Don't ignore letter from credit card protection firm - it's not a scam

Act fast for £180 refund

Updated: 
happy girl holding fan of cash...

With so many of us being badgered by payment protection insurance recovery firms, it's easy to dismiss a letter inviting you to put in a claim.

But thousands of people are believed to have ignored a letter and form that could actually get them an easy refund - those that have claimed already have netted an average of £180 each.

Between January 2005 and 2013, people paying for credit card protection schemes - designed to cover cases of lost or stolen cards or ID fraud – were getting nothing for their money. They were entitled to cover in any case.

And last year, a scheme was set up to repay customers who bought one of six policies - Card Protection, Sentinel, Sentinel Gold, Sentinel Protection, Sentinel Excel, Safe and Secure Plus.

They were sold to customers of 11 major banks: AIB Group (trading as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland and Allied Irish Bank in Great Britain; Barclays; Capital One; Clydesdale Bank; HSBC; Lloyds; Northern Bank (trading as Danske Bank); Santander; Tesco Personal Finance; the Co-operative and the Royal Bank of Scotland,

Clock is ticking

All affected customers should have received a claim form in August or September last year - but many have done nothing about it. And the deadline for submitting a claim is now less than a month away.

"The clock is ticking if you want to claim for mis-sold credit card security protection products; you have just four weeks to complete the paperwork and get your money back," says Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of price comparison site money.co.uk.

Around two million letters were sent out by Affinion International Limited (AI), and forms must be completed and sent back by 18 March. All you have to do is sign, date and return it; you don't have to provide any documentary evidence to support your claim.

If you've lost yours - or think you should have received one but didn't - you should contact the AI Scheme helpline on 0800 678 1930 or visit http://www.aischeme.co.uk/.

"With the average annual policy costing £25 a year, refunds could total £275 plus interest," says Maundrell. "You only need to fill in a short claims form, it's really simple, so don't even think about paying anyone else to do it for you."

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