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How to Dispute a Transaction

What is a dispute?

What to do before filing a dispute

Filing a dispute through online banking

What happens when you file a dispute

What is a dispute?

A dispute is typically when you disagree with a previously authorized transaction that has been charged to your account as a result of an error or disagreement between you and the merchant.

Common examples of disputes:

  • The merchant did not provide you with the agreed-upon service or product, overcharged, or you were double charged.
  • You are still being charged for something that you returned to the merchant.
  • The merchant never shipped the product that you ordered and you are unable to obtain a refund.
  • You were charged for a recurring subscription even after canceling it.
  • The merchant charged you the incorrect price (not a currency conversion issue).
  • The service or item you received was not as advertised by the merchant.
  • You were charged for something that was supposed to be a “free trial” that you had canceled within the appropriate cancellation timeframe.

A dispute is not the same as an unauthorized charge. With transactions involving fraud, you and the users on your account do not recognize the transaction or merchant, or you or the users on your account did not authorize the merchant to charge your credit card. If you have noticed such suspicious activity on your account, contact us immediately.

What to do before filing a dispute?

Double-check charges

Before you dispute a charge, do a quick double-check:

  • Make sure the charge has been posted to your credit card account. Capital One is unable to dispute a transaction while it is in a pending status. Enrol in Online Banking or download the mobile app to manage your account and keep an eye on pending and posted transactions.
  • Check your receipts - it's easy to confuse similar charges or forget about tips.

Here are some examples of common unexpected transactions:

  • The transaction was made by an authorized user without your knowledge. For example, your authorized user may have charged your shared account while on a business trip before you have all the details.
  • The transaction was a trial offer you signed up for, but you weren’t made aware of the specific amount or frequency of the charge once the trial period has ended. If this is the case, contact the merchant directly.
  • The transaction is a recurring charge (for example, it appears monthly or annually). If you disagree with the recurring charge, contact the merchant.
  • 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

Before you file a transaction dispute, you must first contact the merchant and try to resolve the issue directly with them. 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.

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 the merchant has agreed to provide a credit or refund, contact us 15 days after their message in the case of non-receipt. If the merchant has refused to provide a credit for your disputed transaction, you can contact us immediately.

When filing a claim through Capital One, and the merchant contests it, we may need to show that they violated their policies and terms that were agreed upon. That process can take up to 90 days and may require that you supply additional documentation.

Filing a dispute through online banking

Your charge might be eligible for submitting a dispute online, in which case the tool to do so can be accessed on our website.


  • Sign in to our Online Banking website.
  • Select the account that has the transaction you would like to dispute.
  • Find the posted transaction you want to dispute under All Transactions. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to dispute any pending transactions unless they post to your account — generally this takes about 5 days.
  • Navigate down to Posted Transactions Since Your Last Statement and Load Previous Statement if the dispute transaction is older.
  • Select Help me with this transaction.
  • Continue answering questions regarding your purchase. These questions determine whether your transaction is eligible to be disputed online.
  • If your transaction is not eligible to be disputed online, we’ll provide a phone number for you to call in and work with an agent directly.

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

What happens when you file a dispute

It can take up to 90 days for Capital One to resolve a dispute with the merchant.

Here's what we'll do:

  • We'll manage communications with the merchant during the dispute process.
  • A temporary credit applied to your account within 15 days (if applicable) that will remain until the investigation is complete.
  • If there wasn't enough evidence to support your dispute of the charge, your credit will be removed and we will call you to provide this update.
  • If we're unable to reach you, depending on whether you're in enrolled in paperless communications, you'll receive a follow-up letter, either online or in the mail within 7-10 days, that provides more details explaining this rebill.

We may request additional documentation from you related to the dispute. This can include receipts, information about your attempts to return and/or cancel, emails between you and the merchant, and communications with the merchant to try to resolve the issue.

If the merchant rejects the dispute, we will review their response and may request additional documentation. Responsibility for the disputed amount is based primarily on the merchant’s policies and terms concerning the sale.

If we conclude that you are responsible for the transaction, 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.

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