Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,434
Registered: ‎06-09-2014


@Tinkrbl44 For returns, a law/rule went into effect about ten years ago that any returns had to be made to the same card that was used for the original purchase. This is why return credits take longer because they have to backtrack to match the credit to the original charge. 


This was done because people were asking to place the return credit on another credit card, usually one with a higher interest rate or balance, and then disputing the charge on the original card.


In effect, they got back a double credit since the original card can't see a secondary card that is issued from another bank or even know you have it therefore they never saw the refund go through.


The merchants were also being dinged twice when they did the return to a different card and then lost the sale again due to the dispute on the original one. 


In general, the way credit card transactions work is that everything that is done in a day goes overnight to a middleman who then sorts it and sends it to the different banking institutions. The banks then process and refund as needed.


We tell people two to three business days for credit cards. ACH is even longer around 7-10 business days because you need to wait for the funds to fully clear and be in your possession before you can send them back to avoid refunding funds you may not get due to NSF. 




Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,183
Registered: ‎05-10-2010


Good question.  I'm 100% positive that real humans are not involve in the process at all but hopefully someone with actual real recent  banking experience will weigh in.