Have you ever purchased an item only to find it at a cheaper price a few days later? Well for some credit card holders, that could be a thing of the past. A handful of credit cards offering price protection programs as one of their perks–issue customers refunds on items that went on sale after they were purchased.
Like most credit card benefits—this is one that is severely overlooked.
“Price protection is pretty underused, especially when you consider the amount of money you can save,” Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at CreditCards.com stated in an interview with CNN Money.
Cards Price Protection Programs:
Keep in mind that each card is different and has different processes, procedures, and limits as to how much can be refunded during a set period of time
Also note that claims have to be filed within a certain time frame after purchase, and not every item is eligible for a refund. For instance, tickets, jewelry and perishable items tend to be ineligible in all price protection programs, along with products purchased on auction sites.
Below is a list of popular cards offering price protection programs:
• Citi: Citi allows cardholders to receive a refund of up to $300 on a single item with a yearly cap of $1,200. This program is excellent in that it allows customers to find and register their purchases online. Citi will then track the item for you for 60 days. If the price drops within that time period, the customer can request a refund for the difference. The refund is only eligible 60 days after the initial purchase.
Citi Bottom Line: $300 per item max. $1,200 annual refund limit; 60 day refund period
• Discover: While Discover’s max refund benefits beat Citi’s, the downside is that the process isn’t online yet and Discover does not track items at all. Consumers have to do the legwork themselves. If they find the item at a cheaper price they must call the company to report the claim. Then, they must mail in the signed claim form along with the receipt, the credit card statement and proof of a lower price. As you can see, this process can be time consuming and a bit arduous. Credit card experts suggest only using this benefit for significant purchases.
Discover Bottom Line: $500 per item max; $2,500 annual refund limit; 90 day refund period
• Chase: Several of Chase’s credit cards, including Freedom, Slate and Sapphire Preferred cards, offer a price protection program. Like with Discover, cardholders must locate the item at a cheaper price and then call the company to request a claim form. The claim form must be returned by mail along with original receipts and proof of a lower price.
Chase Bottom Line: $500 per item max; $2,500 annual refund limit; 90 day refund period
• MasterCard (MC): MasterCard also offers price protection, but like Discover and Chase, items must be tracked by the customer and claim requests are processed by mail. To file a refund, customers need to mail in a claim form along with the original itemized receipt, credit card statement and a copy of the ad with the lower price.
MC Bottom Line: $250 per item max; 4 claims annually; 60 day refund period.
Shoppers looking to use this perk– regardless of the credit card–should pay careful attention to the fine print to optimize this benefit. And, because of the limits on how many claims can be submitted and on refund amounts, items selected for refunds should be strategically chosen to ensure you get the most “bang for your buck.”
“Price protection generally works best when you go big, it might not be worth jumping through hoops to save a few bucks on a new pair of jeans,” said Schulz. “But the potential savings on a new TV or dishwasher can be worth the effort.”