Price Protection: Which Credit Cards Refund a Price Drop?
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Price Protection: Which Credit Cards Will Refund a Price Drop?

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Price Protection: Which Credit Cards Will Refund a Price Drop?

Seeing the price of something drop right after you bought it can be maddening. If you used your credit card for the purchase, though, you may have a price protection benefit to bail you out — and save you some money.

What is price protection, and how do I use it?

If you buy an item with your credit card and find a lower price within a certain time period after the purchase, your card’s price protection feature refunds you the difference (taxes, shipping, etc. are not included). The lower-priced item must match the item you purchased exactly — same model, manufacturer and so on.

Unlike other credit card benefits, such as purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, price protection isn’t automatic. Depending on your card issuer, you may have to register the item for them to track or track the price and file the paperwork yourself to get your refund.

The Nerds have confirmed that MasterCard, Discover, Citi and select Chase cards offer price protection. Visa doesn’t say which cards offer it as a perk. To find out whether your Visa card offers price protection, call your card issuer.

Price protection, compared

 MasterCard*DiscoverCitiChase
Cards covered Eligible MasterCard cards All Discover cards All Citi cards Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Freedom®
Time frame covered after purchase60 days90 days60 days90 days
Maximum benefit $250 per claim, four claims per 12-month period $500 per claim, $2,500 per year $300 per claim, $1,200 per year $500 per claim, $2,500 per year; for cash only, closeout, liquidation and going-out of-business sales: $50 per claim, $150 per year
Excluded items See benefits guide (below)See benefits guide (below) See Price Rewind guide (below)See benefits guides (below)
What you need to file a claim Claim form; itemized receipt; card statement showing the purchase; printed ad or non-auction Internet ad for same item Claim form; itemized receipt; card statement showing the purchase; copy of dated printed ad for same item, or a statement, signed by the store manager on store stationery, documenting the details of the sale Register your purchase at Citi's Price Rewind site. Citi will track the item online and issue a refund if it finds a lower price. You can also submit your own claim by calling the number below Claim form; itemized receipt; card statement showing the purchase; printed ad or non-auction Internet ad with sale price, store or dealer’s name, and the date the sale is in effect
How to start the claim process Call 800-627-8372 Call 800-347-2683 Call 855-569-7366 Call 888-320-9656
Source Mastercard benefits guide MasterCard benefits guideDiscover benefits guide (login required)Citi Price Rewind guideChase Sapphire Preferred® benefits guide, Chase Freedom® benefits guide

*MasterCard price protection benefits may differ by issuer. Call your issuer to verify terms and conditions.

Top cards that offer price protection

Citi®Double Cash Card

Citibank Citi® Double Cash Card Credit Card
Learn More
The Citi®Double Cash Card is one of the best cash-back cards in the business, offering 1% back on your purchases and another 1% back when you pay them off. Combine those rewards with Citi’s Price Rewind program, and you’re looking at the best card for price protection.

What sets Citi Price Rewind apart from other price protection programs is that Citi is proactive about helping you save. For example, you may receive a prompt on your online statement under a large transaction saying that it may be a good candidate for price protection. You can also register an item you recently purchased, and Citi will search for a lower price online so you don’t have to.

The card also comes with a $0 annual fee and offers and introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% Variable . Read more about the Citi®Double Cash Card in our full review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Learn More
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great option for price protection because of its 90-day timeframe, its high benefit value and its allowance for cash-only, close-out, liquidation and going-out-of-business sales — something other programs don’t cover.

It doesn’t hurt that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great travel card, either. You’ll earn 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining and 1X points on all other purchases. You can redeem your points for travel at a 20% discount if you use Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel platform. The card also comes with a killer sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Check out our full review for more details.

Discover it®- Double Cash Back your first year

Discover It Credit Card
Learn More

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, the Discover it®- Double Cash Back your first year is generous with its 90-day timeframe and high maximum benefit. It also helps that the card offers 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate every quarter, many of them shopping-related. Here’s what the card offered for 2015:

  • January 1 – March 31: Gas and ground transportation
  • April 1 – June 30: Restaurants and movies
  • July 1 – September 30: Home improvement stores, department stores and Amazon.com
  • October 1 – December 31: Amazon.com, department stores and clothing stores

You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases and get 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.24% – 23.24% Variable. See our full review for more information.

Bottom line: Carrying a credit card with price protection gives you peace of mind that you can take advantage of deals, even after you’ve already made the purchase. The downside is that most programs require you to track price drops, which may make it worth it only on large purchases.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


Image via iStock.

  • sactownhero

    “Price matching is actually a pretty good deal. It means you can buy an appliance, laptop or other big-ticket item in early November, and then get a price match on Black Friday deals….”

    Um, two of the three programs have $250 limit (Discover’s is $500). Which “appliance” are you talking about? A toaster? smh

  • sactownhero

    “Price matching is actually a pretty good deal. It means you can buy an appliance, laptop or other big-ticket item in early November, and then get a price match on Black Friday deals….”

    Um, two of the three programs have $250 limit (Discover’s is $500). Which “appliance” are you talking about? A toaster? smh

  • sactownhero

    “Price matching is actually a pretty good deal. It means you can buy an appliance, laptop or other big-ticket item in early November, and then get a price match on Black Friday deals….”

    Um, two of the three programs have $250 limit (Discover’s is $500). Which “appliance” are you talking about? A toaster? smh

  • anthony

    Items advertised in or as a result of “limited quantity,”“going out-of-business sales,” “closeouts,”or as “discontinued

  • anthony

    Items advertised in or as a result of “limited quantity,”“going out-of-business sales,” “closeouts,”or as “discontinued

  • anthony

    Items advertised in or as a result of “limited quantity,”“going out-of-business sales,” “closeouts,”or as “discontinued

  • prov6yahoo

    Just buy the cheaper one, then return it using the older receipt.

  • prov6yahoo

    Just buy the cheaper one, then return it using the older receipt.

  • prov6yahoo

    Just buy the cheaper one, then return it using the older receipt.

    • Mudflapman

      This is a great trick, however, make sure that the return policy is still effective on the old receipt.

  • YachtsAndBottles

    will this work for purchasing gas?

    • Berneigh

      lol

  • YachtsAndBottles

    will this work for purchasing gas?

  • YachtsAndBottles

    will this work for purchasing gas?

    • Berneigh

      lol

  • Mudflapman

    This is a great trick, however, make sure that the return policy is still effective on the old receipt.

  • Mudflapman

    This is a great trick, however, make sure that the return policy is still effective on the old receipt.