What happens if you need a credit card payment refund?

Buying things on a credit card can be a sensible decision, because it gives you more protection than debit card if things go wrong, like your item doesn’t show up or is faulty.

What are my general rights to a refund?

Regardless of how you pay for it, you are entitled to a full refund on faulty goods within 30 days. After 30 days, you are entitled to a repair or replacement for up to 6 months.

If you have just changed your mind, you don’t have a right to a refund under the Consumer Rights Act, although many retailers offer refund or exchange within a certain time limit as part of their returns policy.

Why are credit card refunds different?

One of the main advantages of buying things on a credit card rather than a debit card is that if you need a refund because something is not as described or faulty, or the retailer goes bust, the credit card provider, not just the retailer, is responsible for making sure you are not out of pocket.

This is because of something called “section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, 1974”, which states that on purchases of single items worth between £100 and £30,000, the provider is jointly liable with the retailer if you don’t get what you paid for.

The purpose of this legislation is to protect people from going into debt for things they didn’t receive, or were not as described.

Are credit card refunds affected by coronavirus?

No, credit card refunds will not necessarily be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, any transactions you’ve made using your credit card that are affected by coronavirus will likely be better protected.

While most event organisers and operators are offering credit or refunds for events or services that have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus, some may be refusing to do so. In these situations, your credit card company can offer additional protections.

You should always try to contact the vendor or organiser directly before trying to pursue a refund through your credit card company.

If you’re been denied a refund for a product or event affected by coronavirus, you should contact your credit card provider directly and explain the situation to them in detail. For transactions between £100 and £30,000, your card company is jointly liable for any breach of contract (such as an event being cancelled) and can claim the money back on your behalf.

Types of transactions where you could get a credit card refund due to coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge affect on the hospitality and events industry, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Here are some of the situations where you could be eligible for a credit card refund if your transaction has been affected by coronavirus:

  • Ticketed events. Many events and attractions have been cancelled, closed or postponed due to coronavirus. This includes sporting events, cinema screenings, museums, live music and other performances. If the organiser is refusing to refund you for a cancelled or postponed event, you are likely to be able to claim a refund through your credit card provider.
  • Cancelled flights. While most airlines may offer credit for flights cancelled due to coronavirus, you may prefer to get a refund. Your credit card company should be able to get a charge back on any flights that have been cancelled. If, like Flybe, the airline you booked with goes bust and you’re not offered a refund or suitable alternative, then you could seek a refund through your credit card provider.
  • Hotel or travel bookings. While many hotels are offering free cancellations, or waiving cancellation fees, you may find some are refusing to refund your booking if it’s at short notice, or there are no travel restrictions in the region. If you’d like to cancel an upcoming reservation due to coronavirus, your credit card company should be able to perform a chargeback on your behalf.
  • Undelivered or faulty products. If you bought something at an online retailer such as Amazon, but which hasn’t been delivered due to coronavirus, you should be able to request a refund through your credit card company. This would also apply to any products that is faulty or not as the seller described it.

Additionally, some credit card companies provide inclusive travel insurance with their cards, and this may cover you in the event of changes to your travel itinerary or unexpected cancellations.

Please note that your ability to claim a refund may be affected if you make the decision to not attend an event that is still going ahead, but it’s still worth checking with your credit card company to see if you will be covered.

How long will a credit card refund take during coronavirus?

As is understandable, many organisers and retailers are going to be inundated with refund requests, and may take more time than usual to respond to you. This may also be true of your credit card company.

You should expect that it may take even longer than usual for a credit card refund to be processed, especially if it’s for a contested transaction.

As mentioned above, before requesting a chargeback through your credit card company, it’s important to contact the seller or organiser first to establish their refund policy. Chances are most will be offering refunds on events or products affected by coronavirus. Only after you have heard back from the vendor and been refused a refund should you request a chargeback through your credit card company.

When might I need to use section 75?

  • Go straight to the credit card provider – either call them and say you would like to make a claim under section 75 (they will usually send you a form to fill in) or log in to your internet banking locate the transaction in your account history and look for an option to ” query this transaction>
  • You don’t need to go to the card provider straight away if the retailer is still trading – first, request a refund from the retailer in the usual way but stating that you are making a claim “under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act”.
  • It’s only if this is declined or the retailer doesn’t respond that you should contact the credit card provider.
  • If you have no luck going directly to the retailer, write to the credit card provider giving as many details as possible about the purchase: what you bought, when you bought it, from which retailer. Give receipts if possible and details of what went wrong, such as your goods didn’t arrive or were not as described. Also state that you have contacted the retailer and give details of its reply.
  • If this refund claim is rejected by the credit card provider and you think the decision is unfair, you could make a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

It’s important to note that time restrictions can apply to certain types of claim – in other words you may have a limited window in which it is possible to initiate the refund process (often 120 days). Although your card issuer may not be legally obliged to offer a refund after this point, depending on its policies, it may still consider your claim.

Can I get a credit card refund in cash or transferred to my account?

Yes, you should generally be able to get any refunded credit is transferred to your current account by BACS payment, or sent to you via cheque. You’ll need to contact your credit card provider directly to request the credit is transferred.

You’re also free to use the refunded credit amount on day-to-day spending or purchases, as you would with your normal credit limit. However, there are a few drawbacks to doing so.

Any excess credit on your card will not be covered by Section 75, which means you won’t be protected if you have your card stolen or need to request another credit card refund in future. If you choose to withdraw the refunded amount at an ATM, you’re also likely to be charged a fee.

What is (and isn’t) covered by section 75

Covered:

  • Items priced at more than £100, even if you paid for only some of it on credit card. So if you paid £30 on credit card but the item was for sale at £150, you are entitled to a refund of the full amount.
  • Purchases in the last six years.
  • Purchases made abroad or goods from abroad.

Not covered:

  • Debit cards, charge cards, company credit cards and store cards.
  • Items priced at less than £100 or more than £30,000.
  • Purchases made via a third party, such as Groupon, PayPal or Amazon. The relationship has to be direct between the card holder and the retailer.
  • Multiple items. The purchase has to be of a single item. So if you buy five festival tickets in one go and the event is cancelled because the organiser goes bust, you may only be entitled to a refund for one.
  • If the purchase was made by an additional cardholder (such as your husband or wife) on your card, but was for someone else’s benefit, ie. a gift for a friend.

Credit card refund case studies

You bought flight tickets and the airline goes bust. You should be entitled to a refund from the credit card provider for the flights.

You buy a car for £8,000 and put the £350 deposit on your credit card. You are covered for the whole amount.

You buy a kitchen on credit but the doors are wobbly. You make a claim to the retailer but it refuses your request, saying the wobbly doors have been caused by your misuse. You make a claim to the credit card provider, which asks you to arrange an independent report. The report states that the wobbly doors are a manufacturers fault and the credit card provider agrees to issue you a refund.

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14 Responses

    Avatarfinder Customer Care
    TomApril 21, 2020Staff

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your question. Before you contact American Express for a refund, it’s worth getting in touch with the airline directly, as most airlines now have detailed refund policies on flights affected by the coronavirus pandemic. You will generally be given the choice of a refund, credit for another flight, or the ability to rebook your flights for a later date.

    If the airline is refusing to offer compensation or a refund, it would then be worth contacting Amex to request a refund.

    I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Regards,

    Tom

    Default Gravatar
    SandraApril 14, 2020

    I have been refunded on my credit for several things which were cancelled due to lockdown, however I had paid off my purchases at time of buying, how do I convert my credit card refunds back to cash as all are sitting as a credit on my card. thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      TomApril 16, 2020Staff

      Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for your question.

      You should be able to contact your credit provider directly and ask them to send you a cheque for the refunded amount, or transfer it to you using a BACS payment. While you’re also free to use the refunded credit on your card as you would your normal credit limit, this has a couple of potential drawbacks.

      If you withdraw the funds at an ATM, you’re likely to incur fees, and if you choose to use the refunded credit on day-to-day spending, it may not be covered by Section 75 protections.

      I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Regards,

      Tom

    Default Gravatar
    SamMarch 17, 2020

    I have booked flights to Spain on the 17th to the 20th April via Easy jet. Also booked a hotel direct with Iberostar. The hotel are saying I can change the date but to when, I don’t know, so I would like a refund.
    Easy jet, there website simply says change the date and pay any difference, however, same issue.
    So I would like to cancel both, if the two companies won’t refund would I be in my rights to go to Tesco credit Card company and ask them to refund, I paid through Tesco.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoMarch 18, 2020Staff

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are well.

      I’m sorry to hear about your current situation. If you are looking to cancel your trip due to Coronavirus, it’s helpful to know that some providers are offering some form of concession, discount, or full refund and some may be refusing to do so. In these situations, your credit card company can offer additional protections.

      As it is explained above, If a provider denied you for a refund for a trip cancellation affected by Coronavirus, you should contact your credit card provider directly and explain the situation to them in detail. For transactions between £100 and £30,000, your card company is jointly liable for any breach of contract (such as an event being cancelled) and can claim the money back on your behalf.”

      In this light, reach out to Tesco and we hope they are able to help you out!

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    NickOctober 4, 2018

    So I made a purchase with an online retailer a few days ago and having not heard anything about the status of my order after 3 days, I decided to do some research (should have done this first, hind-sight is a marvelous thing) and there are countless reviews on review sites saying that they never received items, item’s weren’t new etc, etc and that the communication with the company is near non-existent.

    Whilst I’m not resounding myself yet to the fact I’ve been scammed (I’m an optimistic guy), I am starting to see what I’ll need to do to get my money back, should the need arise. I paid with my CC, however in the details above, you mention that there’s no cover if you pay by third party. They are using a company called Adyen to process their credit card payments, but as it’s not direct with the retailer, would they be classed as 3rd party or will I still be able to claim should I need to? I’m guessing all retailers have to have a payment processing company, right?

    I’m normally such a careful person, and whilst it’s still early days with the order, this experience has un-nerved me a bit in the world of Internet Shopping. Any advice you can provide me with would be appreciated.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation, though I still hope what you paid for.

      Regarding your question, I made a little research on Adyen and it shows that it serves as a third-party payment processing company. For this reason, you would most probably not be able to make a refund. However, it is still worth a try to ask your credit card provider and confirm.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    PrasadSeptember 13, 2018

    I bought something on Indiegogo which is a crowdfunding source for startup companies. The campaigners have gone quiet after initial responses/updates. Am I entitled to a refund through credit card company if there is no response from the campaigners for a refund?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 14, 2018Staff

      Hello Prasad,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Definitely, you can file for a dispute from your credit card issuer if Indiegogo does not cooperate with your request for a refund. This is called a chargeback. You’ll usually contact your bank to begin the chargeback process.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

        Default Gravatar
        PrasadSeptember 14, 2018

        Hey Jhezelyn
        Thank you for the advice, much appreciated.
        Is there a time limit to request the charge back ?
        Regards
        Prasad

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