Chargebacks: How to use them to your advantage -


Chargebacks: How to use them to your advantage

If you are responsible and disciplined, you should use your credit card on all major purchases. Charge it, then pay your card bill off in full each month.

This especially applies to pre-paid services, like plane tickets or online/catalog orders -- situations where you don't immediately receive what you bought.

So why should you use your credit card? Because of chargebacks.

Your card-issuer insures credit card purchases, so if that sofa isn't delivered or if that flight's canceled, you dispute it and get a chargeback -- a refund or credit from your card-issuer. If the bank behind your credit card doesn't give you the chargeback, VISA, MasterCard or American Express will.

But consumer advocate Clark Howard said there are rules to credit card chargebacks as they pertain to pre-ordered merchandise, like furniture.

Howard said if you haven't received an online or catalog credit card order within 50 days, contact your card-issuer to initiate a chargeback.

You have a 60-day deadline on chargebacks. After 60 days, no chargebacks.

If the order shows up later, contact your card-issuer to cancel the chargeback.

Be aware: VISA and Mastercard offer no chargebacks on debit card purchases, even with their names on the cards, so only trust your credit card for chargeback protections.

In fact, you should never use your debit card for online purchases, at full-service restaurants where you cannot witness the swipe or at any retailer where you do not receive the merchandise immediately.

Trust the chargeback protections of your credit card -- and pay it off each month.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

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