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- What is Capital One price drop protection?
- How do you claim a Capital One price drop protection refund?
- Limitations of Capital One price drop protection
- Which cards are eligible for Capital One Travel price drop protection?
- How I've (already) saved via Capital One Travel Price Drop
- If you like the sound of automatic flight refunds
Capital One has made a big push into the travel scene recently. It introduced the impressive new Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, vastly improved its airline and hotel transfer partners and introduced a new Capital One Travel portal. And although it seems like every bank has a travel portal these days, this one offers features not found elsewhere.
Some of these unique features include price watch and prediction tools, an airfare price freeze feature and the ability to cancel a flight for any reason for a refund of 70-90% of the ticket price. This article will focus on one of the portal’s biggest benefits: price drop protection.
Here's what you need to know about using Capital One Travel price drop protection to save money on flights.
What is Capital One price drop protection?
Capital One price drop protection is a free service that refunds you the price difference if the cost of a flight drops after you book it through Capital One Travel. The protection is automatically applied when Capital One's price prediction tool recommends that you buy a given flight because its price is likely to increase.
To get this free price protection, just look for the phrase "you should book now" at the top of your Capital One Travel search results. If you follow this advice and book your flight through the portal, you'll automatically receive price drop protection — subject to limitations covered below.
How do you claim a Capital One price drop protection refund?
Besides being free, the best part of Capital One price drop protection is how easy it is to get automatic refunds when the price of your flight drops. Once the protection is applied to eligible bookings, Capital One automatically tracks prices on the flight you booked. Then, if it finds a cheaper price, you’ll receive a refund without needing to prompt the system.
There is no way to manually request a refund if you find a lower price elsewhere. However, you can use the Capital One Travel Price Match Guarantee to submit a claim if you find the same flight, hotel or rental car available at a lower price through another booking platform within 24 hours of booking through Capital One's portal.
After 24 hours, you don't have any incentive to manually check for lower prices. If you don't get a refund, you can feel confident that you got a good price on your flight.
» Learn more: How the Capital One Miles program works
Limitations of Capital One price drop protection
Capital One price drop protection is great for automatically monitoring and refunding the price of a flight; however, there are limitations to this service.
Specificity. Capital One will monitor the price of the particular itinerary you booked only — which it specifies is the same flight, fare class and seat type. Unfortunately, this means that you won't get a refund if the price drops on another similar flight or on another airline.
Time limits. Capital One will monitor for price drops for a set amount of time only. Again, this isn't a limitation that's stated in the terms and conditions, so it may vary. However, in each of five recent eligible Capital One Travel bookings and searches, Capital One offered complimentary price drop protection for 10 days.
Refund allowance caps. Capital One limits how much you can get back through price drop protection. This isn't a limit that's stated in the terms and conditions and may be based on the particular flight results. However, it appears that the price drop protection cap is generally $50 per passenger.
For example, when searching for a flight from Atlanta to New York City in a few weeks, Capital One Travel recommended that I book now and offered free price drop protection of up to $50.
Which cards are eligible for Capital One Travel price drop protection?
When it was first introduced, Capital One limited access to its travel portal to cardholders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. However, in May 2022, access was expanded to all Capital One rewards cards.
That means holders of the following cards now have access to Capital One Travel:
» Learn more: Who benefits the most from the Capital One Venture Card?
How I've (already) saved via Capital One Travel Price Drop
I recently got a chance to see how price drop protection works in practice. In April and May 2022, my wife and I visited India. As local airline websites wouldn't accept our international credit cards, we needed to book through a travel portal — giving us a perfect reason to try booking through Capital One Travel.
In total, we booked three intra-India flights through Capital One Travel. In each case, it was recommended that we book the flight, meaning we received complimentary price drop protection on all three flights. And booking through the portal paid off. The price ended up dropping on two of the three flights, netting us refunds of $25.81 and $12.92.
While a refund of $38.73 may not sound like a lot, these flights didn't cost very much. Plus, this is $38.73 more than we would have gotten if we had booked through another travel portal or website.
After this positive experience, I'm certainly more likely to book flights through Capital One Travel — even after I've used the $300 annual travel credit on my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
If you like the sound of automatic flight refunds
Capital One Travel is making a compelling case for being the go-to place for booking flights. In addition to price watch and price freeze tools, the portal’s price prediction feature helps you figure out when it's the best time to book a flight. If you follow the recommendation to book your flight when prices are low, you may be able to get automatic refunds through Capital One price drop protection.
Plus, Capital One rewards cardholders earn bonus miles or cash back for booking through Capital One Travel. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card holders get 10x miles on hotels and rental cars and 5x miles on flights booked through the portal. Meanwhile, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and other rewards cardholders get 5x miles or 5% cash back on rental cars and hotel bookings.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card