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Price protection is a benefit offered by certain credit cards that helps you get the best price on recent purchases. If you find a lower price for an item you recently bought, a card with this benefit refunds the difference between the two prices. The item must have been paid for by your credit card. The benefit comes with a time limit to file a claim, dollar-amount limits and purchase restrictions. Except for Citi cards, price protection is secondary to any price matching offered by retailers--that is, the card program will refund only the price difference that isn’t reimbursable by the retailer.
Which Credit Cards Offer Price Protection
The chart below shows which credit cards at the major issuers offer price protection. For smaller issuers not on the list, check your card’s benefits guide—usually found online at your issuer’s website—to find out if price protection comes with your card. As shown below, we were unable to obtain some program information from some issuers.
Time to Find Better Price
Claim Limit/Per-Year Limit
Secondary to Store Coverage?
|Citibank||All credit cards||60 days||$500 per claim / $2,500 per year||No|
|Chase||IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, United℠ Explorer Card, United Club℠ Card, The Hyatt Card, Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card||90 days||$500 per claim / $2,500 per year||Unknown|
|Capital One||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Credit Card, Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, Capital One Spark Cash for Business, Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business||120 days||$250 per claim / 4 claims per 12 months||Yes|
|Bank of America||BankAmericard® credit card||120 days||$250 per claim/4 claims per 12 months||Yes|
|Wells Fargo||Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card||60 days||$250 per claim / $1,000 per year||Yes|
|Barclays||AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® and The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|US Bancorp||U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card (called Best Value Guarantee)*||30 days||Unknown||Unknown|
|US Bancorp||REI Credit Card||120 days||$250 per claim / 4 claims per 12 months||Yes|
Best Value Guarantee is provided by American Express on the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card. But the benefit is offered on other American Express credit cards.
How Credit Card Price Protection Works
For most credit cards, you must track prices yourself to find a lower one before submitting a claim. The exception is Citi, which offers its Citi Price Rewind service, explained below. When you find a recent purchase at a better price, you must get a price protection claim form to start the claim process. Call the customer service number on the back of your card or the one listed in your card’s benefits guide, which can usually be downloaded from your issuer’s website. We were able to locate a telephone number for MasterCard (1-800-MCASSIST). Once you receive the form, fill it out and attach the requested documentation. You typically need the following:
- Copy of a printed or online advertisement that shows the product with the same manufacturer and model number, the lower price, the date, and the retailer’s name or website.
- Original itemized receipt showing the item that was purchased.
- Credit card receipt showing purchase was made on your card.
- Monthly billing statement that shows the purchase.
Mail the form and supporting documents to the address on the benefit claim form or provided by customer service. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim online and upload your supporting documents. MasterCard offers this method here. Keep copies of all supporting documents in case your claim is lost.
Citi Price Rewind
Citibank offers its own price-tracking and price protection service on all its cards, one that spares you the need to research prices yourself. After making an eligible purchase with your Citi card, log onto www.CitiPriceRewind.com and search for the item you recently bought in its database. Choose the item, enter your purchase information and upload the original receipt to start the process. Citi will track prices at hundreds of retailers to try and find a lower price within 60 days. If it locates a better price during the 60-day window, Citi will notify you by email. If you find a lower published price on your own or if your item isn’t in the Citi Price Rewind database, you can get a benefit request form at www.citipricerewind.com/how-it-works or by calling 1-866-918-4670. You can submit the request form by email, mail or fax. Citi’s benefit is an addition, rather than secondary, to any price matching offered by retailers.
Ineligible Purchases for Credit Card Price Protection
Not all purchases are eligible for credit card price protection. Most issuers have a long list of exclusions in the fine print of their benefits guides. Below are some of the most common exclusions, but check your benefits guide for any additional restrictions.
- Boats, cars, aircraft, or any other motorized land, air or water vehicles and their original equipment. Tires can be an exception.
- Food, drinks, gas or medications.
- Jewelry including loose gems, precious stones, metals and pearls. Watches may be eligible.
- Tickets for shows, flights, concerts and sporting events.
- Collectables such as antiques, coins, art or stamps.
- Items purchased for resale, rental, professional or commercial use.
- Plants or animals, including stuffed or mounted ones.
- Professional services such as installation, labor, maintenance/repair, advice/counseling or tech support.
- Refurbished, secondhand, customized or special-order items.
- Items on layaway.
- Traveler’s checks, precious metals, coins or any currency.
The lower-priced item must also meet certain conditions to get credit card price protection. The following are some reasons a price protection claim may be denied. Check your benefits guide for any additional conditions. The lower price includes a bonus, free offer, special financing or a rebate.
- The lower-priced item is a going-out-of-business, discontinued, close-out or limited-quantity item. Items on sale for holidays such as Black Friday are generally eligible.
- The lower-priced item was found on an internet auction site, such as eBay.
- The lower-priced item isn’t the same as the one previously purchased, including the same manufacturer, model number and color.
- The lower-priced item requires a service contract like a cell phone.
- The lower price is because of taxes, shipping and handling, delivery costs, warranties or other charges.
Best Practices to Get That Price Refund
Getting the refund from price protection requires upfront preparation and organization and ongoing research. Here are a few ways to make the process easier.
Price-tracking: If you can’t take advantage of Citi Price Rewind (or you can, but want to do additional price research), there are simpler ways to monitor product prices than visiting multiple website every day. Websites such as CamelCamelCamel, SlickDeals, InvisibleHand and CheapShark will monitor price changes of a specific item at various retailers for you. Some retailers may provide email or text alerts on prices of items you’ve selected to watch. Otherwise, keep a list of local and national stores that may offer your product and check back once a week, especially before a long holiday weekend when stores typically run sales.
Smartest purchases: Instead of monitoring many small purchases for lower prices, save time by tracking larger purchases—such as appliances, furniture and electronics—that will reap the most from the per-claim limit. This is especially true for consumers who must track prices themselves, rather than depend on a service like Citi Price Rewind. Retailers are also likely to drop prices for big-ticket items like electronics and appliances during holiday sales or when a newer models are released to get more customers through the door. These are prime candidates for price protection.
Store protection: Before filing a claim, check to see if the retailer provides price matching, such as Best Buy and Walmart. Except for Citi cards, credit card price protection is secondary to this retailer benefit, so you must try to get the price difference from the retailer first before filing a claim with your credit card issuer. The credit card protection should cover any amount that the retailer doesn’t pick up. Check your benefits guide or speak with a customer service representative for more details about your credit card’s price protection. To avoid any hassle surrounding duplicate coverage, consider using a Citi card instead for price-protection purchases because Citi’s coverage is in addition to, rather than secondary to, any price matching provided by a retailer.