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Chargeback time limits and what they mean to you

At E-Commerce 4IM, we specialize in helping high risk businesses with their credit card processing needs. We want to make it easier for those of you who sell products like mastermind coaching online to accept debit and credit card payments. It’s in that spirit that we wish to discuss chargeback time limits.

Chargeback time limits play a significant role in how chargebacks work and what procedures are in place. In other words, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding and a knowledge of what chargeback time limits are and how they apply to credit card payments.

We specialize in high risk-friendly credit card processing, high risk merchant account recommendations, and chargeback mitigation. With our decades of experience mitigating and limiting chargebacks and cardholder disputes, we want to offer you some quick insights. If you already know what you need, feel free to contact us here or give us a call. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at credit card dispute time limits.

Credit card dispute time limits

A chargeback claim can generally be made within the first 120 days from the time that the purchase was made. There are exceptions, especially with MasterCard, so please contact us with help mitigating chargebacks.

It’s important to note that not all credit cards are made equal, and different providers offer different terms. We’ll discuss American Express and Visa directly. We recommend that you consider the details we outline without a specific credit card issuer as general information.

Visa chargeback time limits

The general dispute time limit for card purchases made with Visa is 120 days. Unlike MasterCard, Visa has few exceptions to this time period.

Another time limit you’ll want to be aware of is from a high risk business owner’s perspective – namely the representment filing deadline.

When a customer disputes a transaction for goods or services having used a Visa credit card, your representment filing deadline is 45 days. In other words, it’s crucial to stay on top of all transaction disputes to avoid exceeding the chargeback time limits.

Visa also imposes fines now for failing to respond to a chargeback. In the past, it was OK for businesses to ignore a chargeback they did not wish to fight; this is no longer the case.

This is where having a chargeback mitigation program in place can make a world of difference. We’ve discussed chargeback mitigations many times before. This is because we always recommend that you make sure you have the chargeback protection you need.

Further information

American Express chargeback time limit

Compared to Visa, American Express is certainly different. For one, if there’s a chargeback dispute from an AmEx purchase, the merchant generally needs to respond within 20 days. This is a much shorter time limit than what you’d get from Visa (45 days).

Moreover, a transaction from an AmEx card can be disputed at any time. While with Visa, the cardholder dispute time limit is 120 days (in general).

In other words, American Express ups the ante a little regarding how quickly you must respond. It also provides their cardholders with the chance to dispute a purchase with no time limit.

Exceptions to credit card dispute time limits

Before we discuss some exceptions, we want to add a caveat.

As you know, the information we’re providing is meant to be a basic first introduction and doesn’t cover everything in detail. Please make sure to continue your research and not act solely on the information provided here. While we work to be accurate, it’s not the complete picture. There’s a great deal that goes into chargeback mitigation and limiting credit card disputes. We specialize in implementing chargeback mitigation programs, so if you need help – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Visa, Mastercard, and others have specific chargeback codes corresponding to issues that cause exceptions to the general time limits that otherwise apply. These are complex and confusing. It’s best to get professional help.

Get near real-time alerts and chargeback protection

We hope this article has helped you get some valuable information on what to expect when it comes to chargeback time limits. If you need any assistance setting up a chargeback mitigation program and software for your high risk online business, you can contact us here. We have decades of experience helping businesses across high risk industries, and we’d love to help you. You can reach us through our site, or you can give us a call at 1 800 570 1347.

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