Reclaiming and understanding credit card charges
Written by Robert Bester, Consumer Finance Expert Robert has been a writer for six years, specialising in consumer finance and the UK lending market. Concentrating on consumer credit products, Robert writes informative articles that help customers manage their personal finances efficiently.
22nd February 2021
3 minute read
If you’ve ever had a credit card, you might be familiar with receiving additional charges for late payments, transaction fees and cash withdrawal fees amongst others. However, if you think that a credit card charge might have been a mistake, you can claim those charges back.
We’ve put together a guide on understanding credit card charges and how to take action when you feel that you have been charged in error. Read on to find out more about the different charges you can expect when using a credit card and what to do if you want to reclaim bank charges made to your account.
What credit card charges can you face?
There are many fees associated with owning a credit card but depending on the provider, you may avoid some of them:
- Annual fees – these will be advertised as part of the credit card deal and will often allow you to avoid higher interest rates or gain access to exclusive perks
- Balance transfer – unless you have a specific balance transfer deal in place, you will be charged a percentage of the amount you transfer
- Foreign transaction fees – if you spend money abroad then you will usually incur a transaction fee, unless you use a travel credit card
- Cash withdrawal fees – most credit cards will charge you extra for withdrawing cash, and might also have a limit on how much you can withdraw per month
- Late or missed payment fees – you will always incur a penalty fee if you miss the minimum payment during the month, even if you still make the payment late
- Over your limit fees – if you spend over your credit card limit you will be charged by your provider. This could be a daily fee or a flat penalty fee or even both
- Returned payment – if you have a direct debit set up but don’t have enough funds in the account, the amount will be returned to the account and you will be charged a fee
Which charges can you reclaim?
Most charges will be applied to your credit card account automatically but in some instances, you might be able to dispute them.
Having a knowledge of your credit card charges will help you avoid them and to know if you have been overcharged. You can find this information as part of your summary box document. The following circumstances might be grounds for appeal:
- Fees charged in error – if you feel that a charge has been applied to your account in error and you haven’t breached any terms of your account, it’s worth appealing
- Fees that are too high – if you know you have breached the terms of your credit card but your provider has overcharged you, it’s also worth appealing or trying to reclaim
- Fees charged twice – if you believe that you have been charged fairly but have been charged twice, this would also be grounds for appeal
- A single fee over £12 – a ruling in 2006 by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) meant that credit card providers could no longer charge a fee over £12. Any charges over this amount can be disputed
How to reclaim credit card charges
If you have identified a potential charge that you feel should not have been applied to your account, it’s worth using the following steps to make a claim:
- Calculate your charges – look up your credit card statements to find out if you have a single charge you would like to contest or multiple charges. Add up the total so you can then forward this onto your provider
- Contact your card provider – go online to find out the best way to contact your provider, but usually email, telephone or an online form is the most direct way
- Dispute the charges – outline to your card provider which charges you would like to contest and provide as much detail as possible including dates and times of each charge if that information is available
- Ask for your money – once you have had a response, confirm with the provider that they are happy to refund the amount and when this will be done by
If you would like to apply for a new credit card, head over to our moneymatcher comparison tool, enter a few personal details and get tailored results for you.
This will indicate how likely you are to be accepted for your credit card of choice. You can also read up on getting your first credit card with confidence for more information.