American Express Chargeback Reason Codes

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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
Reason Code Explanation
A01 Charge Amount Exceeds Authorization Amount
A02 No Valid Authorization
A03 Authorization Approval Expired
Chargeback Category: Processing Error
Reason Code Explanation
P01 Unassigned Card Number
P03 Credit Processed as Charge
P04 Charge Processed as Credit
P05 Incorrect Charge Amount
P07 Late Submission
P08 Duplicate Charge
P22 Non-Matching Card Number
P23 Currency Discrepancy
Chargeback Category: Cardmember Dispute
Reason Code Explanation
C02 Credit Not Processed
C04 Goods/Services Returned or Refused
C05 Goods/Services Canceled
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
Reason Code Explanation
F10 Missing Imprint
F14 Missing Signature
F22 Expired or Not-Yet Valid Card
F24 No Cardmember Authorization
F29 Card Not Present
Chargeback Category: Inquiry/Miscellaneous
Reason Code Explanation
R03 Insufficient Reply
R13 No Reply
M01 Chargeback Authorization
Chargeback Category: Chargeback Programs
Reason Code Explanation
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.


Prevent Chargebacks.

Fight Fraud.

Recover Revenue.

Aug 26, 2015   2018   cb911    Reason Codes    
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