How do credit card refunds work

Credit card refund

The money was withheld in my account and is said to have been withdrawn in late February. ... does it usually work like that?

No, it doesn't usually work that way. Credit card holds usually only last 1 to 7 days, but it appears the hotel is trying to put your account on hold for an entire month. Why did you charge the CC now instead of the end of February? Since it sounds like they screwed it up, they should take the necessary steps to reverse the charge immediately. The deletion usually only takes a few days.

Although hotels are generally known for taking a long time to process refunds, I believe this is exceptional because they made a mistake. IMHO they should bend backwards to fix the error ASAP.

That being said, if the amount charged doesn't affect your ability to use the card as normal, I would probably just wait the 21 days and not worry about that. I would put a reminder on my calendar to check on the 22nd day and if the money wasn't returned by then I would call my CC provider and file a dispute. In fact, I could call my CC provider right now and explain the situation to make sure they agree that it's okay to wait before the argument.


What makes you think the hotel is a mess? I worked in the travel industry. When the hotel has been booked ( I recently booked a hotel, but immediately afterwards canceled ) this will be included in the hotel's cancellation policy which may experience delays in processing refunds. It's not uncommon for hotels to pre-invoice for their rooms. Many only pay on arrival, but just as many take the money up front.


@Liam I'm basing my claim that billing should be done by the end of February (perhaps because that is when the booking was made). However, in the event of cancellation and receipt of a cancellation confirmation, the card was charged immediately, which is one month earlier than originally if the cancellation had not taken place.