How long does it take to get a debit card refund?


General Finance

The start of the year is one of the busiest times for refunds. You might be looking to return that third box of smellies you received for Christmas or take back the jumper that was just too small for your partner.

No matter the reason, returning something that is unfit for purpose or faulty can not only clear some clutter but also provide you with some extra cash to get you through to January payday. But how long does it take for a refund to go back on your debit card? We explore.


You usually get a refund in the same way you paid for the item. For example, if you paid by cash, you should get either cash back or a gift voucher.

The refund process is not as straightforward when returning something you bought with a debit or credit card. This is because the retailer has to transfer the money to your bank or building society (or alternative provider like thinkmoney) before you can receive it in your account.

The length of time this will take really depends on the business that's refunding you. A debit card refund can take as long as 10 working days to arrive. For thinkmoney customers, we'll credit the refund as soon as we see it but it can take five working days. This means a refund request on Tuesday should take until the following Monday to arrive.

While this can be inconvenient, you do receive protection when using your debit card to make purchases under something called 'chargeback'.


Chargeback is a scheme that helps you get your money back from your bank, building society or alternative provider if something goes wrong with a purchase made on a debit card. You can get protection from the scheme if you have a Visa, Maestro or MasterCard debit card. The scheme also applies to certain credit cards and prepaid card providers.

You might be able to get your money back through the chargeback scheme, if you:

•  paid for a service that you didn't receive,

•  bought faulty or counterfeit goods, or

•  didn't receive your goods from a company that went bust.

Your card provider doesn’t legally have to offer chargeback. Instead, it’s a voluntary agreement between card providers and card issuers. This means there's no guarantee that you'll get your money back.

You can have more rights when you use your credit card to make purchases. You're covered on any purchases you make using your credit card between the value of £100 and £30,000 under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Want to know more? You can find out about the difference between Section 75 and chargeback in our blog.

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