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I bought a few things on Amazon.com that I need to return. However, the card I used was just canceled because of fraud/unauthorized use of the account (apparently a copy of it was made).

What will happen when I return the items? Can Amazon credit a different card (any card)? If not, can they credit the replacement card that I've already received?

  • From experience, you shouldn't worry about it at all. I had my card stolen and a previous refund went in to my new card without me intervening. I am in UK (it didn't happen with Amazon), not sure if it happens in other countries too. – DumbCoder May 30 '14 at 19:56
  • The refund transaction actually references the original transaction, and it would be impossible to apply to a different card since that transaction did not occur on that card. However, the issuing bank will process the refund even if the transaction is on an old/expired/stolen card. Also, the old and new card belong to the same account with the issuing bank. They are only invalidating the old card not your entire account. This actually happens a lot, because merchants will often issue refunds on purchases made by thieves to avoid charge-backs. – Jake Braun May 30 '14 at 21:20
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    @Jake refunds don't necessarily reference the original transaction. That may be true with the large scale retailers like Amazon or big boxes, but many mom-and-pop shops will just use a "negative" transaction - it will appear as a totally new transaction, just with a negative amount. – littleadv May 30 '14 at 22:10
  • @littleadv Unreferenced credits are, in my opinion, rather irregular and a poor business practice, large or small. There is no way Amazon, which the question is about would do that. Any business that does this would lose the benefit of the original transaction being registered as refunded. In turn they wouldn't get their credit card fees refunded and the purchaser would still be able to file a charge-back. – Jake Braun May 31 '14 at 2:16
  • @JakeBraun you're right about the fees, wrong about the chargeback. However, keeping the infrastructure to support this will cost much more than the fees savings for a small business with little refunds. As I said - for Amazon what you said is probably true, but as a rule - I wouldn't count on it for any transaction. – littleadv May 31 '14 at 2:33
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Amazon will not credit any different card. They cannot know that the different card number is in fact a replacement for the old one you used.

Your card issuer, however, can. If receive the refund form Amazon, and can transfer it to the new card. However, you need to talk to them and ask them if and how will they do that. They may decide to apply it to the fraudulent transactions' balance instead of giving it to you, to reduce their losses, so you need to talk to them beforehand and make sure that since the refund is for the purchase made before the card was cancelled, they will transfer it to the new card with all the rest of the information.

Another option is to request a refund to your Amazon account as a gift card balance for further purchases. I know that many retail shops will gladly give you a gift card instead of the cash/credit refund, so it may be worth your while to check with Amazon if they do that too.

  • Is there a legal reason why they won't credit a different card? I just emailed Amazon to ask if I could somehow associate the new card number with that purchase. I agree; I think they're unlikely to do this. But if they wanted to, could they credit the new card? – Jer May 30 '14 at 19:59
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    @jer it opens up a whole new line of fraudulent behaviors, and since in this case they'd be giving out money - it is unlikely they'd want to subject themselves to such a liability. – littleadv May 30 '14 at 20:09
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    Credit on old card would mean reversing the transaction. That merchant gets back the fees ... while credit on a new card would mean fees charged remain as they cannot be tracked to the transaction. – Dheer May 31 '14 at 1:41
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Well I bought something from a shop , my card was then stolen same as you and I took it back and just gave my new card from the same bank to them . Refund went through perfectly fine . That was interesting as I am unsure as to whether it was ok because it was the same bank or whether I could have just given any card . As they obviously didn't check the card. Perhaps the system isn't bothered as they are just putting through a refund , perhaps because it's down to the shop assistant to check . To prevent fraud . I'm going to try next time using another card next time I want a refund just out of curiosity . See what happens .

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