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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.

>>More: Credit card features you wish you had — that actually exist

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.

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Price protection, compared

Cards covered Eligible MasterCard cards All Discover cards Citi-branded consumer credit cards (excludes store cards, Chairman credit cards or business credit cards)Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, 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 $500 per claim, $2,500 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® Card 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 – 18 month BT offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer 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 an introductory APR of 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. Read more about the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer in our full review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 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® Card 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 after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Check out our full review for more details.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ 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 are the current categories:

Discover bonus categories for late 2017 and 2018
Q4 2017 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31) and Target
Q1 2018 (Jan. 1 – March 31)Gas stations and wholesale clubs
Q2 2018 (April 1 – June 30)Grocery stores
Q3 2018 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Restaurants
Q4 2018 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31) and wholesale clubs

You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases and get 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. 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.

The comparison table misstated the cards that Citi’s price protection plan covers. The plan covers Citi-branded consumer credit cards. This article has been corrected.  

Updated July 11, 2017.