Credit card protection

Find out what protection you have when taking out a credit card and compare deals[1]

What is credit card protection?

Credit card protection can help you get your money back on single purchases between £100 and £30,000, if an item is damaged, not as described or the company goes into administration.

Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, most credit card companies have joint responsibility for any purchases you make within that price bracket. That means they can pay you back or offer to repair the product if it’s faulty.

Each credit card provider has different terms and conditions so you’ll need to check whether yours offers credit card protection.

Man assessing income and outgoings using laptop

What protection do I have on my credit card purchases?

You’re protected on purchases you make between £100 and £30,000 for both products and services.

That could be things like furniture, TVs, laptops and holidays. You’ll be protected if your trip is cancelled or there are problems with your item like it’s damaged or simply never arrives.

You might even be able to claim for consequential loss. If you’ve booked a flight and it’s cancelled, you could receive additional money for the hotel you’re staying in and alternative travel arrangements.

Depending on whether your provider offers protection or not, making purchases on your credit card may give you more protection than on your debit card.

What does Section 75 cover?

Section 75 can offer you protection for:

  • Purchases between £100 & £30,000
  • Items that haven’t arrived, but you’ve been charged for
  • Damaged or faulty items, where the company won’t give you your money back
  • Items that aren’t how they were described
  • Businesses going into administration before you receive your item
  • Online, telephone and mail orders
  • Foreign transactions

It can also protect you if you put a deposit over £100 down on an item or service - you’ll be protected for the full amount, not just your deposit.

What doesn’t Section 75 cover?

There are some restrictions you’ll need to be aware of. Section 75 won’t cover you:

  • For purchases under £100 or over £30,000
  • For purchases through a third party like Groupon as there needs to be a direct link between the use of the credit card, and the retailer. Third parties will have their own protection policies in place. You may be protected through Section 75 for Paypal purchases with certain sellers - it’s best to check with them if you’re making a particularly big purchase
  • For items you buy in separate transactions that don’t come to £100 individually. Any single transaction needs to be over £100, so if you bought four £40 concert tickets separately, you wouldn’t be protected, but if you bought a group ticket for £160, you would
  • If you bought two separate items that came to £100 in total - every individual item you’re purchasing needs to be over £100
  • If an additional cardholder, rather than the main cardholder made the purchase - you might have to prove that the purchase was actually for the main cardholder
  • If you buy store vouchers or gift cards with your credit card
  • If you take cash out and use the money to buy the item instead

Bear in mind that delivery costs aren’t included in the total cost of an item either, so it’ll need to reach £100 on its own.

If you’re not sure whether something would be covered, it’s best to check with your credit card provider.

How to claim back money when card purchases go wrong

Before you can claim under Section 75, you’ll need to ask the seller for a refund or replacement. Follow their complaints procedure and see what they say.

If you’re not happy with the response they give you, contact your credit card provider and tell them what’s happened.

To get your money back, explain that you’re claiming under Section 75 and send your provider any receipts and responses you’ve received from the company.

Let them know whether you’d like a refund, a replacement, or a repair and they’ll get to work on your behalf.

If you don’t have any luck when it comes to getting your money back from your credit card provider, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman who will be able to help you further.

Can I claim money back on flights or a holiday?

Yes, as long as the cost of your individual flight or trip was over £100 and under £30,000 and you booked directly through the airline or holiday provider.

If you’ve booked a package holiday, you’ll be protected under ATOL or ABTA schemes instead.

How quickly do you get the money back?

It depends on your provider’s refund process but you can complain to them again if you think it’s taking too long for them to resolve your problem.

Your credit card provider will have eight weeks from your second complaint to reply. If they don’t respond, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman who will help you get your money back.

Am I protected for purchases under £100?

You won’t be protected for purchases under £100 under Section 75 but you might be able to get a refund through something called chargeback.

That’s when a credit card provider reverses a transaction on your credit or debit card, taking the money back from the seller and returning it to you, as long as the seller agrees to it.

Unlike Section 75, there aren’t any payment limits but you’ll only have 120 days from the time you purchased the product or were expecting it to be delivered, so you’ll have to make sure you get it sorted in this time.

How else can I protect myself with a credit card?

There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re protected, when it comes to using your credit cards.

Tighten your security

Make sure you set strong passwords and keep them safe. If you’re using an app to manage your credit card, keep it updated and avoid using it over public wi-fi where you can be more vulnerable to hackers.

Check your account often

Check your credit card account and your bank statements often so you can raise any issues as soon as possible.

It’s also a good idea to regularly make sure all your personal details are up to date on your account so any statements won’t go to your old address, for example.

Use trusted sites

Do your research on a company before you part with any money to make sure they’re a trustworthy brand. Look for the ‘s’ in https to see if the website is secure, and read honest reviews from other buyers to find out what their experience has been.


There are lots of phishing scams out there, where criminals encourage you to hand over your details so they can access your credit card accounts.

Don’t give out any information like your pin or account number, without checking who you’re giving it to first. Scammers can go to great lengths to make communications with you look like they’re from a legitimate source, so don’t be tempted to click any links in emails that claim to be from your credit card provider.

If you do think you’ve been a victim of a phishing scam, contact your credit card provider straight away.

With the help of Section 75, a credit card could offer you more protection than a debit card when it comes to purchases over £100.

The protection is free so you won’t have to pay any extra fees for it, but you’ll need to make sure you’re able to make the minimum repayments on your credit card.

No, so don’t assume you’re automatically covered. It’s best to check the terms and conditions of your card before you take it out.

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