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How Long Do Refunds Take On Credit Cards


Sales invoice refunds
Reading Time: 3 Min

Have you ever purchased something on your credit card only for the item to break immediately? Perhaps you realized you couldn’t afford to pay your credit card balance and had to request a refund for a purchase. If you’ve requested a credit card refund and find yourself wondering how long it will take, don’t worry. This article will shed some light on how credit card refunds work and when you can expect to be reimbursed for your purchase

Let’s explore the world of credit card refunds by first unpacking how refunds work.

How Do Credit Card Refunds Work?

Credit card refunds can take from five days to two weeks to go through. This is because getting a credit refund is not a simple transaction reversal. There are several steps involved in a credit card refund. These are summarised below:

  1. 1. Initiating the refund: Once you request a refund, the merchant has to process the refund and initiate the transaction.
  3. 2. Credit card issuer: The refund request goes to your credit card issuer, who needs to review and verify the request before processing it. 
  5. 3. You receive credit: As part of your refund, you either get the exact amount of credit back in your account or the option to use it for another purchase. 

This entire process verifies the refund and ensures that it’s legitimate. Several factors can affect the processing time, including the credit card issuer. Each issuer has different refund policies, which can affect processing times. Another factor that can affect processing time is the merchant. Some merchants are known for processing refunds quickly, while others may take longer due to their internal processes.

Average Refund Processing Time For Different Credit Card Issuers

While the refund processing time can vary, it’s helpful to have a general idea of the average timeframes for different credit card issuers. Keep in mind that these are just averages, and your specific refund may take longer or shorter depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

  • Scotiabank-linked credit card: If you request a credit refund via Scotiabank, you may wait up to 60 days after your request to receive your refund. 
  • American Express: With Amex, a refund might take 1-2 days to reflect in your account. 
  • Mastercard: Mastercard will take 5 to 10 days to process your refund request. 

If you have a different credit card and want to find out how long the refund will take, consider checking online or calling a customer service representative.

Tips To Speed Up Your Credit Card Refund

When it comes to speeding up your credit card refund, there’s not much you can do besides contacting the merchant or your credit card issuer directly. They might be able to provide you with more information on the status of your refund and potentially escalate the process if needed. 

If you’d like to track your credit card refund, there are other ways to do this besides calling customer support:

  • Check your credit card statement: Check your statement regularly to see if the refund has been processed and appears as credit on your account.

Check the credit card portal or app: Many credit card issuers have mobile apps or online portals that can help you view the status of your transactions, including refunds. These portals often provide real-time updates on the progress of your refund.

Common Issues With Credit Card Refunds

Ideally, every refund would run smoothly. But often issues can arise, whether the system is offline, the merchant made a mistake, or your credit card issuer is delayed due to a high number of refund requests, there are common issues to keep in mind:

  • Merchant fails to initiate the request: If the merchant doesn’t initiate the refund request immediately, there might be delays in your refund. If this is the case, follow up and escalate the issue if necessary.

Incorrect refund amount: Sometimes, the refund amount is incorrect. This can happen if there was a miscommunication between you and the merchant, or if the refund was not processed accurately. If you notice any discrepancies in the refund amount, reach out to the merchant and credit card issuer to rectify the situation.

Final Thoughts: Managing Expectations for Credit Card Refunds

Remember, as a consumer, you have a right to a refund if the merchant has sold you a defective item or service. If you believe a refund has been mishandled or you haven’t received an appropriate resolution, you can file a complaint with a consumer protection agency or regulatory body. 

A credit refund can be frustratingly slow, but it’s worth the wait. In the end, you’ll get the credit back. Remember to stay informed and know your rights, and you’ll be well on your way to navigating your refund process seamlessly.

Author Bio

Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook. Read his full author bio

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