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Is debit card protection the same as for credit cards?

Dan Base photo
Written by Dan Base, Financial Content Writer

11 June 2020

Purchases made on your credit card offer you some protection, but the rules for debit cards are different. Here is how the Chargeback scheme provides protection for your debit card.

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Do you get Section 75 protection on your debit card?

No, you are only protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act when you make a purchase costing £100 to £30,000 on your credit card.

Debit card purchases are not covered by Section 75 because they are not part of a credit agreement. But they do protect your purchases through the Chargeback scheme.

How Section 75 works on your credit card

How are debit card purchases protected?

Debit card purchases are protected by what is known as the Chargeback scheme. This scheme lets you claim a refund for goods that have not arrived or arrived damaged, goods that are different to how they were described, or if the merchant stops trading.

You get protection through the Chargeback scheme for purchases made using all UK debit cards, including:

  • Visa and Visa Electron cards

  • MasterCard debit cards

  • Maestro debit cards

  • Prepaid cards

There is a similar purchase protection scheme in place for Amex charge cards.

Find a bank account with a debit card to get Chargeback protection on your purchases

What are the limits?

You can claim a refund for any amount of money when using the Chargeback system, and you can use it for your credit card as well as your debit card.

This means that even if you bought something on your credit card that is not covered by Section 75 as it cost either over £30,000 or under £100 in value, you could claim instead using Chargeback.

Although these items could not be claimed under Section 75 you could try to claim for them under the Chargeback system.

No, protection offered through Chargeback is not a legal obligation (like Section 75 for credit cards) but an in-house rule.

This means that the exact rules for Chargeback schemes vary by card provider, so you should make sure you are aware of your debit card's Chargeback rules.

It's a good idea to speak to the retailer or service provider first before seeking a refund from your card provider. They may be able to settle the dispute themselves.

How to claim through Chargeback

You will normally have to contact the bank who provided you with the card within 120 days of becoming aware there is a problem with the goods, or the day they are delivered.

If the goods are faulty or your card was used fraudulently, contact your bank within 120 days of when you are first made aware of this.

Ask them to initiate the Chargeback process and a dispute will be opened by your bank, who will investigate the matter and refund your money when this is settled.

If your Chargeback claim fails, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service within six months of being notified.

Here is everything you need to know about making a Chargeback claim

Are PayPal purchases covered?

You are unlikely to be protected under debit card Chargeback schemes for items purchased using PayPal.

In these cases the act of loading money onto your PayPal account counts as the debit card transaction so, unless the money fails to be credited, it won't be covered.

PayPal runs its own purchase protection scheme which extends some cover to your purchases, but it is in house rather than regulated by law.

You can read about the scheme on the PayPal website

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