It can be confusing to know how long you should expect a refund on your credit card. Here are some guidelines to help you out.
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It’s important to know the refund policy of your credit card issuer in case you need to return a purchase. Most issuers will credit your account within a few days of receiving the returned merchandise, but some may take up to a month. If you paid for your purchase with a check or debit card, you may get a refund by check.
Here’s a rundown of the refund policies of major credit card issuers:
American Express: You should receive a credit for your return within 7-10 business days. If you paid by check, you’ll get a refund check within 14 business days.
Discover: You should receive a credit for your return within 30 days. If you paid by check, you’ll get a refund check within 14 business days.
Mastercard: You should receive a credit for your return within 30 days. If you paid by check, you’ll get a refund check within 14 business days.
Visa: You should receive a credit for your return within 30 days. If you paid by check, you’ll get a refund check within 14 business days.
The Length of Time for a Refund to Go Through
When you make a purchase with your credit card, you have what is called a “grace period” to pay off your balance before interest is applied. If you pay your balance in full and on time every month, you will avoid paying interest on your purchases. Depending on your credit card issuer, your grace period may be 21-25 days.
However, if you return an item that you purchased with your credit card, the refund may not appear on your statement for the same amount of time it took for the original charge to post. For example, if you made a purchase on the 1st of the month and returned it on the 5th, the refund may not appear until the following month’s statement.
It can take up to two billing cycles for a refund to go through. So if you returned an item on January 5th, and your credit card issuer uses a 28-day billing cycle, you would expect to see the refund on your February statement. If your issuer uses a 21-day billing cycle, you would expect to see the refund on your January statement.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. If you don’t see a refund that you’re expecting, contact your credit card issuer to find out why.
Reasons Why a Refund May Take Longer Than Expected
There are a few reasons why a refund may take longer than expected. The most common reason is that the merchant may have placed a hold on the funds. This is particularly common with large purchases, such as airfare or hotel reservations. The hold ensures that the merchant doesn’t lose out if you cancel your plans.
Another possibility is that your bank may take longer to process the refund than the merchant. This varies depending on the bank, but it can sometimes take a few days for the refund to show up in your account.
If you’re still not seeing the refund in your account after a week or two, it’s best to contact your bank or credit card issuer to find out what’s going on.
How to Avoid a Long Wait for a Refund
If you are expecting a refund on your credit card, there are a few things you can do to avoid a long wait. First, make sure that you have filed your taxes and sent in any necessary documentation. Next, contact your credit card company and ask about their refund policy. Many companies have a specific window of time in which they process refunds, so it is important to know when to expect your money. Finally, keep an eye on your account balance and monitor the progress of your refund. By following these steps, you can avoid a long wait for your refund.
Based on our research, the average credit card refund is processed within 3-5 business days. However, some card issuers (like Discover) may take up to 7 business days to process a refund. If you’re waiting for a refund from your credit card issuer and it’s taking longer than expected, we recommend contacting them directly to inquire about the status of your refund.