What is a dispute?

If you believe there is an error with a charge on your credit card account or an aspect of your periodic statement, the information on this page will give you some options to investigate and try to resolve it.

A credit card dispute is a process in which you assert that there is a billing error on your account or that a merchant did not honor their terms and conditions.

  • A dispute is not the same as requesting a refund from the merchant, which you should do in many situations where you want your money back, for example, when you’re dissatisfied with the merchant’s policies or service, or when you need to cancel plans. Capital One can’t issue a refund on behalf of a merchant.

If you file a dispute about a transaction with a merchant, Capital One asks the merchant to review the disputed charge and its associated terms and conditions. These are usually the same terms and conditions you agreed to when you made the purchase, even if you might not have read or been thinking about them when you made the charge.

What happens when you file a dispute through Capital One

It can take up to 90 days for Capital One to resolve a dispute with the merchant.
When you file a dispute, we may provide a temporary credit on your credit card account for the disputed amount. We might also place a hold on your available credit for the same amount. We might remove the hold before review of the dispute is finished, but you may ultimately be responsible for the disputed amount and have the temporary credit removed.
Here’s an overview of what happens after you file a dispute:

  • We may request additional documentation from you related to the dispute.
  • In most cases, we send information about the purchase and why you’re disputing it to the merchant and the merchant’s bank via Visa or Mastercard.
  • In those cases, the merchant accepts the dispute or rejects the dispute and tells us why.
  • If the merchant rejects the dispute, we will review their response.  Responsibility for the disputed amount is based primarily on the merchant’s policies and terms concerning the sale. You’ll also have the opportunity to submit additional documents and refute their response.
  • If we conclude that you are responsible, we will remove the temporary credit, and the original charge will be re-applied to your account. If the merchant is found responsible, we will make the temporary credit permanent.

What to do if the dispute charge is reapplied to your account

We understand that having a disputed charge reapplied to your account might not be the outcome you were hoping for. Capital One provides you a temporary credit for the original charge while we investigate your dispute. If the merchant provides information demonstrating that the original charge is valid—or that they gave you a credit for it—we add the charge back to your account (by reversing the temporary credit) and end our investigation. The charge will appear on your account and statement as a “purchase adjustment.” You’ll receive a follow-up letter, either online or in the mail, that provides more details.

If, after reviewing our letter, you’re still dissatisfied, look to the letter for information on whether steps to continue your dispute with us are available to you. If so, the letter will list the additional documentation you’ll need to provide to continue your dispute and how to submit that documentation to us via fax, mail, or a secure link. While you wait for the letter, we encourage you to gather documentation that might be helpful, such as receipts, evidence of making a return or any communication from the merchant promising a refund.

And remember: you can always try to resolve your dispute and get your money back by working with the merchant directly.

How to File a Dispute

Double-check charges
Filing a dispute may not always be the best option. Before you dispute a charge, do a quick double-check:

  • Make sure the charge has posted to your credit card account. Capital One usually can't help you dispute a charge until it has posted. The easiest way to check this is on our website or mobile app. If you don't have online access, you can easily enroll on our Online Banking page.
  • Check with other people authorized to use the credit card account to make sure they didn't make the charge. For example, an authorized user or someone else you have given access might have made the charge.
  • Check your paper and digital receipts—it’s easy to confuse similar charges or forget about tips.
  • Sometimes a recent charge is a result of a free trial or a recurring billing service you signed up for. You will need to cancel your free trial or recurring billing service with the merchant to prevent future charges from these merchants.

Start with the merchant first
Working directly with the merchant is often the fastest way to resolve your dispute. Merchants are sometimes willing to resolve a concern, even if it’s outside of their policy or terms. 

When filing a claim through Capital One, if the merchant contests it, we may need to show that they violated their policies and terms that were agreed upon. 

Keep all documentation from the merchant regarding any cancellation or refund.

If this dispute concerns a subscription, make sure you ask the merchant to cancel the subscription and any future charges.

If you cannot reach a resolution with the merchant, your best chance of resolving the dispute through Capital One is to file a claim within 60 days of the date of your billing statement.
If you’re contacting the merchant via email or mail, you could use a message like this:

Hi [name of company],

I purchased [item or service] for [price] on [date].

I would like a refund of [full $ amount or partial $ amount] because [description of problem]. [Optional: I would also like to cancel any future services related to this purchase].

Attached are copies of [description of information you are including] that document this problem.

Please investigate this and let me know if you need any additional information to process this request.

Thank you,

[Your name]


Filing a dispute through Capital One
Your charge might be eligible to be disputed digitally, in which case the tool to do so can be accessed on our mobile app or our website. 

  1. Log into our app or website.
  2. Select the account that has the transaction you would like to dispute.
  3. In the “Recent Transactions” list, select the transaction you’re disputing.
  4. Select “Report a Problem.”
  5. Continue through the flow by answering questions regarding your purchase. If your transaction is not eligible to be disputed digitally, we’ll provide a phone number for you to call in and work with an agent.

You can also file a dispute over the phone by contacting us at the number on the back of your card or by calling:

Lastly, you can file a dispute by mail. You can mail us this form, or learn more here.


If you believe you've been the victim of a scam - report the scam to the BBB Scam Tracker and the government via the FTC ReportFraud site. You may also want to report scammers directly to the FBI.

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