Get protected by paying with plastic

What would you do if an expensive purchase went wrong? Many people don't realise that using a credit card gives you extra protections under the law. In this video we explore your rights and introduce you to your new best friend - Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act of 1974...

Felicity King-Evans: Why do you use a credit card? Is it because you don’t have the ready cash or because you want to earn rewards like airmiles or cashback?Well, there’s another reason for putting it on plastic – using a credit card gives you extra rights.

Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, any purchase you make worth between £100 and £30,000 is doubly protected. If it is faulty or not what you ordered – or if it simply never arrives – then your credit card company is also liable.

Clearly, first of all you will get in touch with the original seller, and they will usually resolve it with you. But, if they can’t or won’t or if they have gone out of business, then get in touch with your credit card provider and they’ll refund you.

And there’s even more good news. Paying just a fraction of the cost with a credit card makes the provider liable for the whole value of whatever it is you’re buying.

I’m shopping for a holiday and if I just pay the deposit using my credit card, then my card provider is jointly liable for the whole trip. So I could pay a few hundred pounds on my credit card and get that extra protection for the full value of my trip..

Obviously, if you’re not happy with something you’ve bought, or if it simply hasn’t arrived, your first stop should be the retailer. They will usually sort it out much more quickly than your card provider could.

Keep any receipts and correspondence with the seller as you might need to show these to your card provider.

As soon as you decide to chase your credit card company for a refund, write and explain that you are seeking one under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

When you get in touch, specify exactly what’s gone wrong with the purchase. For example, if it’s not what you ordered then that’s considered ‘misrepresentation’, while if the goods are faulty or don’t show up then that’s a breach of contract.

Both of these are covered under the consumer credit act, so don’t be fobbed off. I spoke to Pete Harrison,’s credit card expert, to ask him if he thought enough people knew about the protection they have
Q1: Thanks for joining us Pete. So, do you think enough people understand the extra protections they get with their credit card?

Peter Harrison: A lot of people use debit cards for purchasing large products and unfortunately no, I don’t think they do. I guess it’s the additional benefit of using a credit card to make those purchases.

Q2: So, can you give me an example of when somebody might want to claim from their credit card provider?

PH: Yes, there are two examples actually. You could have brought a product online – something expensive – and it hasn’t turned up or is potentially damaged, you have the capability to take that up with your credit card issuer.

Or an alternative is if the company goes into financial difficulty and you haven’t received your goods then potentially you then have another opportunity to contact the credit card issuer or the company involved.

Q3: So it’s especially important really if you are doing a lot of shopping online?

PH: Yes it definitely gives you additional security, which is obviously needed if you are making those large purchases online or offline.

FKE: Thanks Pete.

So credit cards aren’t just a great way to earn cashback or spreading the costs of a large purchase – they are also giving you an important and extra layer of financial security if something goes wrong.

With so many of us using the web to buy bargains from companies we’ve never heard of before, it’s a good extra protection to have in place.

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