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.

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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?

  • If the retailer has gone bust, leaving you without goods already paid for.
  • If you receive an item that is not as described and the retailer rejects your refund request.
  • If you receive an item that is faulty or not fit for purpose and the retailer rejects your refund request.

How do I get a credit card refund?

The best course of action for your transaction dispute process will depend on whether or not the merchant is still trading.

If the retailer is no longer trading:

  • 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” or similar.
  • If the retailer has entered administration after you have paid for goods but before their arrival, you can still make a claim, based on an anticipated failure of the company to deliver.
  • If you are making a claim because of a fault, the credit card company might ask you to arrange an independent report to verify the fault. If the fault is confirmed, it should refund you the cost of this as well.

If the retailer is still trading:

  • 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.

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.

Frequently asked questions

Compare credit cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated March 31st, 2020
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%.
0%
Transfers must be made within 3 months of account opening
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable), your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
The Royal Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
0%
Transfers must be made within 3 months of account opening
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable), your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
first direct Credit Card Visa
0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%
2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
18.9%
£0
18.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
HSBC Premier Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
1.4% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% (variable)
A selection of rewards from a range of partners. Earn 1 point for every £1 spent within the UK and earn 2 points for every £1 spent outside the UK. Points can be redeemed for shopping vouchers and frequent flyer miles.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
Santander Everyday Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent in store or online at John Lewis, Waitrose and John Lewis Insurance. Earn 1 Point for every £2 spent elsewhere. Earn double points on selected insurances taken out through John Lewis Financial Services. Vouchers issued once customer reaches 500 points in Feb, Jun or Oct when vouchers are automatically issued to customers. Every 500 points is worth £5.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
Nationwide Member Credit Card Balance Transfer Offer
0% for 18 months reverting to 19.9%
1.5% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Lloyds Bank Platinum No Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 15 months reverting to 19.94%
0% for 3 months reverting to 3% (min. £3)
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.94%
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Halifax Longest 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 29 months reverting to 19.95%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.95%
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for 26 Months Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 26 months reverting to 21.814%
2.98% for 26 months reverting to 3.99% (min. £3)
19.944%
£0
19.9% (variable)
1 point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated March 31st, 2020
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
Barclaycard Platinum All-Rounder Visa
0% for 27 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 27 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 27 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for 27 months reverting to 20.95%
£0
20.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Santander All in One Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
£3 per month
21.7% (variable)
0.5% after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid Monthly into Card Account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 21.7% APR (variable).
MBNA 0% Transfer and Purchase Credit Card
0% for 26 months reverting to 20.93%
0% for 26 months reverting to 20.93%
£0
20.9% (variable)
Introductory 0% purchase offer only applies to purchases made within 60 days of opening.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.93% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Bank of Ireland UK Matched Mastercard
0% for 24 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 24 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card Purchases Mastercard
0% for 22 months reverting to 19.944%
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.814%
£0
19.9% (variable)
1 point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Virgin Money 23 Month All Round Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 23 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn cashback when you shop online with over 500 top brands with Virgin Money Back.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Bank of Scotland Platinum 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Platinum 20 Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Visa
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Sainsbury's Bank Purchase Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for 3 months reverting to 20.95%
£0
20.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated March 31st, 2020
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Credit limits Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
American Express Rewards Credit Card
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.9% (variable)
Earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express Card
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.9% (variable)
5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent. Get a Companion Voucher when you spend £20,000 each year. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 4,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card) and uses the Referral Programme.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.9% (variable)
5% on £1 to £2000 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 0.5% on £1 to £5000 of yearly spend. 1% after £5001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback in the first 3 months (max £100). Must spend £3K annually to earn cashback.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
The American Express Nectar Credit Card
22.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
28.2% (variable)
20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners and elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
22.9%
£25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
28.2% (variable)
5% on £1 to £2500 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 1% on £1 to £10000 of yearly spend. 1.25% after £10001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback (max £125).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
22.9%
£75 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
39.7% (variable)
Earn 20,000 points when you spend £3,000 within 3 months of account opening. Earn 6 points for every £1 spent at Marriott properties globally and 2 points for virtually every other £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 39.7% APR (variable).
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
22.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
57.6% (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership. Offer ends 29 June 2020. Terms apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 57.6% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
22.9%
£195 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
76% (variable)
25,000 Avios when you spend £3K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 3 Avios for virtually every £1 spent directly with BA, and 1.5 Avios for virtually every £1 spent everywhere else. Spend £10K in 12 months to redeem the Avios for a companion ticket on a BA flight. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 9,000 points per friends/family that uses Referral Programme and successfully apply for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £195 per annum, your representative rate is 76% APR (variable).
The American Express Green Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£60 per annum
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
N/A (this product is a charge card).
1 point earned for virtually every £1 spent. Rewards points can be used as currency to buy flights and package holidays through American Express Travel. Reward points can also be redeemed for a wide range of products, experiences, travel and hotel stays.
The Platinum Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£575 per annum
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
N/A (this product is a charge card).
1 point earned for virtually every £1 spent. Additional 30,000 points earned when you spend £4K within first three months of Cardmembership. Earn 1 additional point for virtually every £1 spent at American Express Travel Online. Rewards points can be used as currency to buy flights and package holidays through Platinum Service. Reward points can also be redeemed for a wide range of products, experiences, travel and hotel stays. Cardmember can pay card fee (£575) using Membership Rewards® points at renewal. Earn 12,000 bonus points per friend/family that uses Referral Programme and successfully applies for a card and spends £4K within first 3 months of Cardmembership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated March 31st, 2020
Name Product Annual/monthly fees Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card 24.7pc Visa
£0
£250
Subject to status: £1,000
Not specified
24.7%
Stay in control of your account with online servicing, a mobile app, SMS and email alerts.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 24.7% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.7% APR (variable).
Tandem Bank Journey Credit Card Mastercard
£0
£500
Subject to status: £1,500
£15000
24.9%