Sometimes cardholders need to request a refund or a reversal on their transactions, such as when a purchased product is faulty or if you’ve been overcharged. In many cases, simply returning the product or cancelling a transaction can trigger a reversal of the charges billed to your credit card. But sometimes you will need to reach out to your card issuer and make a request for a refund.
Credit card companies generally have well-defined policies regarding when and how to get a refund on credit card transactions. Ideally, you should find out about these as soon as you receive the credit card, or at least before you start using the card. You’ll also need to take a few precautions to avoid unauthorised use of your credit card, even by family members. Keeping track of your credit card transactions can be helpful, and your credit card issuer may send transaction alerts through email or mobile messages.
How long does a credit card refund take?
The time it takes to process a credit card refund can depend on the nature of the refund. Typically, you may request a merchant for a refund or, if that doesn’t work, ask your credit card company for a chargeback.
- Getting a refund from a merchant takes around 5 business days. Suppose you’ve returned a dress you purchased online within the specified duration and the merchant issued a refund to your credit card. Once a reversal of charges is initiated, you’ll probably see the transaction listed on your credit card account within the week. If you’re accidentally billed twice for the same transaction, possibly due to a point-of-sale machine error, you can request the merchant for a refund if the charges are not automatically reversed.
- Getting a refund from your credit card issuer can happen in a few days, or it can take months. Consider these two cases
- Loss or theft of credit card: If you lose your credit card or if someone steals it, you may see fraudulent transactions on your credit card statement. You’ll need to report the loss or theft to your credit card company before you can get a refund for these charges. The card issuer will investigate to confirm that the charges are indeed fraudulent, and not the result of you giving your credit card or its details to someone else. Your credit card company may require you to report loss or theft of your card within a stipulated time, and if you fail to do so, you may have to bear the liability for fraudulent transactions.
- Chargebacks: Suppose you try to return a product but the merchant refuses to refund the money. This can happen, for instance, if they think you’ve violated their returns policy or not returned the product in the expected condition. However, if you feel you are rightfully entitled to one, you may request your credit card company for a chargeback, or reversal of the charges. For this, your dispute with the merchant must be formally resolved, and you will be asked to provide evidence that the refund refusal is unjustified.
Credit card companies are required to give the merchant time to respond, which can be as long as 45 days. As a result, if the transaction is reversed, it may not show up for up to two months. A point to note here is that you may have to pay the charge as part of your credit card bill to avoid paying any late fees or interest on the amount. Once you are refunded the amount, it will reflect in a future credit card statement and bring down your credit card bill.