Below are some common Visa Rules questions. If you have a question about a Visa rule that is not addressed below, please contact Visa at VisaRules@visa.com. Please note that the Visa Rules change from time to time. If there is a discrepancy between the information contained in these Frequently Asked Questions and the Visa Rules, the Visa Rules will apply. If you encounter a situation that may involve a violation of the Visa Rules, please complete and submit a [from name TBD]. If you have a question about a specific Visa transaction that was posted to your account, you should notify your Visa card issuer using the customer support number appearing on your Visa statement or the back of your Visa card for assistance.
Q. Why can’t I use my Visa card in U.S.-sanctioned countries?
A. As a U.S. company, Visa Inc. and its affiliates must comply with U.S. law, including trade sanctions administered and enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC prohibits or restricts transactions with certain countries, organizations, and individuals. For example, there are countrywide prohibitions for Iran, Sudan, and Syria. More information about OFAC can be found on the U.S. Treasury Department’s website.
In addition, Visa issuers outside of the US may also be required to comply with their country’s designated sanctions list as well.
Q. My Visa card issuer told me that I cannot use my card outside my country. Is this allowed?
A. In general, no. The Visa brand promise of “everywhere you want to be” means that you should be able to use your card anywhere Visa is accepted. An issuer is not permitted to block all transactions from a specific location or merchant type. However there are some exceptions permitted, for example, if local regulations require the issuer to block certain transactions or Visa has allowed the issuer to temporarily decline transactions based on an immediate fraud threat. Note that Visa cards issued in countries with laws that limit international use will have a “Valid Only in (Country)” legend printed on the card.
Q. When I was traveling, a merchant converted a transaction to my card’s billing/statement currency without my permission. What should I do?
A. Visa has strict rules about currency conversion when using your Visa card outside the country where it was issued.You must be given the opportunity to have the transaction processed in the local currency. If the merchant did not do so, please notify your Visa card issuer.
Q. A merchant required a minimum purchase amount in order for me to use my Visa card. Is this allowed?
A. In general, a merchant is not permitted to establish a minimum or maximum amount for a Visa transaction. However, exceptions apply in the U.S. and U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. In those locations and only for credit cards, a merchant may require a minimum transaction amount of US $10 and government agencies and education merchants may establish a maximum transaction amount. If a merchant refused to accept your Visa card for on the basis that the merchant requires a minimum or maximum amount on a Visa debit card, or the amount on a credit card is greater than US $10, please notify your Visa card issuer.
Q. Can a merchant ask me to provide identification to use my Visa card?
A. In general, a merchant is permitted to ask for identification but cannot require it as a condition of Visa card acceptance. However, there are exceptions, for example, if Visa has granted the merchant permission to require identification under certain circumstances for fraud control.
Q. Is a merchant required to give me a receipt for my Visa transaction?
A. In most cases, yes, however if the transaction is under a certain amount, the merchant is only required to provide a receipt if you ask for it. In addition, the merchant is not required to provide a receipt for a low-value transaction at an unattended terminal, such as a vending machine.
Q. Is a merchant allowed to add a surcharge to the purchase amount for using a Visa card?
A. In general, no. Surcharging is currently permitted in Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand, and on certain credit card transactions in the U.S.
Surcharging isn't allowed everywhere in the U.S. Currently, there are laws limiting surcharging in Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. California's and New York's laws limiting surcharging have been enjoined from enforcement pursuant to court orders, but appeals are pending. An order upholding Florida's law limiting surcharging was reversed on appeal, but remains subject to further litigation. Consumers who are subjected to a surcharge in states where they may be prohibited from surcharging may want to report the retailer to their state attorney general's office.