DEFINITION of 'Return Protection'

A common, but little-known credit card perk allowing cardholders to receive a refund for any item they purchase with the credit card that they are not satisfied with and that the merchant will not accept as a return. Return protection can be useful if the store's return period is shorter than the credit card's return protection period (30 days vs. 90 days, for example).

BREAKING DOWN 'Return Protection'

This program may have a limit per item as well as an annual limit, such as $250 per item and $1,000 per year. To claim the refund, you will likely be required to submit items such as your original receipt and your credit card statement showing the purchase, and you will also likely be required to mail the item, in like-new condition, to the credit card company (effectively "returning" it). All of these things will have to be done within a certain time period for your refund request to be honored. Certain items are likely to be excluded from return protection policies, such as computer software, DVDs, CDs, motor vehicles, jewelry and more.

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