High-Risk Merchant Category (MCC) Codes

A Merchant Category Code (MCC code) is a four-digit number used to classify and categorize merchants based on the merchant’s business activities and products or services being sold. Subject to credit card association guidelines, MCC codes are assigned by the bank to each merchant account when the merchant account is established thereby providing a high-level description of the goods or services sold by the merchant.

The credit card associations have also established rules and regulations defining the use of particular MCC Codes including requirements to preregister merchants operating in specific high-risk MCC code categories, for risk monitoring purposes. High-risk merchant category codes (high-risk MCC codes) are the industries which predominantly generate the highest levels of cardholder disputes, represent higher levels of financial risk to the banks and/or create additional brand risk for regulatory reasons.

Additionally, card association registration can also be required for certain MCC codes when the merchant is operating in a card-not-present (CNP) environment within that MCC code, for example, with online tobacco sales as compared to retail tobacco sales.

High-Risk MCC Code List

The following High-Risk Merchant Category Code list describes many of the high-risk MCC codes that require credit card association high-risk registration and also includes several other business categories, for which merchant accounts are also commonly difficult to establish.

  • MCC 3000 to MCC 3350 – Specific airlines, air carriers
  • MCC 4112 - Passenger railways
  • MCC 4121 - Taxis and limousines
  • MCC 4131 - Bus lines
  • MCC 4411 - Cruise Lines
  • MCC 4511 - Airlines not elsewhere classified
  • MCC 4722 - Travel agencies & tour operators, charters, tours & travel packages
  • MCC 4812 - Telecom equipment & sales, telephone & cable services
  • MCC 4814 - Telecom services
  • MCC 4816 - Computer network services, internet access, cyberlocker, file sharing and cloud storage
  • MCC 4829 - Money transfer, wire transfers
  • MCC 5094 - Precious stones and metals, watches and jewelry
  • MCC 5122 - Drugs, proprietaries & sundries
  • MCC 5592 - Motor home dealers
  • MCC 5712 - Furniture stores
  • MCC 5912 - Drug stores and pharmacies
  • MCC 5933 - Pawn shops
  • MCC 5960 - Direct marketing - insurance
  • MCC 5962 - Direct marketing, travel, including discount travel clubs
  • MCC 5963 - Door-to-door sales
  • MCC 5964 - Direct marketing, catalog merchant, mail order, telephone orders
  • MCC 5965 - Direct marketing, combination catalog & retail merchant
  • MCC 5966 - Direct marketing, outbound telemarketing
  • MCC 5967 - Direct marketing, inbound teleservices, audiotext & videotext
  • MCC 5968 - Direct marketing, subscription, continuity / subscription merchants
  • MCC 5969 - Direct marketing, other, not elsewhere classified
  • MCC 5972 - Stamp & coin stores
  • MCC 5993 - Tobacco, cigarettes, cigar stores, vape e-cigs, e-cigarettes
  • MCC 5999 - Miscellaneous specialty retail - includes ammunition and firearms
  • MCC 6051 - Quasi-cash, currency, money orders, travelers cheques, debt repayment, loan payment, lease payment, mortgage companies (not money transfer, non-financial institution)
  • MCC 6211 - Securities dealers
  • MCC 6540 - Account funding, stored value card purchase, prepaid Load (non-financial institution)
  • MCC 7012 - Timeshares - timeshare rentals, leases and sales
  • MCC 7273 - Dating services, misc. personal services
  • MCC 7277 - Debt, marriage, personal counseling services
  • MCC 7361 - Employment agencies
  • MCC 7519 - Motor home rentals
  • MCC 7841 - Video tape rental stores
  • MCC 7922 - Ticket agencies, theatrical producers
  • MCC 7993 - Video amusement game supplies
  • MCC 7994 - Video games and arcades
  • MCC 7997 - Membership clubs, health clubs, country clubs, sports clubs, private golf courses, boating clubs, swimming clubs
  • MCC 9223 - Bail and bond payments
  • MCC 9399 - Government services

High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Traditional banks are often not prepared to manage High-Risk Merchant Accounts and this makes them difficult to obtain. Banks commonly do not have the staffing, expertise or tools in place to monitor the risks associated with supporting these challenging merchant categories. As a result, many banks simply have policies in place prohibiting service to these industries.

From low risk point-of-sale merchants to registered high-risk merchant accounts (which exclude some categories), PayPrin offers a comprehensive range of domestic and offshore merchant account solutions. PayPrin has the partnerships, experience and reputation to help most high-risk merchants obtain a merchant account.

For more information about these MCC code categories or assistance with obtaining a merchant account, call +1-800-550-1303 or Contact PayPrin online today.


As a sales agent, PayPrin operates as a broker and provides consultative referral services to help merchants obtain competitively priced merchant accounts. Merchants accounts are approved under direct contract with a licensed financial institution.

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