Can I get a chargeback credit on a canceled card?

If you want to return an item you purchased with a since-closed credit card, you can still get a refund


A reader who has canceled the card he used to make a purchase he is returning wants to know if he will get the chargeback credit for the sale.

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With events and plans being canceled left and right in this unusual year of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that more people need to get refunds on credit card charges.

The number of people engaged in online shopping is also at elevated levels, hiking up the numbers of those who might want to return the merchandise they ordered and ask for a refund credit, or chargeback, such as reader Kenny.

Kenny writes, “I ordered online and paid with Visa. Yesterday I lost the card and had to cancel it. Today the package arrived and I need to return it. Can they credit my old card and have it applied to my balance, which is now actually from two different numbers?”

In this case, besides the issue of getting a chargeback, the additional wrinkle for him is that there are two different cards involved.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Poonkulali a question.

Chargebacks on canceled credit cards

It appears that Kenny got a replacement card with the same issuer. For consumers in this situation, the good news is the issuer will typically apply the credit that the seller issues to the new card.

For those who have not gotten another account with the same issuer, and the old account was closed recently (say, in the last two months) the issuer may process the refund and contact you about how to proceed next.

The issuer could refund the money to you by sending you a check, or by depositing the money in a linked bank account. You could also contact the issuer to find out if the credit has been posted and ask for the refund.

In case there is any trouble in locating the refund – if it’s been a while since the card was canceled, for instance – it would be helpful to find out the acquirer reference number for the refund transaction. The merchant could provide this number and it would help the issuer bank trace the transaction to find out the path it took and where the refund money landed. The issuer could then pass on the money to you.

It might also be that the card issuer rejected the refund on the card if it’s been too long since the card was canceled. In that case, you will have to revert to the merchant and ask for the chargeback money to be sent directly to you.

See related: Filing credit card disputes in the coronavirus crisis

Your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act 

The good news is that consumers using a credit card have a variety of rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act. Maybe you ordered something online and it never arrived, or you received a good that is not as advertised. It also applies in billing situations, such as when an issuer doesn’t credit a payment to your account.

In case you have an issue with the quality of goods or services you paid for with a credit card, you can exercise your FCBA rights. This law gives you the same legal protections against the issuer that your state law gives you against the seller of the goods.

To avail of these protections, the purchase value of the transaction should be higher than $50. You should have made the purchase within 100 miles of your credit card billing address, or in your home state. You should also first contact the seller of the merchandise and make a legitimate effort to sort out the issue.

In case the card issuer is also the seller of the merchandise, the $50 purchase threshold and the geographic limitations don’t apply. These limitations also don’t apply in case there is a “special business relationship” between the seller and the card issuer, the Federal Trade Commission explains.

See related: What to do if your online order never arrives

Bottom line

There are ways to negotiate a credit card chargeback even if you have canceled your credit card. The FCBA also offers adequate protections for cardholders who are unhappy with goods or services they are sold and seek a refund.

Kenny, I hope this helps you sort out your issue.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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