For many people using a credit card can offer great benefits for day to day living expenses, and those on the journey to becoming financially stable. A key perk of owning a credit card is the protection you're given with Section 75.
Our guide will help you to understand the benefits of this added security, and how to use it, and your rights.
The law states that if you're sold an item that is faulty, or not as described you're entitled to your money back from the seller or retailer.
Section 75 takes it one step further. With this credit card protection you have the possibility of getting your money back if you purchase something and there’s a problem with it, for up to six years after purchase. You’re still covered, even if the retailer is no longer in business, or is situated abroad.
Your card provider is legally as responsible as the retailer, to provide a full refund on purchases over £100 and under £30,000.
It’s important to note that you don’t pay anything extra for this protection. You're automatically entitled to it as part of your credit agreement.
Section 75 was introduced under the Consumer Credit Act of 1975. It means that when you use your credit card for purchases, such as a new TV, if it arrives faulty, you’re covered should the seller not offer a refund.
Under the act, your credit card company has equal responsibility as the retailer to resolve any issues with goods or services.
A great benefit of Section 75 is, you can still make a claim even if you only made part of the payment with your card.
So for example, you book a holiday and only pay for the deposit using your credit card. Let’s say you pay a deposit of £150 on your credit card for a holiday costing £750. You will be covered because of your deposit transaction.
You have to make sure anything you pay is over £100, even if it’s just 1p over. Making a purchase for £100.01 still covers you.
There are a wide range of purchases and scenarios that you might face, which would make you eligible for this protection.
Here are example of when you will be covered:
Purchases haven’t arrived, or upon arrival are different than advertised
Foreign transactions and purchases abroad
A company has since closed down, but there is a problem with a purchase
Scenarios you might find yourself in:
You purchased a new bike, and now it’s arrived one wheel is missing. The seller doesn’t accept responsibility or agree to a refund.
You book a holiday and the airline company collapses.
You purchase a watch abroad, upon returning to the UK you notice that it no longer works
You must be able to prove the transaction took place.
Here are some reasons you won’t be covered:
Your purchase must be over £100 and over £30,000
Cash taken out using the credit card isn’t covered. Even if you use the cash to pay
Purchase of land
Hire purchases, such as finance agreements
You need to show a direct transaction with the retailer. So using a service, such as PayPal won’t be covered. PayPal is essentially the middle man in this regard. PayPal does have its own version of buyer’s protection.
Purchase of individual items in one transaction that don’t fall within the Section 75 purchase amounts. For example, purchasing two watches costing £90 each, even though you paid £180.
Contact the seller
You should always make contact with your seller first if you’re unhappy with a purchase. It’s important to keep all receipts for your purchases, just in case you need them as proof of purchase.
If you do need to to go down the route of making a claim, your credit provider will ask if you have tried to obtain a refund, and also proof of purchase.
Call your bank
Speak to your bank and request a Section 75 claim form.
Complete the Section 75 claim form
Make sure that you state on the form that you want to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Within your claim, provide as much information as possible. This can include receipts, images of the product, and proof of your interaction with the retailer.
If you're not happy with the decision you credit card provider makes, you can refer your claim to the Financial Ombudsman and make a complaint.
They will look for:
The type of credit you used
The cost of the goods or services
Who was involved in the transaction
If they believe you have enough cause to make a claim, then they will intervene and offer to:
Give you a refund, in part or in full
Repair or replace the goods
Arranged for the services to be carried out properly
Refund interest, charges or repayments
Collect the goods at no cost to you
The Financial Ombudsman may also suggest that you receive compensation for your trouble, and may ask that you are reimbursed for any extra costs incurred.
Debit cards aren’t covered by card protection. Only credit cards and store cards. However, with your debit card you might be covered by ‘chargeback’ instead.
Chargeback means that if something is damaged, faulty or fails to arrive, you’ll have up to 120 days to contact your bank and make a claim.
This protection is available on Visa, Mastercard and Amex credit cards, as well as debit cards. This is provided only if you can provide proof of purchase, and also the related issue, such as the item is damaged.
The difference between chargeback and Section 75 is, chargeback isn’t a form of legal protection. It’s offered on a discretionary basis. Chargeback is covered on card purchases regardless of the amount.
There are many pros and cons to using a credit card. When used responsibly, credit cards can be a great benefit to manage money and help develop positive spending habits.
However, used incorrectly, or without proper discipline, they can sometimes create debt and affect your credit history.
When you apply for a credit card it’s important to get a card that suits your needs. Whether it’s managing debt, credit building or taken advantage of associated benefits.
Make sure to utilise your credit card protection when making purchases.
Compare different types of credit card using our comparison table.