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Credit card protection with Section 75

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act could offer you purchase protection if you spend on your credit card. Read our guide to what credit card protection can cover and how to make a Section 75 claim.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act could offer you purchase protection if you spend on your credit card. Read our guide to what credit card protection can cover and how to make a Section 75 claim.

Written by
Alex Hasty
Insurance comparison and finance expert
Last Updated
24 AUGUST 2023
11 min read
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What is Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and what credit card protection does it include?

If you use your credit card to buy something that costs over £100 but not more than £30,000, your purchase could be protected by Section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act.

This credit card protection applies to all types of credit card, and in certain cases it could allow you to get a full refund from your credit card provider.

Under Section 75, your credit card provider has equal responsibility with a seller if something goes wrong with a purchase. That means you could claim back the money you’ve paid from your credit card provider instead if, for example, the company you’ve bought from goes bust, or if the retailer refuses to put it right.

Read on to find out when Section 75 applies, when it doesn’t, and how you can make a Section 75 claim.

Need to know

Section 75 might only offer protection in certain cases. Whether you can make a successful claim depends on the circumstances, the terms and conditions of your credit card provider, and the Mastercard, Visa or American Express scheme rules. Every case is individual, so don’t assume you’ll be automatically covered.

What credit card cover do I have from Section 75?

Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you could claim a refund for single purchases that cost over £100 but not more than £30,000 from your credit card provider, if:

  • An item isn’t delivered to you but you’ve still been charged.
  • The item you bought is faulty or damaged and the company won’t refund you or offer a replacement.
  • Your item arrives and it isn’t what was described or doesn’t work as advertised.
  • The company goes into administration before you’ve got the item or service you’ve paid for. This could include airlines or holiday tour operators.
  • You’ve paid for transport and accommodation for an event that is then cancelled.

To qualify for credit card protection under section 75, you don’t necessarily need to pay more than £100 towards a purchase on your credit card. Provided that the total cash price of the good or service you’re buying is over the £100 threshold, you should still be able to claim.

For example, imagine you paid a £50 deposit for a new £500 sofa and then paid off the remaining amount with your debit card. Under Section 75, you may have credit card purchase protection for the full cost of the sofa, and not just the deposit, if the retailer then goes bust and fails to deliver.

What does Section 75 not cover?

You might not be covered by credit card protection if:

  • Your purchase is worth £100 or less, or over £30,000.
  • You used a third-party provider such as PayPal, Worldpay or Google Wallet, to pay instead of buying directly from the retailer or service supplier.
  • Similarly, if you buy a holiday through an agency, or you buy concert tickets through a ticket-selling platform, you may not be covered by Section 75. Read the terms of the third party’s own buyer protection scheme carefully before you buy.
  • You paid using a debit card or charge card.
  • You withdraw cash using your credit card.
  • The individual items you bought are priced £100 or less, even if part of a purchase totalling over £100. For example, if you bought three tickets for £90 – paying £270 in total – they won’t be covered. This is because the single item is £100 or less.
  • The purchase was made by an additional cardholder. To be covered, you might need to show that you as the primary cardholder will benefit from the purchase. For example, Section 75 could apply if it was a joint purchase like a family holiday or if the additional cardholder used the card to buy you a birthday present.
  • You use your credit card to buy a gift in someone else’s name. For example, if you buy a flight or a gift subscription for somebody else you may not be able to claim under Section 75.
  • You use your card for money transfers or other indirect forms of payment, such as vouchers bought from a third-party supplier. For example, a clothes store voucher bought at the supermarket.

Hire purchase (HP) also isn’t covered under Section 75. However, the supplier is legally obliged under the Supply of Goods Act to make sure goods they sell are as described and not faulty.

How do you make a Section 75 claim?

Before you start a Section 75 claim on your credit card, you should first contact the retailer or company that you bought from to give them an opportunity to put things right.

If they don’t get back to you to offer a refund or they’re no longer in business, follow these steps to make a Section 75 claim:

  • Write or email your credit card provider and state that you’re making a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
  • Clearly detail when and where the payment was made and how much you paid. Include a copy of the receipt or proof of purchase that backs up your claim.
  • Explain why you’re making a claim under Section 75. For example, this could be because the good or services you received were faulty or misrepresented.
  • Inform your credit card provider of the steps you’ve taken to contact the retailer or company involved, and the response you’ve received from them. Include a copy of any correspondence as evidence.
  • Indicate what you would like your credit card provider to do. For example, you could ask them to refund the purchase price of the item into your credit card account, or to cover the money you’ve spent on repairing a damaged item.
  • Remember that it’s not guaranteed that your Section 75 claim will be successful. Keep a copy of any correspondence between you and your credit card provider in case you do need to take things further.

Note that you’ll need to be the primary cardholder to make Section 75 credit card claims. And you’ll be making a claim against the bank or financial firm that issued your credit card, not the payment network - Visa, Mastercard or American Express. 

How long will it take to receive the money after a claim?

There’s no legally binding time limit for how long it should take your card provider to investigate and resolve your Section 75 claim. It depends on the resources available at your credit card provider to look into your case.

If you’re unhappy with how long it’s taking, you can make a complaint to your credit card provider. They’re obliged to respond to your complaint within eight weeks.

If they don’t, or you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman.

Is there anything I can do if my Section 75 claim is rejected? 

If your credit card provider refuses your Section 75 claim, but you believe you have a strong case, the first step is to make an official complaint to your credit card provider. Your credit card provider then has up to eight weeks to respond to your complaint.

If they don’t respond within eight weeks, or you’re unhappy with their response, you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You should do this within six months of receiving their final response.

If the Financial Ombudsman decides in your favour, they can compel your credit card provider to make it right. Bear in mind though that there is no guarantee that your claim will be successful.

You can start a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service by using their complaint checker. It can direct you to the right online forms to fill in to get the ball rolling. Alternatively, call 0800 023 4567 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday or 9am and 1pm on Saturday.

Do I have credit card purchase protection for purchases £100 or less?

You’re not protected by Section 75 for credit card purchases for £100 or less. But you may be able to request a refund from your credit card provider under the Chargeback scheme if you’re unable to get a refund directly from the retailer.

Chargeback covers debit and credit card purchases, but unlike Section 75, it’s not legally binding. Your credit card provider may or may not subscribe to the chargeback scheme.

There’s usually no minimum spend required for a debit card or credit card purchase to be covered by chargeback, but there are time limits. You’ll typically have 120 days from the date of the transaction to contact your bank to make a claim.

Do I have any credit card insurance for purchases over £30,000?

No, but if you have a linked credit agreement for a purchase over £30,000, you may be protected under Section 75a of the Consumer Credit Act. This can cover purchases up to £60,260.

This form of protection doesn’t apply to credit cards, but instead covers linked credit agreements. This is where you’ve agreed a financing deal to buy a good or service. Car finance is a common example. But credit agreements secured on land are excluded.

Unlike Section 75, the credit provider and the supplier are not equally responsible if something goes wrong. To make a claim under Section 75a, you must first have tried to resolve the issue with the product or service provider directly, but with no success.

Do credit cards guarantee refunds for holidays and flights?

If you booked a holiday or flight directly with a tour operator or airline, you should be covered by Section 75. But Section 75 doesn’t usually apply if you book through an agent.

Package holidays aren’t usually covered by Section 75 as they should come under separate ATOL or ABTA consumer protection rules.

When it comes to flights only, you’ll need to buy your tickets directly from the airline and each booking must cost over £100 to qualify for Section 75 protection. Just be careful if you’re using a low-cost airline, as your outbound and inbound flights could be considered separate bookings.

It’s not 100% guaranteed that you’ll be covered by Section 75 or your claim will be successful, so make sure you have travel insurance in place before you go.

Does Section 75 cover goods and services I’ve only paid a deposit for?

You may be able to claim through your credit card provider if you use your credit card to pay a deposit for products or services and the company fails to fulfil their promise.

To qualify for a refund under Section 75 you’ll also need to meet other criteria. For example, the value of the goods or service must be over £100 and not more than £30,000.

Common examples include deposits paid towards a holiday, when the airline or tour operator later goes bust. Another example would be if you pre-ordered a specific product with a deposit, but then the product wasn’t released, or the company went bust.

Can I compare credit cards with protection?

As credit card protection is a legal requirement under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you won’t need to compare credit cards based on this protection. All credit card providers are required to meet these standards.

However, if you’re looking for additional protection, you may be able to find this with certain premium credit card services. This is worth considering if you’re likely to make purchases over the £30,000 limit for credit card protection.

Frequently asked questions

Will overseas purchases be protected?

Yes, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act applies whether the purchase is made in the UK, abroad or online. You should get the same type of protection, as long as the purchase meets the criteria set out by your credit card provider.

Will group bookings for tickets or holidays be protected?

If you’ve booked a holiday or tickets to an event on behalf of a group, then technically you should be covered, so long as each individual ticket cost more than £100 and you meet all the other criteria.

However, there might be an argument that flights, reservations or tickets under other names aren’t covered by your credit card protection, even if the people you’ve bought them for are paying you back separately for their tickets. Those people may not get their portion of the total back.

If you’re concerned or in any doubt, just ask your group to book individually, or in the case of holidays, consider group travel insurance.

 

Are cash withdrawals covered by Section 75?

No, if you use your credit card to make a cash withdrawal, the money you spend won’t be covered by Section 75. This is because there’s no link between the credit card provider and the retailer.

It’s a good idea to avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals anyway, as you’re likely to be charged a fee and interest from the moment you take the money out.

Is there a time limit on making a Section 75 claim?

You can make a Section 75 claim for up to six years from the date of the credit card purchase.

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The content written in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require support on the products discussed here, please speak to your bank/lender or seek the advice of an independent professional financial advisor. We also have more information on our Customer Support Hub.

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Alex Hasty - Insurance comparison and finance expert

At Compare the Market, Alex has had roles as Commercial Associate Director, Director of Trading and Director of Growth. He’s currently responsible for the development and execution of Comparethemarket’s longer-term strategic options, ensuring the right breadth of products and services that meet customer needs.

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