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What I mean is this. I was in Brazil recently and I purchased a product there. Arriving at the hotel I did not like the product and returned it the next day. The store did not offer refunds. Instead they gave me a small paper with the store logo saying I have X amount as a credit if I want to buy something in the future.

In brazil this is called "vale".

Is there such thing in the US or other english based country? How do you call that?

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    It is store credit, but we don’t have a word for the piece of paper carrying it. Maybe exchange receipt or coupon? In a very different and now obsolete context, scrip? – Dan Bron Jan 20 '18 at 0:07
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    @DanBron I would call it a subtype of gift voucher. The Wikipedia article on gift cards does mention this kind of usage as well, so I’m apparently not the only one. Coupon sounds like a good candidate as well. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 20 '18 at 0:13
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    @JanusBahsJacquet Voucher is spot on! Not gift voucher though. Thank you! Will steal this word for my answer. – Dan Bron Jan 20 '18 at 0:22
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    coupon is good but voucher is better, thanks 😃 – SpaceDog Jan 20 '18 at 0:40
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In the UK at least it's called a credit note and the definition of credit note given in the Collins English Dictionary is

A credit note is a piece of paper that a shop gives you when you return goods that you have bought from it. It states that you are entitled to take goods of the same value without paying for them.

Which seems to match the description given by the OP.

The dictionary says that the term is British English so it may not be used in the US, if that's the case I would be surprised that there is no American equivalent.

As suggested by Janus Bahs Jaquet and endorsed by Dan Bron it seems that a credit note is called a voucher in the US. In the UK the word voucher is used for things like gift vouchers or discount vouchers but voucher is only used on its own when referring to one of those. I knew there had to be a US term for credit note.

  • I deleted my answer as no longer appropriate since both you and Janus found a suitable word. Can I suggest you also offer up Janus’ voucher as the US equivalent in your answer? I can only upvote you once, but I would take it as a nice favor (not that you owe me any favors!). – Dan Bron Jan 20 '18 at 0:24
  • @DanBron - VOUCHERRRRRRRRR!!!! I forgot that! THANKS! – SpaceDog Jan 20 '18 at 0:39
  • @SpaceDog Don’t thank me. Do not thank me! Thank Janus! I couldn’t think or anything myself. I even wrote an answer that said “there is no such word in English” and deleted it when I was proven wrong. – Dan Bron Jan 20 '18 at 0:40
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It seems as if you already found an answer, but if you are in the U.S.A. you might be better off using:

store credit

noun [ C ] • us uk credit note
A piece of paper given by a shop when you return something you do not want, that allows you to buy other goods of the same value. [— The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus.]


There are actually a other reasons people might take store sredit. One reason is that stores which purchase used goods might pay more in store credit might give higher values in store credit than cash, so that the actual money owed may stay in their pockets, and to incentivize the customer to return on another occasion. Gamestop makes such an offer when you use their Trade Offers And Values program

PowerUp Rewards Pro 10% extra in-store credit applies only when trading games and accessories. It does not apply to the trade of systems or consumer electronics. [—Gamestop's Terms and Conditions]


However, as most people would rather have cash that they could spend elsewhere if needed, most of the time, and most of the time store credit is given by stores as an alternative to refunds, because they would rather keep the money. Many jurisdictions have consumer protection laws which require them to make the store's preferred policy clear. The Complete Small Claims Handbook for New York State: Know the Process, Win Your Case by Thomas D. and Daniel A. Giodano (©2011) provides the following sample of usage:

Then the consumer has what-ever rights the policy bestows, or where no policy is conspicuously posted, the right to receive a cash refund or store credit, at her option, if the return is made within thirty days of purchase.


Some jurisdictions even requires signs. Although there are many refined signs which stipulate all of the store's return policies, a rather plain and commonplace example are signs that bluntly read "No Cash Refunds Exchange Or Store Credit Only" such as this sign sold by ComplianceSigns.com:

No Cash Refunds Exchange Or Store Credit Only Sign NHE-18733

Sometimes the term appears on retail receipts, and while it is probably too late to change your mind about the terms and conditions of sale by the time you receive it, it does serve as a helpful reminder of what those terms and conditions were. Here is a photographic example of a receipt from a Yelp review of a store named Homegoods, taken by Georgia S. of Summit Utah:

This the cropped bottom of a receipt. It reads 'THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT HOMEGOODS. REFUNDS WITHIN THIRTY DAYS WITH RECEIPT receipt … Store Credit Only With Gift Receipt Other Restrictions May Apply'

It seems awkard to just end, but think that's about all there is to do, since it is a rather utilitarian term.

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