reason Codes Explained
Like MasterCard and Visa, American Express has its own set of chargeback reason codes. While the American Express chargeback programs are similar to those of the other card networks, American Express reason codes are slightly different.
Unique Characteristics of American Express Chargebacks
It is important for merchants to understand the fact that American Express chargebacks are very different from other transaction disputes. We have an entire knowledge base article explaining how American Express handles chargebacks; be sure to check it out.
Each American Express chargeback reason code comes with a list of acceptable documentation that can be used to request a chargeback reversal. Without this supporting documentation, the chargeback will stand and the transaction dispute will be found in the cardmember’s favor.
Merchants should also keep in mind that American Express is both an issuer as well as a card network, so it’s in the company’s best interest for cardholders to win disputes. So, while Visa and MasterCard impose a debit and credit card chargeback time limit for cardholders, there are no American Express chargeback time limits for cardholders—an Amex customer can file a chargeback no matter how much time passes after a sale.
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Understanding American Express Chargeback Reason Codes
The below charts outline the American Express chargeback reason codes, divided into six categories.
|Chargeback Category: Authorization Issue|
|A01||Charge Amount Exceeds Authorization Amount|
|A02||No Valid Authorization|
|A03||Authorization Approval Expired|
|Chargeback Category: Processing Error|
|P01||Unassigned Card Number|
|P03||Credit Processed as Charge|
|P04||Charge Processed as Credit|
|P05||Incorrect Charge Amount|
|P22||Non-Matching Card Number|
|Chargeback Category: Cardmember Dispute|
|C02||Credit Not Processed|
|C04||Goods/Services Returned or Refused|
|C08||Goods/Services Not Received or Only Partially Received|
|C14||Paid by Other Means|
|C18||“No Show” or CARDeposit Canceled|
|C28||Canceled Recurring Billing|
|C31||Goods/Services Not as Described|
|C32||Goods/Services Damaged or Defective|
|M10||Vehicle Rental – Capital Damages|
|M49||Vehicle Rental – Theft or Loss of Use|
|Chargeback Category: Fraud|
|F22||Expired or Not-Yet Valid Card|
|F24||No Cardmember Authorization|
|F29||Card Not Present|
|Chargeback Category: Inquiry/Miscellaneous|
|Chargeback Category: Chargeback Programs|
|FR2||Fraud Full Recourse Program|
|FR4||Immediate Chargeback Program|
|FR6||Partial Immediate Chargeback Program|
A Warning About Chargeback Reason Codes
Chargeback reason codes were created in a pre-internet era. Since the chargeback process has experienced very few updates since the rise of ecommerce, the system is not well-equipped to deal with modern issues.
Unfortunately, reason codes are not able to adequately address new threats like friendly fraud. Savvy consumers have learned to exploit loopholes and file illegitimate chargebacks. Rather than contact the merchant for a refund, cardmembers turn to American Express to dispute the transaction.
Because friendly fraud is cleverly disguised behind inaccurate reason codes, merchants often waste valuable resources preventing and disputing the wrong issues. Rather than determine the real reason behind the reason code, merchants innocently accept the argument offered by the cardmember and supported by American Express.
Merchants need to expose friendly fraud and then devise an effective management strategy. Chargebacks911™ uses Intelligent Source Detection™ technology to accurately determine the true chargeback triggers. If you’d like to learn more about how Intelligent Source Detection™ can help recoup and retain more revenue, let us know.
Reason code analysis needs to be incorporated into broad-spectrum prevention and representment tactics. With professional help, merchants are able to manage chargebacks in accordance with American Express reason codes and guidelines.