How to Request a Refund Because of COVID-19

You might need to cancel plans because of COVID-19, but how do you request a refund on tickets or reservations you already booked?

Your plans have likely changed because of COVID-19.

But what if you have plans to travel, see live music or go to a sporting event in the near future? Can you cancel? And how do you get a refund? 

Refund and cancellation policies vary by merchant and are subject to change. But hopefully this guide will help you figure out how to request a refund and who to reach out to during that process.

Who Should I Contact to Request a Refund?

Working directly with the merchant is often the fastest and most successful way to resolve a refund or cancellation request. But 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.

And remember, disputing a credit card charge is different than asking for a refund: 

  • 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: in a dispute, Capital One® doesn’t ask the merchant to reconsider those terms and policies. 
  • 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 because of COVID-19. 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. And if you decide you’re looking for a refund, here’s how a few major industries are handling cancellations and refunds in response to COVID-19. 


If you booked your flight, hotel or rental car through Capital One TravelSM, you can follow this step-by-step guide on how to cancel your trip.

If you booked directly through an airline or a third-party travel site, it’s a good idea to start by visiting the airline or travel website to read about the company’s COVID-19 cancellation and refund policies. 

Some airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees for trips that fall within a certain date range. And others are offering refunds in the form of a credit you can use on future flights. 

You might be able to cancel your trip and request a refund online. Or you might need to contact the airline or ticket seller directly. It depends on the airline or ticket seller’s current policy.

And what if the airline itself cancels your flight? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, you’re entitled to a refund regardless of the reason for the cancellation.   

Hotels and Short-Term Rentals

Some hotels, short-term rental companies and third-party travel sites are changing their cancellation and refund policies because of COVID-19. 

You might be able to get a refund even if you’re canceling close to your reservation date. Or, you might get a credit to use for a future stay. And some hotels and rentals are letting customers change or cancel their reservations without paying a fee. Keep in mind that these special cancellation and refund policies might apply only to reservations that fall within a certain date range. 

It’s best to check the third-party travel site, hotel or short-term rental company’s website for the most up-to-date information about the company’s policies. You might be able to cancel your reservation and request a refund online. Or if you need to, you can contact the travel site, hotel or rental company directly.  

Ticket Marketplaces

If you bought a ticket for a live event, you might have purchased it from a ticket marketplace—either a primary ticket outlet or a reseller. In that case, you should check the marketplace’s current refund policy. If you’re unable to find its policy or if the policy isn’t clear, you can contact the marketplace by phone or email. 

Some of the larger primary ticket outlets are granting refunds for canceled or postponed events. In some cases, refunds are automatically issued to your original payment method without any need for you to contact the company directly. But because these companies are issuing so many refunds during this time, it might take longer than usual for the refund to appear in your account. Since each marketplace has its own policy, it’s a good idea to check the marketplace’s website for more information. 

If the event is postponed instead of canceled, you can typically use your original ticket on the new date. But what if the new date doesn’t work for you? Depending on the current policy, you might be able to request a refund to your original payment method or a credit for future use instead. Some resellers are also giving customers the option to relist their ticket on the reseller’s website to see if someone else wants to purchase it.

Keep in mind that even if you bought your ticket from a marketplace, the venue’s own policies could affect your refund, credit or future use of the ticket.

Concerts and Live Events

If you bought your ticket for a canceled concert or live event directly from the venue, you might automatically be issued a credit or refund—without needing to contact the venue at all. Or, if the event is postponed instead of canceled, some venues might honor your original ticket for the new date of the event. 

If you can’t make it on the rescheduled date, you might still be able to ask for a refund. It depends on the current cancellation and refund policies. So be sure to review the policies and contact the venue directly if you need more information.  

Sporting Events

If your sporting event was postponed, you might have options. Some leagues, teams, promoters and venues are honoring previously purchased tickets for the rescheduled date. And if the new date doesn’t work for you, you might be able to get a refund to your original payment method or a credit instead. But it depends on the relevant policies.

If the event is canceled, you might get a refund or credit to use for future ticket purchases. Check the website you bought the ticket from to see if it has issued an updated refund policy because of COVID-19.

And keep in mind that if you purchased your ticket through a ticket marketplace, its refund policy is likely what matters. But the venue’s own policy could also affect your ticket. So it’s a good idea to check both policies.

Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out how to request a refund without spending unnecessary time waiting on the phone. And remember: requesting a refund is different than disputing a charge. For information on disputing a charge on your Capital One credit card account, visit

Learn more about Capital One’s response to COVID-19 and resources available to customers. For information about COVID-19, head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.

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.

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