How do you reverse a credit card transaction?

Information verified correct on May 1st, 2016

Do you need an incorrect credit card charge reversed? Learn how to dispute transactions with your bank

Mistakes on your credit card statement are forgivable, so long as they are rectified. You may notice a charge that was never authorised by you or an instance where a merchant charged you twice. It is your right as the account holder to bring any issues with your statement to the bank’s attention. They should then give you the opportunity to dispute it, and have the charge reversed.

If you suspect something more serious, such as someone has gained access to your credit card account, this needs to be brought to the attention of the bank immediately. In order to avoid any more unlawful transactions, they may put a stop on the existing account and issue you a new one. This is for your financial protection, as well as a way for the bank to protect itself from being held responsible for those charges that you did not authorise.

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How can I dispute a transaction?

To start with, you are going to want to ensure that the charge in question is indeed an error. To do this, you should first:

  • Check all of your receipts and transaction records for the time period in question, paying close attention to any from the same retailer or financial institution
  • Look carefully at the date of the transaction keeping in mind that the name you know a merchant by may not be the same as what they use to trade with. Some transactions are not processed exactly on the same day, especially if they were made after normal business hours, so try and remember all transactions for the one or two days prior to the date printed on your statement
  • If you have an additional cardholder, check with them to make sure that they did not make the purchase
  • If it is the amount that does not seem right, check to see if an exchange rate or other fee was applied.

If you have carefully checked all of the above and still have not resolved the issue on your own, bring it to the attention of your bank immediately.

What type of transactions can I dispute?

There are a number of errors that can be made with a credit card that you have the right to dispute with the bank. These include:

  • Any transactions that were not made by you or by an authorised additional cardholder
  • A transaction that you believe was made fraudulently
  • Totals on your statement that do not match the total at the time you made the purchase
  • Goods that you have received, but are not as they were described to be
  • Transactions that were mistakenly charged to your account twice
  • A cancelled automatic debit charge that is still being deducted
  • Ordered goods that arrived to you defective
  • An ATM withdrawal that dispensed the incorrect of amount of money.
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What’s the difference between a chargeback and a disputed transaction?

There is a distinct difference between a charge back to your account and a transaction that needs to be disputed by the bank:


A chargeback refers to purchases made using a debit directly from your bank account. If such an error is made, you should first try and resolve it yourself directly with the retailer. If not, your bank will dispute the claim with the retailer’s bank but only if you ask within 30 days of the transaction. Make sure that you are prepared to provide the bank with all of the information you have about the transaction and be aware that you might be charged a fee for this service.

Disputed transaction

This term is used for credit purchases where a charge appears on your statement that you believe was made in error, is in the wrong amount, or is for goods that you ordered but were unable to use.

How do I lodge a dispute?

The process for lodging a dispute will vary by bank, but most will allow you to give the necessary information online. Here are some examples:

NABAfter logging in to internet banking you can send NAB a secure message from the mailbox menu. Select “Electronic transaction dispute” for the subject line. You also have the options of printing a dispute form, filling it in and faxing or mailing it to NAB, lodging the dispute over the phone, or visiting a local branch.
St.GeorgeYou can lodge your dispute over the phone, or by logging into internet banking. Once logged in select “dispute a transaction” underneath the “did you know you can?” tab and follow the prompts. You can also lodge the dispute by selecting the relevant account and underneath “quicklinks” selecting “dispute a transaction.”
ANZANZ has a form that you can download and complete if you need to lodge a complaint, or alternatively you can contact them by phone.

What happens after my dispute is lodged?

You will receive confirmation from the bank once they have received your request for a dispute resolution. At this point it may be necessary for you to sign a form authorising their investigation which you will need to return to the bank in a specified time frame. They will also likely ask that you send them certain documentation in order for them to properly investigate the dispute. If you fail to provide them with all necessary information your dispute will likely not be successful.
Once you have lodged your credit card dispute with your bank, you can expect it to go through these three stages:

Dispute Item RaisedDispute Resolution CreditDispute Item Resolved
The transaction in question is being reviewed.Your account is credited with the correct amount of money.The bank is no longer reviewing the transaction.

What should I be wary of?

Australian consumers have the right to not be charged for goods or services they did not receive. However, you should follow certain steps when using your credit card to protect yourself and your credit rating:

  • Shopping online. When shopping online, only make purchases with established merchants that have been in business for an extended period of time. Websites can be set up from anywhere in the world, making it difficult to track down an individual who makes a charge to your account for goods, and then closes the site. In this case you may have to pursue a chargeback instead of reversing the credit card transaction.
  • Print your online receipts. When completing a check-out online, make sure that you print or email yourself a copy of the receipt. This will help you in lodging a dispute if the goods are never received.
  • Save credit card receipts. When using your credit card in a store, you should always check the receipt before signing it. Also save all receipts until at least the next billing cycle to ensure that it is accurate.
  • Sign your credit card. If a merchant has a signed receipt from your account, it will have to match the signature shown on the back of your credit card.
  • Contact the bank ASAP. Do not wait if you notice a charge to your credit card that should not be there. The bank is only an intermediary between you and the credit card companies, which all have different criteria and time frames that have to be met for resolving disputes.
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Frequently asked questions

Will I be obligated to pay interest on a disputed item?

No, the bank will not apply interest to items on your statement that are under dispute.

Are there fees for disputes and chargebacks?

Resolving a dispute will be done at no cost to you, but a chargeback may incur a fee. Check with the credit card terms and conditions to find out how much they charge for this service.

How long does it take to resolve a dispute?

It will depend on the bank and the circumstances, but the bank should be keeping you informed of their progress during the process. Expect it to take no less than a month, and in many cases even longer, for the charge to be removed from your account.

When should I lodge the dispute?

After checking over your own records to make sure that there is indeed an error, you should lodge the dispute immediately. This should be no more than 30 days after the date of the statement on which the error appears.

Should I still make payments towards my credit card while a dispute is under investigation?

Yes, you should continue with your payments as normal in order to avoid late fees or added interest.

What do I do if the dispute is not resolved in my favour?

Documentation from the merchant will be presented to your bank and then forwarded to you if they feel your dispute has no merit. You can either accept this and pay the charge, or opt to continue to dispute the transaction by providing evidence which negates theirs.
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42 Responses to How do you reverse a credit card transaction?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Nobuhle | September 17, 2015

    I mistakenly deposited money on the wrong bank account on 7-09-2015 is it still possible to reverse it please I am very desperate.

    • Staff
      Sally | September 17, 2015

      Hi Nobuhle,

      Thanks for your inquiry and we are sorry to hear that.

      However, please be gently reminded that you have come through to, a comparison website, not a bank page.

      That said, it would be best to contact your bank directly to ask for assistance on this matter. You need to inform them immediately so that they can help you address the problem as soon as possible.

      Best of luck,


  2. Default Gravatar
    Zee | August 13, 2015

    Hi, I was informed I have refunds by a shop online. How does this work? How can I get the money back? I have paid my credit card in full. Thanks!

    • Staff
      Sally | August 14, 2015

      Hi Zee,

      Thanks for your inquiry!

      Please note that you have come through which is a financial comparison service.

      The refund process will vary depending on your credit card issuer and the online store you’re receiving the refund from. Therefore, it may be best to get in contact with your credit card issuer and the shop owner to discuss the refund process in detail.

      I hope this has helped.



  3. Default Gravatar
    Clancy | June 22, 2015

    My travel money card was stolen and drained while overseas, what would be the best way to go about getting the money back? Thanks!

    • Staff | June 22, 2015

      Hi Clancy,

      Thanks for your question.

      Depending on which travel card you were using, you will need to contact the provider’s customer service team directly to report the theft so they can begin investigating the situation and endeavour to have your funds reimbursed.

      I hope this has helped.



  4. Default Gravatar
    linda | May 19, 2015

    I made a purchase on my credit card but it wasn’t right so I want to refund it. I cannot get to the shop to refund it myself. Can I give my card and pin to someone else to refund it for me?
    Thank you

    • Staff
      Jonathan | May 19, 2015

      Hi Linda, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please note that is a comparison service. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is Australia’s competition regulator and national consumer law champion. Please refer to the link I have sent to your email to lodge a complaint about your disputed transaction.



  5. Default Gravatar
    Rachilla | April 4, 2015

    I paid $300.00USD deposit for accommodation in America through an online booking service, which at the time seemed reputable. Due to family issues we have had to cancel the trip. However, after repeated attempts to get my deposit back (which falls under the guidelines for a refund), I have had no response. The accommodation venue won’t take any responsibility for the booking agent and they are impossible to get in contact with. Numerous web searches now reveal that this particular booking agency is being chased for fraud by Californian authorities. Should I cancel my card, as I am worried they might try to access more money. I have travel insurance would this help with the deposit money?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 8, 2015

      Hi Rachilla, thanks for your inquiry!

      If the merchant is fraudulent it can be ideal to request new card details to avoid any further unauthorised transactions.



  6. Default Gravatar
    John | March 24, 2015

    I purchased some products online ($200) but I haven’t received anything. I have the receipt in my email stating the amount charged. I have tried calling the company, emailing them several times but have not heard back from them. their phone number goes straight to voice mail. The problem is, however, that it has been 4 months since the transaction. What should I do?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | March 25, 2015

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      If your purchase never arrived and you’re unable to get in touch with the company, you can submit a dispute with your card issuer. Just follow the process outlined on the page above (under the heading ‘How do I lodge a dispute) – if your bank isn’t listed just give them a call to find out about the process.

      I hope this has helped.



  7. Default Gravatar
    ChineseProductsOnline | November 11, 2014

    I purchased a few products online from a store stating it was from the US but were really from China. When I received the products they were faulty and very poor in quality. I’ve asked them for a refund but they have refused saying that there is nothing wrong with the items when obviously there is. Can I dispute this transaction or not?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 12, 2014


      Thanks for your question.

      If the products are not as described, then you may be able to dispute the transaction. You can get in contact with your card issuer to discuss your situation and see if a credit card transaction reversal might be an option for you.

      I hope this has helped.



  8. Default Gravatar
    Lawrence | November 5, 2014

    After hiring a car from Europcar they took over R1700.00 in excess from my credit card. As the cost of half a tank of petrol should only be about R250. I can not get any invoice or information of why this large amount was added to the hire charges.

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 6, 2014

      Hi Lawrence,

      Thanks for your question.

      You should get in contact with Europcar to find out why you were charged this amount. If it wasn’t a holding charge, you would only be charged an excess if you damaged the vehicle and it was to cover the cost of repairs. Europcar is a reputable company and should be able to explain the charges to you. If you cannot get a refund and the charge was made incorrectly, then you can get in contact with your back to discuss the process of a chargeback.

      I hope this has helped.



  9. Default Gravatar
    Paul | July 16, 2014

    I processed a credit card through Square in Jan and Feb 2014. The customer authorized and signed both times as she agrees with the transactions.
    In April 2014, I received a charge back from my merchant (Square) stating that Master Card charged back these two transactions without contacting me.
    The customers never contacted me either about that.
    How long after a product or a service has been provided can a customer come to reverse transactions? How can I handle this issue? Should I contact a lawyer or get in touch with Master Card as Square is refusing to help.

    • Staff
      Shirley | July 17, 2014

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your question and we’re sorry to hear about your situation.

      Please contact your credit card issuer first to try and solve the issue. If the issue still hasn’t been resolved, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to raise a complaint.

      The Ombudsman will be able to advise whether you’ll need a lawyer.


  10. Default Gravatar
    Jacqueline | April 12, 2014

    I rent a rug shampoo machine and must put a deposit o down which will be refunded when I return the machine. When I do my accounting books how do I
    reverse the deposit.

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 14, 2014

      Hi, Jacqueline.

      Thanks for your question.

      This is a question best directed towards your accountant. It may be the case the entries listed as deposits are treated differently to other entries on your books.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 1st, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 0.99% p.a. for 4 months with a low annual fee.
0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within the first three months and 1.5 points per $1 spent. Get complimentary airport lounge access, 24/7 concierge with $0 annual fee in the first year.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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