Does a credit card refund count as a payment off your balance for interest purposes?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
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LittleWing294LittleWing294 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
I have a mastercard through Sainsbury’s bank.
I returned a faulty item to the retailer under guarantee, and they refunded the amount to my mastercard. I’ve since checked online and the refund is showing on my account.
The refund came in after the date my monthly statement was produced.
The refund amount is higher than my statement balance was when my monthly statement was produced.

I normally clear my balance in full a few days before the date my statement says payment is due, but because the refund has come in and more than clears my statement balance, I wondered whether I needed to make a payment this month. After checking to see if I could find any information about this in Sainsbury’s bank on line help, I called their customer service line.
I had to explain my query several times to the customer service representative, and she put me on hold twice while she went off and checked. Eventually she told me that I will have to make a payment of my statement balance as shown on my monthly statement, otherwise I will get charged interest.

I’ve set the payment up, because I don’t want to get charged the interest, but it doesn’t seem right that the credit card refund is somehow treated differently from a payment.
Have I been given correct information?

Because the refund will show on my statement next month, there is a chance that I might be in credit (i.e. showing a negative outstanding balance) by the time next month’s statement is produced.

Is there a problem if I do end up with a negative outstanding balance? I think I remember being told that there is a charge for this.

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