Problems Using MasterCard®

Shopping Problems FAQs

Q: A merchant required me to make a minimum purchase when I used my MasterCard card

A: A merchant located in the United States or a region/territory of the U.S. may set a minimum transaction amount for credit cards only. The amount may not exceed $10 (U.S. dollars) and cannot discriminate between issuers or between MasterCard and other acceptance brands. Merchants are not permitted to require a MasterCard cardholder to pay a minimum amount in a Debit MasterCard or MasterCard prepaid card transaction.

If you believe that a merchant inappropriately has requested a minimum charge, you may report this by clicking the following URL and completing a brief online form
Report a problem

Q: A merchant wanted to charge a surcharge or fee to use my MasterCard card.

A: As a result of a court approved settlement with merchants, MasterCard agreed to modify its rules to permit U.S. merchants to surcharge MasterCard credit cards, as long as they complied with certain limitations.

Merchants have the option to add a surcharge at the "brand level" where the surcharge is the same for all MasterCard credit cards, regardless of the card's issuer, or they can add a surcharge at the "product level" (e.g., apply a surcharge to all World MasterCard cards regardless of the card's issuer but not standard MasterCard credit cards). The specific details of the requirements around merchant's that surcharge can be found at www.mastercardmerchant.com. A merchant's ability to surcharge on credit cards is subject to any restrictions or prohibitions imposed by applicable state law. MasterCard rules continue to prohibit merchants from applying a surcharge on debit cards.

If you are not certain whether you have been charged appropriately, or you would like to report a questionable charge, email us here and provide the information requested.

Q: The merchant surcharge was not clearly disclosed before I paid.

A: Merchants must clearly disclose their surcharges at the register and clearly indicate the amount of the surcharge on the receipt.

If you are not certain whether you have been charged appropriately, or you would like to report a questionable charge, email us here and provide the information requested.

Q: The merchant surcharge was a higher amount than what I expected.

A: The surcharge that the merchant assesses may not exceed the merchant discount rate that the merchant pays for the credit card that is surcharged. In the United States, this charge for MasterCard typically ranges from 1.5% to 3% and in no event may the merchant surcharge greater than 4%. Merchants much clearly disclose their surcharges at the register and clearly indicate the amount of the surcharge on the receipt.

If you are not certain whether you have been charged appropriately, or you would like to report a questionable charge, email us here and provide the information requested.

Q: I paid a higher amount at the pump because I used my MasterCard card

A: A merchant may provide a discount to its customers, provided that the discount is posted.

If you believe that a charge of your MasterCard card is questionable or you would like to report a questionable charge, you may report it by clicking the following URL and completing a brief online form
Report a problem

Q: A merchant required me to provide identification to use my MasterCard card

A: A merchant must not refuse to complete a transaction solely because a cardholder refuses to provide additional identification information. However, there are certain situations where a merchant may require some personal information, such as a shipping address for online purchases. Additionally, if your MasterCard card is unsigned, a merchant should request personal identification to confirm your identify and ask the cardholder to sign the card before completing the transaction.

If you believe that a merchant has violated the above standard or their actions requesting identification are questionable, you may report it by clicking the following URL and completing a brief online form
Report a problem

Q: I tried to make a purchase but my card gets declined.

A: MasterCard does not manage cardholder accounts. Cards are issued by financial institutions that maintain accounts and set limits. If the transaction was declined, please contact your financial institution that issued your card to understand why it was declined. Sometimes banks put security measures in place to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions on cross-border and online transactions resulting in declined transactions.

Q: Questions not answered here

A: If your question is not listed among the previous topics and questions, your best option is to contact the financial institution that issued your account as only they hold account specific and unique information. Typically there is a customer service number for your financial institution on the back of each card that you can call. You can always contact the MasterCard Assistance Center toll free at 1-800-307-7309 or 'Collect' by dialing 1-636-722-7111.
If you believe that your question can only be answered by MasterCard:

If you believe that your question can only be answered by MasterCard, Click here to submit your question.