Shop with confidence using a credit card with an added layer of protection to refund you if the retailer won’t. Compare and apply online.
If your credit card offers refund protection, your credit card provider may take responsibility for refund requests rejected by the retailer. In this case, if a retailer refuses to give you a refund after you purchase an item and try to return it to them in new and non-faulty condition within 90 days, you can go to your card provider and claim a refund from them instead. This is, of course, only possible if you used their credit card to purchase the item.
Credit card refund protection comes with some restrictions. The exact restrictions vary depending on the provider you are dealing with but there are some that are fairly universal.
The cover only applies to items regarded as eligible. This typically rules out items like precious stones, jewellery, antiques, artworks, furs, event or travel tickets, mobile phones, computer software and perishable goods. There are even more exclusions. Read the policy terms and conditions if unsure.
The refunds will also have specific upper and lower limits. Some providers will only offer a maximum of $2,000 worth of refunds to a particular customer over the course of the year and will only pay up to $500 for individual items. Many of them will also not offer refunds on products priced below $50. In this case, you would get only a $500 refund for an item costing, say, $1,000, and no refund at all on an item priced at $45.
Refund protection differs from purchase protection
While very few card issuers (notably American Express) offer refund protection, a large number of providers offer purchase protection. Purchase protection covers against theft or accidental damage, whilst refund protection covers against rejected refund claims. Refund protection could be regarded as an extended form of purchase protection.
When choosing credit cards with refund protection, you need to compare them carefully to ensure good value. Important factors to use in the comparison include:
There are numerous pros and cons, as you would expect.
Refund protection cover is normally only one of a suite of insurance policies applicable to a specific credit card. You will normally have been provided with the terms and conditions of the policies when you first received your new card. Failing this, you can normally find a link to the insurance terms and conditions on the card’s web page.
You won’t see an additional fee on your credit card for refund protection. Refund protection cover is usually listed as a complimentary benefit. However, the cost of providing this cover is built into the total cost of the card, and unless the card has no annual fee, the cardholder will be defraying the card issuer’s costs to some extent.
You will need to fill out a claim form and provide a copy of the invoice and/or receipt for the item, showing that it was purchased using the credit card offering the refund protection cover. Under certain circumstances you may be asked to provide the item itself.
Some card providers (or their insurance underwriters) may be prepared to accept your credit card statement as proof of purchase, but you will be on shaky ground. It’s always best to retain the receipt for individual items over $50.
These situations are outside the scope of credit card refund protection. It is only meant to cover the return of new, undamaged items in perfect working order. If your item is damaged or faulty on arrival, you should normally be able to insist that the retailer accepts a return, under the provisions of consumer law. Items accidentally damaged after you have owned them for less than 90 days may be covered by a separate credit card purchase protection policy. Items which prove to be faulty after being used for a while may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
No. Where the retailer has an established returns policy which is the same or better than the benefit provided by the credit card, you must first try to get your refund from the retailer.
Read your card’s terms and conditions for details of the dispute resolution process.