Merchant Category Code List

Payment brands use Merchant category codes (MCC) to differentiate between types of businesses.  Corporations can monitor how their employees spend money by knowing the four-digit number that describes a merchant’s type of business.

Payment brands, like Visa and Mastercard, are limited to which MCCs they recognize. Payment brands change, add, and delete MCCs regularly. Working with an Interchange professional with experience understanding MCCs may help save your business money.

Merchant Category Codes

Merchant category codes help businesses serve objectives. Corporations, businesses, and government agencies can use MCCs to report service purchases to the IRS, monitor their spending, restrict spending within certain categories, and take advantage of rewards from merchants and payment brands for using their products to purchase within specific category codes. Merchant category codes are generally listed in the following manner: 

Agricultural Services Merchant Category Codes

Businesses listed under Mccs 0001 through 1499 participate in agricultural services. Veterinary services are represented by both Visa and Mastercard as MCC 0742. If Visa offered a reward for pet owners using their credit cards to see their local veterinarian, then they would use the MCC code to monitor visa users’ expenditures under MCC 0742. If you’re a corporation working with animals, these rewards could save you lots of money. 

Contracted Services Merchant Category Codes 1500-2999

Contractors are represented by payment brands as MCCs 1500 through 2999. Visa and Mastercard recognize heating, air, electrical, residential, commercial, and many more contractors under contracted services on the merchant category codes list. Payment brands also recognize the following contracted services MCCs:

  • MCC 1740 Stonework, masonry, plastering, tile setting, and insulation contractors
  • MCC 1750 Carpentry contractors
  • MCC 1761 Sheet metal, siding, and roofing contractors
  • MCC 1771 Concrete workers
  • MCC 1799 Special-trade contractors
  • MCC 2741 Publishing and printing agencies
  • MCC 2791 Typesetting services
  • MCC 2842 Specialty cleaning and sanitation services

Airline Services Merchant Category Codes 3000-3299

Airlines are represented by MCCs 3000-3299. Payment brands recognize most major airlines under the MCC but differ on how they abbreviate them. Mastercard doesn’t have an MCC for certain airlines at all. Air Djibouti, for example, isn’t recognized as MCC 3282 by Visa or Mastercard. If employees of your business travel frequently, then it may be in your business’s best interest to work with a merchant category card list expert.  

Car Rental Services Merchant Category Codes 3330-3499

If your business uses corporate credit cards to purchase rental cars, then you may directly benefit from being familiar with MCCs 3330-3499. When corporations want to monitor how much money their employees spent at Hertz last year, then they could tally how many purchases made using MCC 3357. Businesses can directly benefit from understanding how the merchant category code list affects their business. 

Lodging Merchant Category Codes 3500-3999

International businesses send employees all over the world and their employees may stay in lodging establishments under merchant category codes 3500-3999. Businesses can have partnership agreements with certain hotel chains, or credit card issuers may offer rewards for lodging at the Marriot (MCC 3509) or the Sheraton (MCC 3503). Travel agencies can use the merchant category codes list to offer discounts for purchases made at the Waldort (MCC 8381), using Avis rental cars (MCC 3389), and flying United Airlines (MCC 3000) because of the interchange rates for these types of businesses and payment brand rewards. 

Transportation Services Merchant Category Codes 4000-4799

Companies in the boating, freight, warehousing, and travel industries fall on the merchant category codes list as transportation services. Everyday transportation like taxi cab services, bus lines, as well as bridge and road fees are represented by MCCs 4000-4799. Airport services may fall under the transportation service codes and the airlines they house may fall under another category code so it may be wise to speak with a merchant category code expert about using MCCs for the benefit of your business. 

Utility Services Merchant Category Codes 4800-4999

Utility companies like gas, electric, water, heating, oil, and sanitary companies are recognized by payment brands Visa and Mastercard under the MCC 4900. The accounting department in your business’s San Diego office can compare their utility fees with your Las Vegas office and determine which location is more efficient with utilities and use that data to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. The possibilities of understanding the merchant category codes list are endless. 

Other Merchant Category Codes 5000-9999

Merchant category codes can be very useful in monitoring a business’s spending but can MCCs be used to restrict certain spending categories? Consider that your company wants to restrict all company purchases at retail services (MCCs 5000-5599), then your company could work with an interchange professional and restrict purchases made within categories 5000-5599. A corporation could monitor, restrict, and reward purchases made in the following categories as well:

  • Clothing Stores Merchant Category Codes 5600–5699 covers apparel stores, sporting equipment merchants, wig shops, and more
  • Miscellaneous Stores Category Codes 5700-7299 includes bars, drug stores, bike shops, florists, savings bonds, and more
  • Business Services Merchant Category Codes 7300-7999 have businesses ranging from exterminators to consulting companies 
  • Professional Services and Membership Organizations Merchant Category Codes 8000-8999 represent dentists, doctors, hospitals, political, and other professional organizations. 
  • Government Services Merchant Category Codes 9000-9999 like court costs, fines, bail and bond payments, and tax payments fall under this category. 

An interchange professional will have useful experience optimizing businesses using the Merchant category codes list and could use that knowledge to benefit your business.