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You get home with your brand new TV, finish setting it up, and turn it on for the first time. What do you see? An ad for the same TV, from a different store, but for $100 less!
So maybe that’s a bit farfetched, but price protection helps you address this frustrating situation — buying a product and shortly after seeing the price drop on it.
This benefit isn’t offered as much anymore, though. Many credit card issuers had price protection but discontinued it throughout 2018 and 2019, opting for others like travel insurance and purchase protection. The growth of apps and services to help people find lower prices may have contributed to its demise.
Here’s the price protection status of some major credit card companies; click or tap the names to see more details.
|American Express||No (available with networked cards from other issuers)|
|Bank of America||No|
|Capital One||Yes (certain business cards)|
|Chase||Yes (certain co-branded cards)|
|Mastercard||Yes (certain cards only)|
|U.S. Bank||Yes (only one card, networked with Amex)|
|Visa||Yes (certain cards only)|
|Wells Fargo||Yes (only one card)|
If your credit card does offer price protection as a benefit, it will be fairly easy to use. The process is pretty similar across various card companies, but refer to the Guide to Benefits that came with your card for more details (or contact the benefit administrator, at the appropriate phone number below).
Finding the lower price ultimately falls on you, the consumer. There’s an app for that, though (or several apps, actually). Paribus and Sift are two that help you find out if an item you bought drops in price. For some cards, only prices in print advertisements are honored, not online prices.
You’re on the clock, too, as you usually have from 30–60 days to identify the price drop to make a claim for the difference. You should take note of the specific timeframes and amounts you can claim.
Next, you’ll need to pull together your receipt, your card statement showing the purchase, the advertisement confirming the reduced price of the item, and potentially any other documentation you may have.
You’ll usually need to prove that the advertised item is identical to the one you bought, so you may have to include a model or product number.
Usually, this involves calling to get the process started, though Mastercard does have an online form for cardholders to use. There’s often a claim form to fill out, and the customer service representative will confirm any additional documentation you’ll need to provide to process your refund request.
Items may have to be purchased in the United States to be covered, depending on your card. You can often make claims on purchases made using rewards, like points or cash back, as well.
But there are quite a few limitations; some typical restrictions include items purchased on, in, or during:
Some common categories of items usually not covered include:
Most card issuers offering price protection give you either 30 or 60 days from the date of purchase to file a claim. You can usually claim up to $250 per item and $1,000 per year, though some business cards go up to $500 per item and $2,500 annually.
While price protection policies vary, you should also know that only the actual product itself is covered, so taxes, shipping, and handling costs aren’t included.
You typically need to act quickly after finding the ad with the lower price, as well. You may have as little as 10 days after the publication of the ad to make your claim.
Amex price protection is not universally available but is offered through some cards issued by other financial institutions, including U.S. Bank and Navy Federal Credit Union. American Express just serves as the network for these cards, not the issuer, and provides some of the benefits.
Bank of America credit cards don’t offer price protection.
Some cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) and Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) used to have price protection, but Chase discontinued this benefit as of August 2018 for most cards. A few co-branded Chase cards still have it:
The price protection benefit for Citi credit cards, known as Citi Price Rewind, is no longer available as of September 2019.
Discover discontinued price protection on all of its cards in November 2018.
Mastercard ended price protection benefits for almost all of its cards in July 2019. However, a few issuers still provide it with some of their cards, including:
Here’s the only Wells Fargo card that offers price protection:
Price protection is often listed by credit card issuers as secondary to and only to be used after any store policies offering a lowest-price guarantee, or any other form of refund for price differences. Some retailers do offer price matching, so ask a manager or check the store’s policies. Like credit card companies, however, more retailers are putting restrictions on this. For example, Amazon price protection used to exist but doesn’t any longer.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t hurt to ask if you see a lower price shortly after buying something. You may be able to get the lower price matched with no hassle.
These two benefits sound similar but are really very different. Many major card issuers do offer purchase protection, which provides reimbursement or a replacement if an item you buy is lost or stolen for approximately 90–120 days after you purchase it.
Price protection is just one of the benefits you may get depending on which cards you have in your wallet.
Credit card companies often promote elite benefits like travel credits and airport lounge access. However, when you’re considering a new credit card, you’ll want to weigh all the features including the annual fee, APR, rewards, and any other perks.
Price protection is a credit card benefit that can provide reimbursement if you see an item you bought being advertised for a lower price. Not as many credit card companies are offering it these days, though.
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