Price Protection is a benefit that you may not know about, but you are missing out on some serious savings if you aren’t using it. When used to their fullest, price protection benefits could rival the credit card rewards that you earn. Many of the major card issuers, including Capital One, Citi and Discover, offer this coverage. These are our top picks for cards with Price Protection.
Instead of worrying about finding the best price the next time you make a purchase, price protection will refund you the difference between the price you paid and the best price you find shortly after you make the purchase. All you need to do is file your claim and wait for the money to roll in!
What Is Price Protection?
Price Protection is a secondary benefit offered by credit card companies that a majority of credit card users haven’t heard of or rarely use. Credit cards offer this benefit because they want to encourage you to make a purchase today instead of going home to research it and possibly never making the purchase. Or, if you do purchase, they want to make sure that you use their card, not another issuer’s.
How Does Price Protection Work?
No matter which credit card you use, you’re required to put in a little bit of effort to use your Price Protection benefits and receive a refund. Most companies require forms, receipts and advertisements, whereas Citibank‘s process is pretty quick and simple.
Each bank will have different limits, rules and procedures to file a claim. And these guidelines can vary from card to card from the same bank.
Manual Process to Receive a Refund
Most credit card companies that offer Price Protection require a call to customer service to initiate the process and request a form that needs to be completed within a certain number of days after your original purchase. Usually, you will have 60 to 120 days, depending upon the Price Protection benefit details.
You’ll need to complete the form and attach your original receipt showing the item you purchased, a copy of the credit card statement with that transaction and the advertisement showing the item at the lower price.
You have some time to submit your claim. But, if you’re like me and have tons of paperwork laying around, you’ll want to submit your Price Protection claim right away so these crucial pieces of paper don’t get lost, shredded by accident or thrown away.
Citi Price Rewind
In my opinion, Citi offers the best Price Protection. To use their Price Rewind, simply register your purchase at CitiPriceRewind.com and upload a copy of the original receipt. Then Citi will search for lower prices for you. If they find a lower price within 60 days, Citi will automatically send you a check for the difference.
You can also search on your own and submit a benefit request form if you find a lower price that Citi Price Rewind doesn’t. Simply call Citi to request the form and follow the instructions. Don’t forget to submit supporting documentation like you would with other banks.
Which Credit Cards Offer Price Protection?
Even though many credit cards offer Price Protection, not all do. And even if one of your cards from a bank offers Price Protection, that doesn’t mean that other credit cards from that bank do.
Citibank offers Price Protection and Citi Price Rewind on all Citi-branded consumer credit cards. Business cards, store cards that Citi services (like Sears) and Chairman credit cards do not offer this benefit.
Some of my favorite Citibank credit cards that offer Citi Price Rewind are Citi Prestige, Citi Double Cash and Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard.
Please note that the Price Protection benefits offered by Citibank are changing effective July 29, 2018. The limits per transaction will be reduced from $500 to $200. And the maximum is also limited to the amount actually charged to your credit card. The annual limits will be reduced from $2,500 to $1,000 per calendar year. The timeline of 60 days from date of original purchase is unaffected.
Discover Price Protection
Discover is similar to Citibank because they offer Price Protection on all of their credit cards. But, unlike Citibank, their process is manual so it isn’t as easy to receive your refunds.
Discover offers a handful of credit cards like the popular Discover it and Discover it Miles cards. But, they also offer some other credit cards that you may not have heard about, like the Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurant card, Discover it Secured, Discover it Student Cash Back, Discover Student Chrome and Discover it NHL.
All of these cards offer price protection up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year if you find an identical item within 90 days of your original purchase date.
MasterCard offers some level of Price Protection in their battle with Visa to be the bank preferred processor of credit card transactions. The benefits vary by bank, but if your credit card has a MasterCard logo on it, there’s a good chance that your bank provides Price Protection.
If you’re looking for Price Protection, I recommend picking another credit card besides Chase. They used to offer Price Protection on a handful of their credit cards, but this benefit (along with Return Protection) is being eliminated across the entire Chase portfolio.
Chase launched the United Explorer card in June 2018 and Price Protection was a notable omission. And cardholders of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Business Preferred credit cards received notice that Price Protection is being eliminated in Summer 2018.
Unfortunately, there is no Amex Price Protection. American Express does not offer it with any of its cards. You do get Return Protection, though, which will reimburse you if a vendor refuses to accept a return within 90 days.
Best Practices When Using Price Protection
Here are some best practices that you should implement when looking to use your Price Protection benefits.
If you have to fill out paperwork and go through a manual process, don’t bother with the small stuff. You don’t want to spend 15 minutes on the phone getting the form, then waiting a week for it to arrive in the mail, plus another 15 minutes putting it all together just to save $3.
Instead, focus on the big wins. When you buy expensive electronics, appliances and other goods that go on sale on a regular basis, those are the big purchases that are worth your time and effort to request a refund via Price Protection.
Read the Fine Print
With every program, there are exclusions, claim limits and deadlines to request a refund and submit your paperwork. Pay attention to the fine print because you don’t want to jump through all of the hoops only to realize that you missed a deadline by three days. Or that your credit card only allows four claims per 12-month period and this was your fifth claim.
I was recently buying some tires from Costco. The salesperson told me that the tires would be on sale in two weeks, and I would save $150 if I waited. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait.
I used my Chase Freedom card to buy the tires, and when it came time to file the claim, I was told that tires were excluded from Price Protection because “they are a consumable item.” I was completely frustrated, but it was my fault that I didn’t read the fine print ahead of time.
It’s All About the Paperwork
Much like when you submit a rebate, Price Protection claims will only be processed if you have all of the necessary paperwork. Request the claim form immediately. Save your original receipts. Download your credit card statements. And save the ad showing the lower price.
Most importantly, make copies of everything before mailing in the request for reimbursement and write down the date that you mailed in your documents. If the rebate is large enough, consider sending your claim via certified mail to ensure you have proof that the claims department received your package.
Use Store Price Matching First
Before going through the time and effort of submitting all of the paperwork, take advantage of a store’s price matching benefits first. WalMart, Target and Best Buy are some of the stores that offer a price match to earn a customer’s loyalty.
There’s an App for That
If you’re like me and are busy enough with work, family and friends that you don’t have time to chase $5 here and $10 there, there are apps that will do all of the work for you. Yes, they’ll take a cut of the action, but 75% of something is far better than 100% of nothing.
I use apps like Earny (iTunes, Google) and Sift (iTunes, Google) to automate the process for me. Because I buy from Amazon on a regular basis with my Citi Prestige credit card, Earny and Sift handle the claims for me with the push of a button.
If it is a major purchase where it is worth it for me to handle the claim, I’ll use websites like TrackIf.com, CamelCamelCamel.com and GetInvisibleHand.com to monitor prices and get alerts if they drop.
What Exclusions Are There With Price Protection?
Even if you have a credit card that offers the best Price Protection around, it won’t cover every purchase. There are notable exceptions that are common across every program, while other exclusions are specific to certain banks or credit cards.
Perishables, jewelry and concert or plane tickets are generally excluded from Price Protection. Also, if you buy something at liquidation or auction, those purchases will generally not be price matched. On the plus side, big sales like Black Friday are often eligible for price matching.
The item you are buying has to be an exact match. Manufacturers are notorious for selling one model to Store A and almost the same model to Store B. To consumers like us, they look the same, but one model number may be JT89023-A and the other is JT89023-Y. Because they are different, the price match will not be honored.
And when you are comparing prices, you need to look at the prices before taxes and shipping costs. You will not get reimbursed if the only difference is that a vendor is in another state that doesn’t charge sales tax or one that offers free shipping.
Buy With Confidence and Get Reimbursed If Prices Drop
The next time you think about swiping a card to make a purchase, ask yourself if it offers Purchase Protection. You could be missing out on some serious cash back when prices drop if you are using the wrong credit card.
Now that Chase is eliminating Price Protection across all of their credit cards, my Citibank Prestige and Citi Double Cash credit cards are often my first choice for purchases thanks to their rewards and the benefits received from Citi Price Rewind. This is our list of other great cards offering Price Protection.
Which credit cards are you using to protect yourself when prices drop? Do you have any stories about a big reimbursement thanks to Price Protection? Please share in the comment section below.