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Credit Cards

How to Dispute Capital One Credit Card Charges

Updated Mar 10, 2023   |   5-min read

It’s not uncommon to spot a strange charge on your Capital One credit card statement in 2018 – a charge you don’t remember authorizing or a bill for something you’d never buy in the first place. If you’re wondering how you got that charge, there can be several reasons, including billing errors from a merchant mistake, forgotten purchases, and purchases that never arrived or came damaged. It’s also possible your card information was stolen and used by a thief to purchase something. So what do you do if you check your monthly statement and see there is a problem that shows up in one of your billing cycles?

Because there is so much room for error when it comes to your credit card, you should review your statement carefully every month to look for mistakes you’re paying for unnecessarily. Occasionally, Capital One will catch potential fraudulent charges for you – if they notice unusual activity they may contact you to ask about the suspicious charges. But often, you are the only one who will spot unauthorized charges, and when you find errors, it is your responsibility to dispute them so your pocketbook doesn’t take a hit and that you aren’t left with long-lasting consequences such as bad credit.

Contact the Merchant

Before making a phone call to the merchant, Capital One recommends checking with other authorized users on your credit card, which may include spouses or children, to see if the charge is one they approved. The company also suggests checking your receipts to jog your memory about any charges you may have approved but have forgotten about, before starting the Capital One credit card dispute process.

If you still want to dispute the charge, you should contact the merchant. While this step won’t always solve your problem, it’s the first one you should take. Contacting the merchant can help with simple billing errors, like inadvertently charging you twice for a product or a service. That will be easy for them to determine and rectify.

Contacting the merchant or the company can also help if you’re being charged for a service you canceled or if the service was set up to auto-renew annually and you didn’t realize that. To prevent errors like that in the future, Capital One recommends reading the fine print of the goods or services you are signing up for. Some companies, such as satellite radio and magazines, can hide their auto-renewal notices in the lengthy fine print they send you. These are considered legitimate charges and not credit card fraud, so you’ll need to handle the situation accordingly.

>> Read MoreProtect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

If you notice your card is missing or you think hackers or thieves may have accessed your card information, you should immediately call Capital One to put a freeze on the account so more charges won’t appear on your credit card bill.

If you do ultimately end up needing to dispute a charge, typically the credit card company will want to see you have made a good faith effort to work it out with the merchant first.

Contact Capital One to Dispute the Charge

If you can’t get the charge reversed through the merchant or if you think your card has been compromised, you should involve Capital One immediately. Although you can call Capital One customer service for help with the dispute, the most efficient way to resolve the situation is by visiting the Capital One website. Most billing disputes are resolved in this method within 90 days in the United States.

If you don’t already have an online account established with their website, you’ll need to create online access by setting up a username and a password and you’ll need your account number to do so. It’s quick and simple to do and then you’ll be able to use the website to start disputing the claim.

Some of the information you’ll need might include the merchant name, your card number, and contact information and the transaction date.

To begin a formal investigation into the charge, however, remember it has to be posted to your account first. Pending charges can’t be disputed. When contacting Capital One, you should also make sure to differentiate between a disputed charge and a suspected fraudulent charge because the two categories are handled differently with your credit card issuer.

Bottom Line

No one wants to pay more to their credit card than they have to, so keeping track of your authorized charges and questioning any others that show up on your statement is one way to be a watchdog when it comes to your finances. If you notice any questionable charges, you should report them immediately and answer any questions a merchant or your credit card company has for you.

You should also take steps to protect your credit card and personal information by having a strong password for your online credit card account and shredding any paper statements that are sent to you.

It can also be a good idea to regularly monitor all of your financial information using a service such as Credit Karma. If you wait until it’s too late or you don’t often check your online banking services you may end up seeing a decline in your credit score because of fraudulent activity. Working with credit bureaus to resolve issues on your credit report can be much more challenging than dealing with a single issue as soon as it occurs.

If you do dispute charges through Capital One, remember, it can take up a bit of time and be a nuisance, but it isn’t difficult to do and you can make sure you’re safeguarding your account in the process. There are also American federal laws in place that can offer protection if you’re facing an issue with credit card charges.