Ten days ago, I paid for food on a train. I paid by credit card, signed the receipt (old style), and received my food. So far so good.

On my online statement, this transaction does not show ten days after it should have happened.

Is there a limit as to when it can still occur? Have I been lucky and received free food or may this bite me later?

My credit card is with a UK institution and is in GBP. The transaction (in the order of €10) occurred on a train in Germany.


Edit: The transaction appeared after 2–3 weeks, backdated to the date of transaction.

  • 2
    I don't have a definitive answer, but I have had credit card transactions show up on my bill six months after the transaction. Good news is that until it posts, you don't have to pay it. It's only going to be a problem if you regularly get within 10 euros of your credit limit, which means you have other problems ;) – Rupert Morrish Jul 26 at 20:55
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    I have a feeling this is more of a legal question about whether there is a specific limitation on this. I suspect there is probably an EU "consumer protection" provision at play here. – quid Jul 26 at 20:57
  • @RupertMorrish Indeed, for €10 it doesn't really matter, but I wonder if there are technical or legal reasons for old transactions to "time out", OR for my credit card being "blacklisted" as unreliable (I hope not) — will same merchant accept same card in 3 months if the previous transaction never made it? – gerrit Jul 26 at 21:07
  • The transaction will not "time out". It could be some kind of technical problem has delayed the transaction, hard to say without knowing what system the merchant employs. – davidjwest Jul 27 at 10:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Let's take Visa, for example. The TL;DR is they were supposed to process the charge within 5 calendar days of the train arriving, but you can only chargeback on the basis of it being late after 180 days.

According to the rules, this was an in-transit transaction, where in-transit is defined as

The purchase of goods, services, or gambling on board a passenger transport vehicle. This includes Transactions on board a Cruise Line, bus, airplane, ferry, or train.

On page PSR-419, it says the acquirer must process the transaction within 5 calendar days of the transaction date. 2 pages later, it says the transaction date is the date which it occurs, or within 24 hours after the arrival of the vehicle.

That's what's supposed to happen. But what are your rights when it doesn't? The answer is Chargeback Reason 74 - Late Presentment. (Page 609)

A chargeback is allowed if the transaction is presented 30 days (6 days Electron, 10 days ATM) after the transaction date and the account is no longer in good standing (e.g. closed), OR the transaction date is 180 days before.

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