A credit card refund could take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks, if you’re returning a purchase. But if you’re seeking a refund because you’re disputing a charge on your monthly statement, the process could take up to 150 days. The law dictates that you must notify your credit card’s issuer of the problem within 60 days, and they must resolve it within 90 days of being notified.
With store refunds, the time frame depends on the individual merchant’s policy. For instance, refunds for items returned by mail may take longer rather than in-store. That’s especially true if you’re returning something to a merchant in another country. You should also keep in mind that not all stores even offer refunds, while others limit them to defective merchandise.
So the two biggest factors that determine refund turnaround times are the type of refund you’re seeking and store policy. But to make an accurate estimate, it helps to know all the issues in play.
Here’s what decides how long a credit card refund takes:
- If you’re disputing a charge, it could take up to 150 days to receive a refund, assuming the credit card company rules in your favor.
- Simpler disputes can be resolved faster. For example, if you can produce receipts, it’s easy to establish that you’re telling the truth. That’s one reason to always save them.
- You could dispute a charge if a purchase never arrives or comes damaged, for example, or if you’re charged for a larger tip than you left.
- If you’re returning a purchase, you could get an immediate refund in-store, while a mailed return takes several weeks. The timetable depends on the merchant’s policies, either way.
The best way to find out exactly how long a credit card refund will take is to contact the merchant or your credit card issuer, depending on whether it’s a return or a dispute. And it’s worth noting that some stores only allow returns for store credit. Luckily, many cards offer return protection. So even if you can’t get a return in store, you might be eligible for reimbursement from the credit card company if your item is new and undamaged. And if you do get a credit card refund, it will show up as a credit on your statement.