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Do Credit Cards Offer Holiday Returns Protection?

What protections do credit cards offer for holiday gifts that are damaged, defective, or just not what you were looking for? Here are three of the benefits a credit card offers for returning Christmas or holiday presents this year.

Credit Card Return Protection

Credit card return protection is a unique perk that is quickly disappearing. This feature allows a cardholder to return a purchase that might not be otherwise covered by the retailer. Like price protection, return protection is being phased out by many credit card issuers. Discover eliminated return protection in 2017, while Visa never offered the perk.

Typically, issuers limit the time window in which a cardholder must seek a refund. Issuers also set limits on the value of the refund covered. Limits total returns of $1,000 per year are commonplace. Check your cardmember agreement and terms and conditions to see if your credit card features return protection, as it may be an extra perk from some banks.

Keep in mind that a credit card return isn’t instantaneous. Funds may not return to the account for several business days – or up to a week after the refund occurs. The refund may also not appear on your credit card statement for some time if the transaction took place at the end of a billing period.

Purchase Protection

Purchase protection is another perk that is disappearing. This feature provides credit cardholders with the security to receive a refund if their product is defective, damaged, lost, or stolen. Some credit card issuers might not offer a refund for damaged or faulty goods. Instead, they offer a like-for-like replacement for the product.

To make a purchase protection claim, you’ll need several pieces of information to provide to your bank or card issuer. This information will speed up the claim process and save you headaches. Examples of information you may need to submit includes:

  • The billing statement from the period when the purchase was made
  • The receipt from the merchant
  • A police report detailing the theft
  • Repair estimates
  • An insurance claim for losses

Price Protection

What happens if you purchase a gift but then find it cheaper elsewhere? In these instances, price protection is your best option for recouping the extra costs. While price protection is also disappearing from many card issuers, others are keeping – and even adding – the feature.

Capital One added price protection to its personal credit cards in July, while both Visa and Mastercard offer this feature on all their small business credit cards. Specific cards that come with price protection include the Rakuten Cash Back Visa Platinum Card and the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card.

Why Are Credit Card Protections Disappearing?

Why are protections such as purchase protection, price protection, and return protection disappearing from payment network perks? The reason is that many banks offer this feature already, making it redundant for Visa or Mastercard to provide it. Additionally, many of these features are available from third-party sites, such as payment services like PayPal.

Related Article: Everything You Need to Know About Chargebacks

Featured photo by Matthew Henry / Burst
About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.