The Motley Fool
My Wallet Hero

How does credit card chargeback work?

Looking to get your money back on an item or service purchased with your credit card? Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act covers purchases between £100 and £30,000, through making the credit card issuer jointly liable with the retailer. For purchases outside this range, however, credit card chargeback could help.

Although the chargeback process can seem daunting at the outset, it may prove simpler and faster than many consumers realise. Read on to find out how to make a successful claim via chargeback.

What is credit card chargeback?

Chargeback applies to all debit and credit card transactions. It is used to obtain a refund when a good or service has not been provided as expected.

A consumer may seek a refund for a variety of reasons, including the quality of goods being below their description, the non-delivery of an item, or an administrative error such as being charged multiple times for the same item. Chargeback may also be used where the supplier has gone under before supplying the order.

Chargeback could be a worthwhile means of getting your money back on credit card purchases when Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act does not apply. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act covers purchases between £100 and £30,000 where there is a direct relationship between the buyer and seller of an item.

 

For example, if you were to purchase flights through a travel agent and the airline went under, you would not be covered under Section 75 since there is an intermediary (the travel agent) and therefore no direct relationship between the buyer and seller. In such a scenario, a chargeback claim may be successful.

How does credit card chargeback work?

Chargeback works differently than Section 75, since it seeks to obtain any money owed from a supplier’s bank rather than from the supplier itself.

Before commencing a chargeback claim, it is a good idea to ask the supplier for a refund. If the supplier refuses to return your payment, contact your credit card issuer as soon as possible to say that you want to dispute the transaction. You should do this within 120 days of the purchase date.

How long it takes your credit card issuer to obtain the money from the supplier’s bank can vary considerably. If you have not received a refund after, say, a couple of months, it may be worth making a complaint to your credit card issuer. The card issuer will then have eight weeks to respond.

Potential weaknesses of credit card chargeback

While Section 75 offers legal protection for credit card users, which card issuers must follow, chargeback is not required by law. It therefore does not offer the same level of protection as Section 75.

Chargeback only applies to the amount spent on a card. This is in contrast to a Section 75 claim, where the cost of the entire good or service is covered as long as it totals £100 per item and part of it was put on a credit card.

Section 75 can also be used for a longer period after purchase. For example, if an item stops working a couple of years after purchase, a Section 75 claim can still be made. For a chargeback claim, however, there is a more limited window of 120 days from the date of purchase.

Takeaway

Credit card chargeback can be a useful means of getting your money back where the cost of a good or service was less than £100. It may also be a more successful means of obtaining a refund where you did not have a direct relationship with the supplier.

Although Section 75 provides greater legal protection for consumers than chargeback, the latter may still be a worthwhile means of obtaining a refund. As such, if you are unhappy with a good or service you have purchased on a credit card, a chargeback claim may be a good idea.

Great credit card offers are out there -- you just need to know where to look! If you’re after the top offers on the market, a great place to start is our list of the top credit cards.

MyWalletHero, Fool and The Motley Fool are all trading names of The Motley Fool Ltd. The Motley Fool Ltd is an appointed representative of Richdale Brokers & Financial Services Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the FCA, and we are permitted in this capacity to act as a credit-broker, not a lender, for consumer credit products (our FRN is 422737). The Motley Fool Ltd does not have permissions for, and does not advise on, investment products and services, but may provide information on investment products and services.

The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.