How To Find A Business’s Merchant Category Code

A merchant category code (MCC)features four digits identifying codes regarding a particular business. It gets assigned by credit card networks to businesses that have made applications to start processing credit card transactions. Depending on the type of goods and services you will be offering, you get a specific code that describes your type of business.


The merchant category code serves to monitor purchase, prevent certain purchases and also, a reminder to the customers on sale on bill products. By this, it helps to ward-off chargebacks. In some instances, the customer may inquire on the extra charges on their monthly statement. With the merchant category code, the customer can recollect on the reason for the charges. However, if the category code or the name of the business does not ring a bell in the consumer’s mind, it may result in the customer requesting for chargeback translating it to be a fraud. Below, we discuss ways to find merchant category code list

1. You can find it on a list Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS)publishes

IRS established the merchant category codes in 2004. It serves to classify businesses according to the marketing services and products it provides. The IRS issues the code to determine whether the purchase made are to get indicated on the 1099 form. At the end of the year, the IRS requests the 1099 forms from businesses.

Here the forms show the payments made for various services. However, the payments done for goods does not feature in the form.

2. In card network list

Credit card networks such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard use MCCs. The different card network uses different codes for different cards. These networks use MCCs to create a transparent, merchant-friendly platform used for processing fee structure. Here, the business merchants get charged an interchange fee which is also referred to as pass-through pricing. Pass through pricing entails a fixed fee plus a variable fee. The variable fee is charge per transactions made.

3. Online MCCs resources

Different online resources have the MCC published. For Visa Cards, the MCC feature in the Visa Supplier Locator tool. However, it is different from that of the Master card found in the Quick reference booklet. Here, for purchase made, it gets tied to the MCC code of the product. The Merchant Edition Booklet reports it all.

For the American Express, the code gets distributed accordingly depending on the purchases you make. It records the codes on your statement. However, for Discover online cards, you can only get the codes from the card processors.

In conclusion; While making purchases, it is crucial that you are acquainted with the MCC code reward programs. By this, you realize that purchase made regarding a particular code category earns you some points. Hence, the more the purchase, the more you maximize your rewards. Therefore, you have to pay attention to the type of purchase that earns you points. The free tiers may only be guaranteed if you are a regular customer for a particular merchant. Let’s say a restaurant or a filling station.