Credit Card Refund Essentials Explained

Credit cards are, hand in hand with cash, the most common method of payment in the world, and countless transactions go through them daily. This also implies that credit card refunds are one of the regular forms of compensation when purchased products don’t meet your standards. Whether it’s a wrong item pick, a faulty product, or your overall dissatisfaction with something you’ve bought, this type of refund is an option in most companies’ policies. For this reason, we will help you learn more about how to obtain a credit card refund in a matter of minutes.

What Does a Credit Card Refund Process Look Like?

The beginning of the refund process itself partially depends on the type of service you paid for and weren’t satisfied with. If it’s a purchased product, you’ll likely have to return it first before the merchant initiates the refund procedure. This step doesn’t exist if you were overcharged or damaged during other types of transactions.

You should know that once you use your credit card for a certain transaction, the money goes directly to your credit card company—not to the merchant, as you might expect. Only when the transaction gets confirmed by the credit card company, the total of your available funds gets lower. Since the seller doesn’t receive the money directly from you, you can’t obtain an immediate refund once you contact them. This is the reason why a regular refund process usually takes several days.


How You Can Request a Credit Card Refund

Here you can see the available options for requesting your money back:

Can You Request a Refund Via

Yes/No

DoNotPay

Yes
Email

Yes

Phone

Yes
Letter

No

Website

No
In Person

Yes

Requesting a Credit Card Refund In Person

It’s much simpler to explain the situation you’re going through if you find yourself face to face with an agent than communicating via other channels. This is what the procedure looks like:

  1. You must bring specific evidence that will help your provider determine the reason why you’re filing a complaint and claiming the money back. It may include photographs of the damaged product or questionable features of the item
  2. Once the representatives locate your transaction in the system, they get in touch with the seller if any doubts need to be clarified
  3. In case everything’s clear, there’s a possibility for the company to start the refund process immediately

Requesting a Credit Card Refund via Email

In case you wish to request a credit card refund via email, follow these steps:

  1. Find your credit card company’s email address
  2. Write an email message with a detailed explanation of what happened and state the reason for requesting your money back
  3. Leave all the necessary details that might help them find your transaction—this might include the transaction date and time or your delivery address
  4. Include all relevant documents in the attachment

Requesting a Credit Card Refund Through a Phone Call

Here’s a procedure to follow in case you prefer to contact the help center through a phone call:

  1. Find your company’s customer support phone number
  2. Call them and explain why you’re asking for a refund
  3. Confirm the information related to your transaction and let the representative track it in the system
  4. Wait until they call you back and inform you about the outcome

How To Request Your Credit Card Refund via DoNotPay

Using DoNotPay for demanding a refund will free you from any type of direct communication with the merchant or your credit card company. Thanks to its artificial intelligence aspect, this app completes all the steps in your stead, making sure your request falls into the right hands. To tackle the refund process with our app, you should follow these instructions:

  1. Sign in to your DoNotPay account using your web browser
  2. Go to your profile page and scroll down until you see the Chargeback Instantly section
  3. Select Get Protected 
  4. Add the information the chatbot asks for, including the merchant’s name
  5. Add your signature and submit the request

The request will be faxed to your bank automatically, and we can include all the relevant Visa or Mastercard codes, as requested by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Having all this done, your chances to receive your money back get much bigger.

How Long Does It Take for a Refund To Appear on a Credit Card?

The refund procedure usually takes several days, but this aspect varies depending on the credit card provider. Here are approximate periods for some of the most popular credit card companies:

Credit Card

Estimated Credit Card Refund Time
Visa 

Seven business days

Mastercard 

Seven business days
Barclaycard 

Five business days

Bank of America 

Seven business days
Apple

Ten business days

American Express

Seven business days
Capital One

Seven to 14 business days

Does a Credit Card Refund Have To Go to the Same Card?

Yes—in most cases, the sellers prefer to return the funds to the original payment method. This means that the money can only be refunded to the account associated with the credit card with which you made the transaction. The only option that stands out from this pattern is a refund in the form of a voucher or a gift card if approved by service providers or sellers. Otherwise, you can hardly expect to receive cash or to have your money transferred to another card instead.

My Card Was Canceled—What Should I Do? Can a Refund Be Issued to a Different Credit Card?

If it’s only the credit card that was canceled, without affecting the bank account related to it, then there will be no reason to worry. A new credit card linked to the same account will make it possible for you to use the money after the merchant returns it. In other cases, when the bank account is affected, the best thing to do is to contact the credit card provider. They should be able to find a solution to this issue with the help of the seller.

What if a Merchant Doesn’t Want To Cooperate?

General law doesn’t leave buyers and their rights to chance. The Consumer Right Act 1975 and its section 75 stipulate that the credit card company itself is liable for any fraud, problem, or misunderstanding related to the seller. According to this, you can count on legal protection and refer to credit card refund laws even when the merchants refuse to pay you back. The rules are as follows:

  • The law applies to transactions in the amount between $100 and $30,000
  • The deadline for reporting a damaged product is 30 days from the date of purchase
  • After this period no refund can be obtained, but the item can be replaced or repaired
  • In case you just changed your mind, you aren’t entitled to receive the funds back

No results? You might be interested in trying out a special DoNotPay feature that helps you file a complaint and sue the merchant in small claims court. 

What Else Can DoNotPay Help You With?

In case you were charged for a paid membership that came after a free trial you forgot about, DoNotPay offers you fantastic virtual credit cards as a future alternative for such cases. DoNotPay will be there for you when you want to cancel memberships and subscriptions such as Philo, OnStar, Xperience, Nationwide Insurance, and many more

You can access these and other features anytime by running the app in your web browser. Here’s a list of all situations we can assist you with: