Those who often find themselves buying stuff and then discovering that they could pay less for the same item they've just bought, will appreciate this credit card benefit – price protection. This is the least known and the most neglected benefit that, however, can help save you hundreds of dollars annually.
Price protection is a credit card feature that allows you to refund the price difference. In other words, if you use your card to purchase an item and then find the same item at a lower price, you can cash in the difference. However, credit card price protection is not available with all credit cards. For example, Amex and Visa credit cards come without this benefit. Here are some of the credit cards and issuers that do provide it.
Discover will cover the difference if you find a better price after you've already bought an item using your Discover card. You have 90 days to start a claim. Discover will refund the difference up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year. Note that not all items are eligible for the Discover card price protection. For example, such items as computer components, power supplies, batteries, DVDs, video cassettes, CDs, audio cassettes, printed materials, or any other informational and recreational media are not eligible for coverage under price protection. To file a claim or ask questions, you should call Discover at 1-800-347-0213.
While the Discover cardmembers should do the search for lower price themselves, Citi offers Citi® Price Rewind. This service does a 60-day search for a lower price on your purchases. The service is absolutely free of charge. To start the search and submit your benefit request, you should go to the Citi Price Rewind website. Citibank Rewind covers up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year. Some items are not eligible for the refund. They include jewelry, food, cars, tickets of any kind, plants, animals, services, and some other items. The full list of purchases that are not eligible can be found on the Citi Rewind website.
Not all Barclays credit cards cover the price difference. The cardholders of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card are definitely protected. You will have 60 days to file a claim. You can be refunded up to $250 per claim and you cannot start more than four claims per 12-month period. There also are exclusions to what is covered and here are some items that are not covered: used items, antique items, automobiles, plants, and some other items. You can call 1-800-627-8372 for assistance and for the complete list of uncovered items.
Here's a quick comparison of the price protection benefit from major issuers:
|Maximum coverage per claim||$500||$500||$250|
|Maximum coverage per year||$2,500||$2,500||$1,000|
|Coverage window||90 days||60 days||60-120 days|
Price protection is a good feature, but you should follow the rules to refund the price difference. In addition to the terms provided above, you should:
- pay for an item with a credit card that has price protection;
- track the price change (only Citi has the service that tracks the price of the registered item for you, in all other cases price protection is not automatic and you need to do all tracking and paperwork yourself);
- file a claim within the allotted time period and provide all information required.
Price protection can save you hundreds of dollars per year depending on the coverage and purchases. Look at your credit card benefits to see what you are covered for and if price protection is included. If not, you may want your new credit card to have this benefit.