By Amy Harker, Editor at Finance.co.uk. Last updated 1st February 2023.
Section 75 protection is a brilliant but largely unheard of law that offers you security when using a credit card. Even though it’s incredibly useful, there’s still many people who’ve never even heard of it or understand what it is.
Section 75 is part of the Consumer Credit act 1974, which states that a credit card company is jointly liable for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by the retailer or trader.
Well, having section 75 means that if you’ve bought a product or service using a credit card, and something goes wrong, such as not receiving the goods or services or they arrive faulty, damaged or not as advertised, the credit card company must help you to get your money back.
Section 75 can also be used for products bought using a point-of-sale loan, such as a buy now pay later service.
Section 75 is only applicable when the credit provider is separate from the seller. So if your credit card is provided by the company that also provides the product or service, you can’t make a section 75 claim.
Section 75 can be extremely useful in scenarios where the retailer or provider of goods or services has gone into administration, and you have no hope of getting a refund from them. For example, if you’ve bought flights from an airline, and the airline goes into administration before you’ve been on holiday.
You don’t need to have tried to claim a refund from the retailer or trader first to be able to claim section 75. You won’t, however, be able to claim your money back from both your credit provider and the company you’ve made a purchase with.
In order to make a section 75 claim, the item or service you’ve purchased must cost between £100 and £30,000.
The credit card company is liable for the total cost of the item, even if you only paid a portion of it on your credit card. So even if you only put a deposit for an item on a credit card and paid the rest in cash, you could claim the full amount back from your credit card company if something goes wrong.
Section 75 is only applicable to individual items that cost over £100, so if you purchased multiple items that totalled over £100, but the individual items cost less than £100 each, you wouldn’t be able to make a section 75 claim.
There’s no time limit to making a section 75 claim, though it’s recommended that you do so within six years.
If you want to make a section 75 claim, there are a few ways you can do so.
Some credit card providers will allow you to make a section 75 claim online or through their app. The way you do this can vary depending on the card provider. You can check with your card provider if you’re unsure.
You can also make a section 75 claim by writing to, calling or emailing your card provider. If you write to your card provider, it’s important to keep copies of any letters or emails you send for your own records or if you need to make a complaint.
In your letter or email, you should include:
There are lots of templates and tools available online if you’re still unsure what to include or how to word your letter.
The chargeback scheme is another port of call if you have a problem with a product or service; whilst there are no monetary limits for the chargeback scheme, you do have to make a claim within 120 days of your purchase.
The chargeback scheme is available on debit and prepaid cards, whereas section 75 is only available on credit cards. With the chargeback scheme, you will need to have paid the full amount of the purchase on your debit or prepaid card.
Another big difference between the chargeback scheme and section 75 is that card providers and issuers are not required to participate in the chargeback scheme; it’s voluntary, so not all card providers will offer chargeback protection. Whereas section 75 is the law and all credit card providers must step in if you’ve had an issue with a purchase using your credit card.
Credit card companies can and do reject section 75 claims for a variety of reasons;
If you feel your section 75 claim has been unfairly rejected or your credit company hasn’t responded to your claim within eight weeks, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
They can order the credit card company to:
In some circumstances, the Financial Ombudsman Service may also suggest that the credit card company pay you compensation for any trouble or upset they’ve caused.
You have six months from when your claim was rejected to complain to the ombudsman service.
The information provided does not constitute financial advice, it’s always important to do your own research to ensure a financial product is right for your circumstances. If you’re unsure you should contact an independent financial advisor.