How do you reverse a credit card transaction?

Information verified correct on July 27th, 2016
credit-card-statement-keep

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, as long as they are rectified. It may be a transaction you don’t recognise or an instance where the merchant’s charged you twice. Whatever the case, you should always immediately bring any inconsistencies in your statement to the bank’s attention, where you’ll be given the opportunity to dispute and reverse incorrect charges. This is especially urgent if you suspect your card has been stolen or breached, since you’d want the account instantly frozen to prevent morefraudulent transaction.

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What transactions can I dispute?

It is your right as a consumer and account holder to dispute a variety of credit card errors that include:

  • Unauthorised transactions. Any transactions that were not made or authorised by you or an additional cardholder.
  • Fraudulent transactions. A transaction that you believe was made fraudulently.
  • Inconsistencies. Items on your statement that do not match the item amounts on your receipt.
  • Mistakes. Transactions that were mistakenly charged to your account more than once.
  • Refunds. Refunds or credits that have not been processed, or that were wrongly processed as debits.
  • Cancellations. Charges for a reservation you made but cancelled within the cancellation period.
  • Cancelled auto-payments. A cancelled automatic payment that is still being deducted.
  • Faulty or defective goods. Goods that you paid for but have not received, have been delivered but are not as they were described to be or that arrived to you faulty or defective.
  • Unfulfilled services. Services that have not been rendered.
  • ATM errors. An ATM withdrawal that dispensed the incorrect amount of money.

What should I check before I dispute a transaction?

Firstly, please ensure that the charge in question is indeed an error by following these steps:

  1. Check all your receipts and transaction records for the period in question, paying close attention to items from the same retailer or financial institution. Try reconciling total amounts over the period, bearing in mind that some transactions may not be processed on the same day.
  2. See if you can relate the purchase to something else you bought in the same period, given that some merchants may have different billing names to their trading names. You can search the Australian Business Register for more information about the merchant using the billing name on your statement.
  3. If you have an additional cardholder, check to make sure the purchase wasn’t theirs.
  4. If it is the amount that does not match, check if an exchange rate, international transaction fee or other surcharge was applied by the merchant.
  5. If the transaction was for an automatic payment or direct debit that you believe has been cancelled, contact the retailer for clarification. Some contracts specify cut-off dates for cancelling regular payments, which makes the charge legitimate if your notice of cancellation was given after that date.

If you are still unable to resolve the issue after doing all of the above, contact your bank immediately to initiate an investigation.

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How do I lodge a dispute?

The process for lodging a dispute will vary by bank. Some will let you provide the necessary information online, while you may need to call others.

BankHow to lodge a dispute
NABLog into NAB internet banking and send a secure message using the ‘Mailbox’ option. Select ‘Electronic transaction dispute’ and fill out your request. You also have the options of printing a dispute form, mailing or faxing it to 1300 788 350, lodging the dispute over the phone at 13 22 65, or visiting a local branch.
St.GeorgeYou can lodge your dispute over the phone at 1300 304 040, 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 selecting ‘Dispute a transaction’ underneath ‘Quicklinks’.
ANZLog into ANZ internet banking, select ‘Lodge a transaction dispute’ under your credit card account overview and follow the prompts. Otherwise, you can download and complete the ‘Customer transaction dispute form’ or call 13 22 73.
Commonwealth BankCall 13 2221 or visit any branch.
CitibankCall 13 24 84 or complete the ‘Dispute Investigation Request’ and send it by fax to 1300 664 197 (preferred) or by post to ‘Credit Card Disputes, Transaction Services GPO Box 40 Sydney NSW 2001’.
HSBCCall 1300 308 008 or visit any branch. You can also download the ‘Transaction Dispute Form’ online, complete it and send it by fax to 02 8987 5956 or by post to GPO Box 4263 Sydney NSW 2001.
WestpacCall 1300 130 961 or log into online or mobile banking. Select your credit card, select the particular transaction, and then ‘Dispute this transaction’ on the transaction detail page.

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’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:

Chargeback

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.

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 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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46 Responses to How do you reverse a credit card transaction?

  1. Default Gravatar
    monihrgrg | June 14, 2016

    i tried booking flight tickets online. but there was an error in booking. however, money has been deducted from my account. what should i do?

    • Staff
      Ysa | June 15, 2016

      Hi monihrgrg,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you were charged on your credit card after an incomplete transaction, you can get in contact with the retailer for clarification.

      It would also be suggested to contact your credit card issuer to address your situation and see if a credit card transaction reversal might be an option for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Ysa

  2. Default Gravatar
    Nicole | May 1, 2016

    I purchased concert tickets from ticketmaster. The concert has be postponed. No new date has been given. I have attempted to get a refund, but ticketmaster is saying no because I bought resale tickets. After reviewing their policy, it is so written. However, I didn’t realize it at the time of purchase that the tickets were resale. I went to their reputable website to purchase tickets from them. There should have been some type of warning before purchasing. Basically, the only options I’m being given ate to sell the tickets or wait until the artist reschedules the date, which can be whenever(no deadline). Can I dispute these charges for a product bought but not received?

    • Staff
      Ysa | May 4, 2016

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for reaching out.

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

      If you have spoken with the agent but have not agreed to process a refund, the next step we can take for this issue is to get in touch with your respective card issuer to discuss your situation directly and see if you are entitled for a transaction dispute.

      You may also wish to check the link I’ve forwarded to your email for a full information of the Ticketmaster Purchase Policy.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Ysa

  3. 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 finder.com.au, 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,

      Sally

  4. 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 finder.com.au 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.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  5. 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
      sally.mcmullen@hiveempire.com | 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.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  6. 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 finder.com.au 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.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. 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.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  8. Default Gravatar
    John | March 24, 2015

    Hello,
    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.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  9. Default Gravatar
    ChineseProductsOnline | November 11, 2014

    Hi,
    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

      Hi,

      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.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  10. 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.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated July 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) 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. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Earn up to 70,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, plus enjoy a 0% p.a. for 6 months offer on balance transfers.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
9.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au 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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