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How To Dispute a Credit Card Charge With American Express [2024]

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Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

Editor & Content Contributor

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 44U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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When you have an issue with a charge on your American Express card, you can help resolve the concern. Amex makes it easy to file a dispute for charges you shouldn’t have to pay for, such as unauthorized charges, billing errors, or issues with goods and services.

While American Express will work with you to investigate the problem and get a chargeback if you win, not every dispute is successful. You’ll need to provide information and documentation to successfully complete a dispute and get your money back with Amex.

Learn more about your disputed charge rights, American Express’ dispute policies, and what you can do to submit a dispute that sticks.

What Is a Disputed Charge?

A disputed charge is a transaction on your account that you claim is illegitimate. When you successfully dispute a charge, you can get it reversed so you don’t have to pay for it. 

Many people think of disputes and chargebacks as the same thing, and while they are related, they’re not quite synonymous. A dispute is the complaint you file for charges you have a problem with, and a chargeback is the reversal of the charge.

You can dispute transactions on any American Express card, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. However, federal consumer billing protection rights only apply to personal cards — not business cards.

Your Disputed Charge Rights

You have the right to dispute transactions on your Amex card under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). You can dispute unauthorized charges, billing errors, issues with goods or services, or payment errors. Disputes must be done in writing to take advantage of consumer protections and follow a specific timeline:

  • Upon finding an error, you must write American Express a letter within 60 days of the first bill. It’s a good idea to send your letter via certified mail with a return receipt. 
  • American Express must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days unless the problem has already been resolved.
  • American Express must resolve your dispute within 90 days of receiving your complaint.
Hot Tip:

While FCBA rules require you to submit your dispute within 60 days of your statement, American Express allows you to dispute most charges up to 120 days from the transaction date.

The Disputed Charge Process Under FCBA

While your dispute is under investigation, you can (but don’t have to) withhold payment on the disputed amount along with any finance and related charges. However, you are responsible for paying the rest of your bill — any undisputed amounts. If your dispute isn’t successful, you’ll have to pay for the disputed amount and related finance charges. 

American Express can tell the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) that you have a dispute but can’t take legal action to collect the amount, close or restrict your account, report your account as delinquent, or require you to pay your entire balance including the disputed amount.

  • If you win the dispute, American Express must inform you in writing how it will correct your account, including removing finance and other charges related to the disputed amount.
  • If you lose the dispute, American Express must tell you in writing how much you owe and explain why you lost the dispute. You must be informed when you have to pay the amount owed, and your account can’t be reported as delinquent if you pay within the time period provided by American Express.
  • Disagree with the results? You can appeal the decision within the time period you’re given to pay or 10 days of receiving the explanation, whichever is later. You can appeal by writing American Express. However, at this point, American Express can use collection activity to encourage you to pay the disputed charge and report your account as delinquent but disputed.

You also have the option to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you have a complaint about product quality, such as furniture or an appliance that was delivered damaged, you can contact your state’s consumer protection agency for help, too.

Hot Tip:

You don’t have to pay amounts under dispute unless you lose your dispute case. However, you may have to pay finance charges if you don’t win, so it’s a good idea to pay for the charges if you can and then take a refund if your dispute is successful.

Common Dispute Reasons

You may dispute a charge on your Amex card for:

  • Fraud
  • Billing errors
  • Issues with goods or services

If you believe you have a fraudulent charge on your Amex card, it’s best not to file a dispute and instead go through the American Express fraud process with the security team. You can call American Express to report fraud at 800-528-4800 or log in to your account to start a chat.

Billing errors are another common reason to dispute a charge. These errors could be for an automatic payment you didn’t authorize, a double charge, or a merchant charging the wrong amount. Or you might have received an item or service you didn’t order but were charged for. You can contact the merchant first, then start the American Express dispute process if the merchant isn’t working with you.

You can also file a charge dispute if you have an issue with goods or services that weren’t delivered as promised. For example, if you purchased an item that arrived broken or ordered a custom cake that was never delivered. In this case, you’ll again talk to the merchant first to try to work it out and then get help from American Express if you still need to dispute the charge.

American Express Dispute Options

When you log in to dispute a charge with American Express, you can select one of the following options as a reason for the dispute:

  • I don’t recognize this charge.  
  • I don’t agree with the charge amount, or I have been billed more than expected.  
  • I’ve been charged more than once for the same purchase.  
  • I’ve canceled, returned, or refused this purchase.  
  • I canceled a monthly or recurring charge, but I am still being billed after cancellation date.  
  • I haven’t received my goods or services, or the business canceled my goods or services.  
  • I received my goods or services, but they were not as described.  
  • I purchased this using a different payment method.  
  • I was incorrectly charged for damage, theft, or loss to a car.  
  • I don’t recognize charges from several businesses.  
  • I have an issue with this charge made through AmexTravel.com.  

Amex Dispute Policies

All credit card issuers must adhere to consumer protections under FCBA, but each issuer — including American Express — has its own policies within those consumer protections. 

Pending Charges

With American Express, you must wait until the charge has cleared — so it’s not pending — which usually happens within 72 hours. If you’d like to know as soon as the charge clears, American Express allows you to set an email alert. That way, you can file a dispute once the charge is no longer pending.

How Long You Can Dispute an Amex Charge

Under federal rules, you have up to 60 days from the date of your bill to initiate a dispute. That includes the time between the charge and your statement closing, plus 60 days. But Amex will allow you to dispute most charges up to 120 days from the transaction date.

Hot Tip:

While you have about 2 months to dispute a charge, starting the dispute process as soon as you notice a problem is best. Use your online American Express account to monitor charges and check your statement for issues when you pay your monthly bill.

How Long American Express Can Investigate Disputes

American Express must acknowledge your dispute in writing within 30 days of receiving your complaint (unless the problem has been resolved) and must resolve your dispute within 90 days of the complaint receipt.

Contacting Merchants

When you file a dispute, American Express will ask you — twice — whether you’ve contacted the business first. In fact, it’s the first question you’ll get once you start your dispute. You’ll be advised that resolving issues with the business may be a faster path to a refund.

Amex Platinum card dispute initial screen merchant contact
Before starting the dispute process, Amex will first ask whether you’ve contacted the business about the charge.

How To File an Amex Dispute

You have a few options for filing an Amex dispute:

  • Contact the security team for fraud
  • Call customer service to initiate a dispute
  • Start an online chat to initiate a dispute
  • Mail a dispute letter
  • File your dispute in your online account

Security Team Dispute

If you’re facing fraudulent charges, contact the American Express security team by calling 800-528-4800 or logging in to your account to start a chat.

Phone Dispute

If you prefer to start your dispute over the phone, call the Amex customer service line at 800-528-4800.

Chat Dispute

You can log in to your online account, navigate to the Help section, and select Chat With Us to bring up the chat box. You may also notice a blue Chat bubble at the bottom of your screen when logged in.

Amex Platinum card chat dispute
Disputing a charge is one of the options in the chat dialog once you’re logged in to your Amex card account.

Mail Dispute

You can mail a dispute letter to American Express. Your letter should include your contact information and account number and explain the nature of the dispute and the charges you’re disputing, including the transaction date. Provide evidence to support your dispute and tell American Express how you would like to resolve the dispute, such as a charge reversal.

The Federal Trade Commission offers a sample letter for disputing card charges.

Mail your dispute letter to:

American Express
P.O. Box 96001
Los Angeles, CA
90096-8000

Online Account Dispute

We recommend using your online account to file a dispute on your Amex card because the website will walk you through the dispute process and answer questions so your case is ready to review. Let’s look at what that process entails.

Navigating to Disputes

First, you’ll need to find the charge you want to dispute. While you can open the Disputes option box under Account Services or select Open a Dispute under the Help section, both options will ask you to go to your Statements & Activity section to open the dispute at the transaction level. Save yourself some time and head to the charge you want to dispute.

You must select a transaction that’s cleared — not pending. If you choose a pending charge, you won’t see an option to dispute the charge. Amex will tell you that the charge is still pending and give you the opportunity to create an alert for when the charge clears. To do so, click on Create an Alert and confirm the email address where you’d like to get the alert.

Amex Platinum card dispute pending charge 1
It’s too soon for me to dispute this pending charge, but I can create an alert to get notified when the charge has cleared, and I can submit a dispute.

Once a transaction has cleared, you’ll see the option to dispute the charge. Look for “Don’t recognize this charge?” and the Dispute This Charge button will be next to it. Click on this button to start the dispute process.

Amex Platinum card transaction eligible for dispute
This transaction has cleared, and I have the option to dispute it.

After you click on Dispute This Charge, Amex will ask you whether you’ve contacted the merchant and encourage you to do so before you click Continue to get into the online dispute process.

Filing a Dispute Online

Once you start the dispute process, Amex will inform you that you’ll have to answer questions and can save your dispute for up to 72 hours before submitting it.

Amex Platinum card dispute confirmation
Getting started with an Amex online dispute.

Amex will ask you to select a reason why you’re submitting a dispute. This step is important because the reason you choose determines what the following questions are.

Amex Platinum card dispute reasons
You’ll have to choose a reason why you’re submitting a dispute.

Not sure what’s most appropriate? You can click Show Details to get information on when you should select the reason and what Amex can do about it. For example, if you’re getting charged for a monthly or recurring charge and shouldn’t be, Amex recommends choosing this option once you’ve confirmed no one in your household set up the charge and confirmed with the business that it should be canceled and given the business time to do so.

Amex Platinum card dispute reasons show more
You can see more details about dispute options if you’re unsure which reason best applies to your situation.

For this example, I selected “I don’t agree with the charge amount, or I have been billed more than expected.” This option is appropriate when a charge is more or less than you expected it to be. On the next screen, I had to confirm whether it was the amount or the currency I had a problem with. I selected “I have been overcharged.”

Amex Platinum card dispute about charge amount
If you’re disputing a charge amount, you’ll need to tell Amex if the problem is with the currency or the amount.

Next, Amex again asked whether I contacted the merchant before submitting the dispute. I was asked to provide the date and contact method (including phone, mail, email, fax, text message, or mobile app) I used to contact the merchant.

Amex Platinum card dispute merchant contact
You’ll confirm that you did or did not contact the merchant. If you indicate you did, you’ll need to provide the date of contact and how you contacted the merchant.
Hot Tip:

Because Amex asks twice about contacting the merchant before you can submit your dispute, we recommend trying to work it out with the business first. If you’re unsuccessful with the merchant, you can bring that evidence to Amex for a stronger dispute case. Just be sure to start your dispute with Amex ASAP once you’re sure the merchant won’t make it right.

Amex will ask you if the overcharge was due to a price reduction, the reason for the overcharge, and whether you have documentation to back up your overcharge claim. I wasn’t asked to provide the documentation at this point, I was just asked whether I had it.

Amex Platinum card dispute for overcharge documentation
You don’t have to submit the documentation at this point, but you do need to say whether you have any.

After answering these questions, you can submit your claim by clicking Submit Dispute. You also have the option to save it for later. You’ll have up to 72 hours to move your dispute claim from a draft to a submitted dispute.

Amex Platinum card dispute ready to submit
Overcharge dispute claim ready to submit.

If you save a dispute for later, you can navigate to the Disputes option box under Account Services to get back into the dispute and submit it. You can also access the status of your dispute the same way.

Amex Platinum card dispute pending
An Amex transaction disputed but not submitted.

After you’ve submitted your dispute, American Express will confirm receipt of the dispute, so keep an eye out for a confirmation email. You should also watch your email for additional communication, as Amex will follow up with you to receive documentation, if available, and notify you of the status of your dispute. Amex is required to confirm receipt of your dispute within 30 days of submission and must resolve your dispute — in your favor or not — within 90 days of submission.

How To Win Your Amex Dispute

American Express will make a decision on your dispute, either informing you that the charge is valid and you won’t get a refund or informing you that you won your dispute and you’ll get a chargeback. If Amex needs more information, it will ask for more evidence from you and the merchant as appropriate.

Proving your dispute is valid is key to winning a credit card dispute. Be ready to back up your dispute with evidence. For example, if you checked out of a hotel and got a receipt that doesn’t match what you were charged, you can submit that documentation to American Express to show what should have been the right amount.

Submit your dispute as soon as you can. While Amex allows you to initiate a dispute up to 120 days from the transaction date for most disputes, time is on your side if you do it earlier. Merchants may have limited information as time goes on, and the longer you wait, the more likely you’ll lose track of necessary documentation to prove your claim, such as paper receipts.

Working with the merchant first is also a good idea, as American Express asks about this twice. You may get a refund faster if you talk to the business about reversing the charge instead of asking American Express to investigate.

Hot Tip:

Even if you prefer to submit your dispute by phone, chat, or in your online account, the FTC recommends sending a follow-up letter, ideally by certified mail, with a return receipt. When you send a letter within 60 days of the first statement with the disputed charge, your dispute is protected under FCBA rules.

Alternatives To Disputing Amex Charges

With an online dispute center, American Express makes it reasonably easy to dispute charges, though there’s always a chance Amex could disagree with your claim and the charge sticks. If you prefer not to dispute charges, you may have other options depending on your benefits.

For example, the Amex Platinum card’s shopping benefits can help: return protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty.

These benefits won’t help you with all dispute reasons, such as fraudulent charges, recurring charges after you’ve canceled them, or goods or services you paid for but didn’t receive. But you could, for example, use return protection instead of a dispute if you’re unhappy with an item and the merchant won’t allow you to return it.

Let’s look some more at these Amex Platinum card benefits.

Return Protection

Using Return Protection on your Amex Platinum card, you can return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back. You can do so up to 90 days from the date of purchase to get a refund, excluding shipping and handling. You’re limited to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year, and protection is only valid on items you’ve purchased entirely with your Amex Platinum card.

Purchase Protection

For up to 90 days from your covered purchase date, you can get a refund for stolen, accidentally damaged, or lost items. This limit is much higher at up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per calendar year.

Extended Warranty

When you use your Amex Platinum card, American Express will match the original manufacturer’s warranty for up to 1 additional year on 5 years or less warranties.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the Amex dispute process and your rights is crucial. Whether you need to dispute unauthorized charges, billing errors, or problems with goods or services, having evidence and working with the merchant before you take your case to American Express can help you build a successful dispute. Pay attention to timelines and always respond quickly to follow-up requests as American Express investigates your dispute.


For the return protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, with return protection, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

For the purchase protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the extended warranty benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to dispute a charge on an Amex card?

For most dispute reasons, you have up to 120 days from the transaction date to submit a dispute on your Amex card. However, if you want protection under FCBA, you must submit your dispute by mail within 60 days of receiving the first statement with the disputed charge.

Is it easy to dispute a charge with American Express?

American Express makes it easy to dispute charges, offering multiple options for initiating a dispute. You can contact American Express by phone, mail, online chat, or in your online account to start the dispute process. If you file your dispute online, you can follow prompts to answer many of the major questions American Express will need answers to for your dispute claim.

What are the reasons to dispute a charge with an Amex card?

American Express offers many possible reasons to dispute a charge on your Amex card. In the online dispute process, you can select from the following options:
    • I don’t recognize this charge.
    • I don’t agree with the charge amount, or I have been billed more than expected.
    • I’ve been charged more than once for the same purchase.
    • I’ve canceled, returned or refused this purchase.
    •  I canceled a monthly or recurring charge but I am still being billed after cancellation date.
    •  I haven’t received my goods or services, or the business canceled my goods or services.
    •  I received my goods or services, but they were not as described.
    •  I purchased this using a different payment method.
    •  I was incorrectly charged for damage, theft, or loss to a car.
    •  I don’t recognize charges from several businesses.
    •  I have an issue with this charge made through American Express Travel.

    What is the difference between a chargeback and dispute with an Amex card?

    A dispute is the process you follow to challenge a charge on your Amex card. A chargeback is the amount you receive credited back to your account if Amex determines your dispute claim is valid.

    What are the chances of winning a credit card dispute?

    Winning a credit card dispute isn’t really an odds game but a matter of whether your dispute is valid and you have the evidence to back it up. For example, if you’ve cancelled a service with a recurring charge, were charged anyway, and have proof that you cancelled on time to not be charged, your case is pretty solid. The same is true if you paid for goods or services and can prove — maybe using messages with the merchant — that you never received them. You’re less likely to win a credit card dispute if you don’t have receipts or other documented evidence to back up your claim that the charge is invalid.

    Jessica Merritt's image

    About Jessica Merritt

    A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little cash as possible.

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