For the past several years, we’ve all been enjoying an informal purchase protection policy at Amazon.com, which would refund you if the price dropped 7 – 30 days after the purchase date. This is especially important during the annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals week when prices can drop 10-50% in a matter of days. Recently, Amazon changed its policy and despite an outcry from its customers across the internet, price change refunds from Amazon continues to be hit-and-miss.
Like many of you, I was extremely disappointed by this turn of events. That is until I discovered a solution which provides Purchase Price Protection for not just Amazon, but everywhere I shop. Retail and online included!
Credit Card Purchase Price Protection
Early 2016, Costco announced it would be dumping American Express and moving over to Citibank. Reading over the detailed terms and conditions (I know, it’s a bad habit of mine…) for my new Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi, I came across a groovy benefit I never realized existed — Credit Card Price Protection or Citi Price Rewind as Citi calls it. Although I first stumbled across the benefit with my new Citi card, after doing 10 minutes of research, it turns out, most of my credit cards including Captial One, WellsFargo, and CITI have the same benefit called Price Protection.
What is Price Protection and How do I use it?
If you buy something online or in a store and the price drops within the covered period (60-90 days), your Credit Cards Price Protection benefit will refund you the difference. The benefit varies between banks, however, overall, the rules for the reimbursement are relatively standard across the different brands. For example, although most will allow refunds on items bought online, none provide protection for auction items. In other words, it’s important to read the fine print!
Using the benefit is pretty simple. As long as the purchase is covered (sorry, farm animals not included), keep an eye on whatever you bought and if you see a price drop, anywhere… submit a claim to your bank and get paid. The requirements vary from bank to bank, however, most require original receipts and proof that the exact item did, in fact, drop in price. Citi is the only exception, kinda. If you register your purchase with Citi Price Rewind, they will monitor the purchase for you against a few hundred sites.
Granted, you should still keep an eye on price drops but, well done Citi… Just one more reason I’m happy Costco gave the boot to AMEX. I buy a lot of stuff from Costco!
Credit Card Price Protection Comparison Chart
Below I’ve created a quick comparison between the larger Credit Card Banks/Brands along with a high-level review of the benefit details.
Update – October 2018, both Chase bank and Discover card canceled their Price Protection programs. They have been removed from the chart below.
|Covered Cards||All CITI Cards||Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card||Majority or all Mastercard Cards|
|Benefit expiration after purchase||60 Days||60 Days||60 Days|
|Maximum Benefit||$500 per claim, $2500 per year||$250 per claim, $1000 per year||$250 per claim, four claims per cardholder account per 12 month period|
|How to start the claim process||Call 866-918-4670 or register product and CITI monitors automatically or Online Claim or Manual PDF Submission Form.||Call 800-553-7520 or Visa Online Claim Form||Call 800-627-8372 or Mastercard Online Claim Form|
|Internet Ads Covered?||Yes, excluding Internet Auction Sites||No||Yes, excluding Internet Auction Sites|
|Source||CITI Key Terms Guide||Wellsfargo Benefits Page & WellsFargo Visa PDF||Benefits Site & Mastercard Guide to Benefits PDF|
If you don’t see your particular card listed in the table above, just give your bank a call or do a few searches on the net. There’s just too many out there for me to list. For example, I did a quick search on my Capital One Mastercard and found my Guide to Benefits agreement. Sure enough, Price Protection is included on all my purchases baby!
The Price Protection benefit is an excellent example of why it’s so important to read the fine print when it comes to your financials. Did you know, Price Protection is just one of many amazing benefits you receive when using your credit card? Benefits like Extended Warranty coverage, Identify Fraud Expense Reimbursement, Rental Insurance, and Roadside Assistance just to name a few. Granted, each Credit Card is different, but I think you get my point. Spending just a few minutes reviewing your existing coverage could save you thousands.
I really enjoyed writing up this article, and would love to hear from everyone on their price protection refund adventures! Positive or negative, if you’ve had any luck getting cash from your Credit Card company, please leave a comment below and tell us how it went. Also, if you end up doing a little research on your specific Credit Card, drop the details and links in the comments, I’ll add it to the article!