How to Keep Bonus Points When You Return Something
Let’s say you used your credit card to buy framed wall art from Urban Outfitters and it turned out to be too buyable for your spouse (this may or may not be true). What happens to the bonus points of your card if you ask for a refund? Is store credits the best option?
How Refunds Affect Credit Card Rewards
Most stores have fairly generous return policies that include the option of getting a loan or a full refund. If you paid for the item using a bonus credit card, then rewards earned for your purchase – points, miles, or cash back – will be returned by your credit card company after you request a refund.
Unfortunately, it can take an entire billing cycle before you see it (it takes about five to seven days to process a refund for the item itself) and is therefore easily overlooked. (If you have already used your reward points, you will see a negative point balance based on this transaction on your card’s online rewards portal).
Credit card refunds are ruining your bonus rewards
Refunds also include any time-limited bonus rewards you may have earned for your spending. For example, if you have a Bank of America cash-back card, the $ 200 welcome bonus on $ 1,000 spent within 90 days may be void if your refund also falls within that time frame. Of course, if you’ve already redeemed the $ 200 cash bonus, it can come as an unpleasant surprise if you don’t track your rewards carefully.
This also applies to limited offers by expense category – if you have taken advantage of the time-limited 5% cashback bonus in that category, that is what you pay too, even if the bonus category has subsequently changed.
This does not mean that you should not receive a refund if a purchase was made in error, but you should make sure that redemption redemption is not affected before returning an item to the store.
Store credits may be the best option
When you make a purchase with a credit card , the merchant is technically paid by your credit card company. However, a store credit is an arrangement between you and the seller: you can opt out of the credit card company entirely and simply keep the reward points that you would normally lose through refunds. This is the only way to keep your credit card reward points for returned purchases.
The downside is that you are making an exchange or credit, which is limited to only one retail chain or mall. On the other hand, it might work for you. For example, in our fictional, fully hypothetical scenario, a tasteless piece of wall art from Urban Outfitters could be exchanged for something you would have bought in the end, such as clothing, while retaining your bonus points (and possible bonuses). intact.