Card chargebacks

Hello out there!

I’m writing a piece on card chargebacks, looking at how they work, any problems with the process, and how different banks/payment systems compare when it comes to dealing with them.

Have you tried to get a chargeback? I would love to hear about how it went – successful or not.


**EDIT Thanks for all the responses. Here’s our report on credit card chargebacks:


Have a look at my posts regarding Speedyfixer, CBA Mastercard and Paypal for some good feedback.


Please explain what a card chargeback is.


It is when you ask your Bank/Financial Institution to reverse a Credit Card payment you made (this does include Visa and Mastercard Debit card payments). This request can be for many reasons eg the business you purchased from didn’t send the goods and has not refunded the cost. A chargeback can take some time as the request has to be investigated. There is also a time limit on when you can ask for a chargeback but in some cases they will allow longer than the stated period (there can be different time limits depending on who you bank with but most are around 60 days or so) eg some people have now requested chargebacks for pre-COVID purchased holidays and many Banks are honouring some of these requests. Chargebacks act like a buyers protection when faced with recalcitrant sellers. Many times when a chargeback is paid the goods purchased do not have to be returned but this does vary.


I have only used credit card chargeback on occasions where I have disputed or queried a transaction that has appeared on my credit card as unauthorized.
I haven’t used chargeback for refund purposes.
I track my accounts through online banking, and don’t wait for statements to arrive.
My experience is that my card provider will promptly reverse the transaction and then investigate. After investigation, I have never had a disputed transaction recharged back again, which can happen if the merchant side can put up a good argument that they are not at fault.



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Thanks everyone for your input - very helpful.



I have a Westpac credit card. I once noticed a merchant had debited twice over for the one purchase, so went to the bank branch.

All went smoothly enough but the teller commented I was “nearly out of time”.
It seems Westpac gives you (then anyway) only 30 days from the date of the relevant statement to apply for a chargeback.

I had not been aware of that. I wounder what the time limit is for the major card providers. Folks should know of that.




We used a credit card chargeback to claim back the deposit and final balance payments to an overseas travel company who refused to refund costs for our trip which was cancelled due to Covid. We claimed on the basis that we did not get what we paid for, and the full amount was refunded. It took several months and a lot of chasing up and required the patience of a saint or two.


To be clear @Guitarfish, when you say the full amount was “refunded”, do you mean that your card provider reversed the charge when you requested it and that after investigation, the travel company you paid did not object and the reversal stood?

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After investigation, we received our money back via the credit card company. I don’t know from where they obtained the money, there was very little information provided, but we presume they reclaimed it from the travel company on the basis of our claim that we did not receive the goods (accommodation and other services) we paid for. The travel company reneged on their full refund policy/guarantee saying that it wasn’t designed for this situation.
I will add that we did have valid travel insurance (covered for pandemic and purchased before the cut-off date) however decided to pursue the chargeback as a back-up, luckily since the travel insurance proved to be almost worthless too!
Our credit card company had a 6 month time limit for chargebacks.


The general agreement (being part of the Visa and MC network) is that your bank, the issuer, who provides your credit card, will request a charge reversal from the credit card company, who handles the travel company also (the merchant). So that is where the money came from. So it went out of the travel company’s account with the credit card company and back into your account with the credit card company.

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Yes, there are time restrictions for chargebacks with all card issuers…so as soon as one sees a discrepancy or has an issue with products received (or not received), and it is not possible to get a refund from the seller, one has to act promptly to instigate a chargeback. The issuers T&Cs for the card will outline time frames applicable to chargebacks and grounds for which chargebacks may be considered by the card issuer.

It can also be important to scan purchases in one’s credit/debit card account online to look for transaction issues…rather than waiting for a statement to be issued.


Thank you Gregr - I guess that’s what we thought would happen and is what we wanted to happen - we didn’t see why the travel company should just be able to keep our money in the event our insurance claim was successful (we informed our insurers we were attempting the chargeback, and after we received the chargeback we withdrew this part of the claim, obviously!).

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Commonwealth Bank also has a 30 days limit.

From Commbank comes the following:

" To reduce the risk of chargebacks caused by cardholder disputes, it’s important to have complete and up-to-date transaction records. A transaction can be disputed up to 120 days from the date of the transaction or the delivery date, whichever is later, so we recommend keeping your transaction records for at least six months."

So 120 days from payment or delivery, whichever is the later. Perhaps they vary the time by card type eg Gold Card, Platinum, or normal? There is some discussion re the 30 days in that a request after this time may impact the ability to get the money back, so sooner rather than later.

Also of interest is the following about the acquiring Merchant/s and/or Bank/s:

“acquiring banks and merchants have a set time limit of 45 days to respond to each phase”


As per my post above regarding the 'Speedyfixer Scam", the cop-out by the grubs at the CBA was that it was more than 45 days old.

With grubs like the CBA, who needs enemies?

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I found some links on timeframes that are expected for various reason codes for Chargebacks. Perhaps your chargeback request was coded as one of the shortest timeframes. While the site is very US the codes are still valid as they are the Mastercard internal ones:

And the UK look at chargebacks that backs up the timeframes:

The second link also suggests there is an appeal process if you don’t like the Bank’s response.

Of interest is that in some cases eg with Mastercard some Travel issues timeframes are 540 days, this may be why some Banks are dealing with COVID Travel chargebacks beyond the 120 days (Visa is 120 days from the original date of the service so in this case not as good as Mastercard).

Buying Gift Cards? Then doing so with a CC may provide some greater protection against Gift Card declines in insolvency cases or unused ones.

"Refunds for unused gift cards are generally 120 days from the expiration date printed on the card.

If there is no expiration date printed on the card, Visa’s deadline is 540 calendar days from the date of the original transaction, whereas Mastercard gives you 120 days from when retailer was declared insolvent."



  • what is a card charge back

  • can I do one on my plain old visa debit card (not a credit card)

  • Implications on charge backs (cancel orders, blacklisted buyer etc)

Those are my questions I’d like answered. Hope the writing goes well :slight_smile:

Edit: Questions I would like answered in the article. But sure.