How to Request a Credit Card Refund From Merchants

Everyone might request a refund on a credit card at some point. And the quickest way to get one is to work directly with the business. But that’s not always enough, so sometimes it might be worth asking your credit card issuer for assistance. 

But it helps to know when and why you might do that. Here’s more about merchant refunds—and what might happen if your credit card issuer gets involved in disputes.

Key Takeaways 

  • If you want a refund on your credit card, it’s best to ask the merchant you made the purchase from.
  • Merchant refunds aren’t the same as credit card disputes and chargebacks.
  • Chargebacks are often related to billing errors and fraud.

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How Do Refunds on Credit Cards Work?

When you need a credit card refund, the best place to start is the place you made your purchase. 

You can contact the merchant and explain your situation. If the merchant agrees to the refund, you’ll get a credit to your account. 

It might take some time for the credit to show up on your account. Some show up immediately, while other refunds show up days later.

What Is a Credit Card Chargeback?

Chargebacks involve disputing a charge with your credit card company. If talking to the merchant directly doesn’t solve the problem, this is one step people might take. But keep in mind, disputes and chargebacks are related to billing errors or cases where a merchant didn’t honor its terms and conditions. And credit card issuers can’t issue refunds on behalf of merchants.

According to the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have the right to dispute charges as long as those disputes are made within 60 days of the charge appearing on your credit card billing statement. Your credit card issuer has up to 90 days to resolve the dispute. 

Is a Chargeback Different From a Refund?

Disputing a credit card charge is different from asking for a refund:

  • Disputes and chargebacks: When you dispute a credit card charge, you’re asking your credit card company to correct a billing error on your account. Or you might be asking your credit card company to have a merchant revisit a charge if you believe the merchant violated its stated terms and policies. But keep in mind: During a dispute, Capital One doesn’t ask merchants to reconsider those terms and policies.
  • Merchant refunds: Requesting a refund covers many situations where you want your money back, like when you’re dissatisfied with the merchant’s policies or service or when you need to cancel plans. Capital One can’t issue a refund on behalf of a merchant. Even if you charged a ticket or reservation to your Capital One card, the merchant is the one who will be able to issue a refund. 

If you believe there’s a billing error with a charge on your Capital One credit card account, the information on Capital One’s disputes support page will give you some options to investigate and try to resolve it. See a suspicious charge you didn’t authorize? Learn how to report it as fraud.

How Long Does a Credit Card Refund Take?

There’s no set answer to how long a credit card refund takes. But if you act right away, you could see a refund within 14 days of contacting the merchant.

How Do You Request a Credit Card Refund?

Working directly with the merchant can be the fastest way to request a refund. Here are some steps you might take:

Review Refund Policies or Service Agreements

Before picking up the phone, it might be a good idea to visit the merchant’s website to learn about its current policies. In some cases, you might be able to avoid waiting on hold by requesting a refund online or by sending an email.

Organize the Required Documents

Have on hand a receipt of your purchase, a confirmation number or another type of document that proves your purchase. 

Provide Necessary Details

It might be helpful to have your credit card nearby in case the merchant doesn’t keep card numbers on file. This is important if you’re talking to the merchant in person, on the phone or online.

Wait for the Merchant

The merchant should let you know if you’re eligible for a refund based on its terms and conditions. If the company approves it, wait a few days for the refund to complete. 

Follow Up if Needed

If you don’t see anything after 14 days, reach out to the merchant again or contact your credit card issuer to see what your next steps might be. There’s a chance your card issuer might start the process of a chargeback.

Questions to Consider When Requesting a Credit Card Refund

Do Refunds Count as Credit Card Payments?

Refunds don’t count as payments toward your monthly bill. They’re credited to your account and will show up as statement credits. 

If your refund hasn’t arrived by the time your credit card payment is due, you might still have to make at least the minimum required payment.

Do Credit Card Refunds Affect Your Credit?

Whether credit card refunds affect your credit depends on the amount charged to your card, your overall credit use and your payments. Getting a refund could lower your credit utilization ratio, one factor used to calculate credit scores. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, experts recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30% of your total available credit.

Do Refunds Affect Credit Card Rewards?

If you get a refund on your card, any rewards you earned from the original purchase will normally be removed from your rewards balance.

Refunds, Disputes and Chargebacks in a Nutshell

You can read more about chargebacks, including when you can dispute a charge and what happens after a dispute

If you believe there’s a billing error with a charge on your Capital One credit card account, the information on Capital One’s disputes support page may be helpful. And if you see a suspicious charge, you can report it as fraud.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information, or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

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