How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge

Disputing a Credit Card Charge

In life, unexpected situations can arise where you need to dispute a charge on your credit card. Whether the issue stems from a billing error, a disagreement with a merchant, or you didn’t receive what you paid for, knowing how to properly dispute a charge can save you time, money, and stress. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the critical steps you need to take to successfully dispute a credit card charge.

Step 1: Reach Out to the Merchant

Before escalating the issue to your credit card company, it’s best to start at the source of the problem. If you believe the merchant is at fault, trying to resolve the issue directly with them should be your initial step.

Most merchants will be willing to rectify any errors on their end. Keep a record of all communications with the merchant as this evidence might be needed later if the dispute needs to be taken further.

Step 2: Contact Your Credit Card Company

If the issue remains unresolved after contacting the merchant, the next step is to reach out to your credit card company. Each company has a different process for dealing with disputes; therefore, it’s essential to follow their specific instructions to improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

To begin the dispute process, you’ll usually need to log into your online account and fill out a dispute form. If you’re unsure about how to start this process, call the customer service number on the back of your card for guidance.

Step 3: Provide Evidence

Your credit card company may ask you for additional details or specific evidence to support your claim. Being prepared and collecting this evidence in advance can make the process smoother. This evidence can include:


  • The item’s receipt.
  • Screenshots of the item’s store page and the merchant’s return policy.
  • Photos or videos demonstrating how the item you received doesn’t match what was promised.
  • Communication records proving that the merchant refused to refund you.

Step 4: Wait for a Decision

After evaluating the evidence provided by both parties, the credit card company will make a decision. Maintain professionalism and politeness throughout the process – it’s in your best interest.

Step 5: Continue Paying Your Credit Card Bill

During the dispute process, which can last from days to weeks or even months, the charge in question is typically frozen. This means you’re not required to pay it, nor will you be charged interest on it. However, you’re still responsible for paying any other charges on your credit card bill.

If you choose to pay the disputed charge and it’s later reversed, you’ll receive a credit on your statement.

Should You Pay the Charge?

If the disputed charge is small and not immediately needed, you might consider paying it to avoid the possibility of forgetting later. On the other hand, if there’s a chance you’ll need the money, it would be wise to hold onto it. Being prepared for unexpected expenses is more important than a bit of convenience.


Learning How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge is an essential skill for managing your finances. By following these steps, you can navigate the dispute process with confidence and professionalism. Remember to keep detailed records, provide clear evidence, maintain regular payment of your credit card bill, and exercise patience throughout the process.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.