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

Feb. 19, 2019
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Seeing the price of something drop right after you buy it can be frustrating. But in some cases, if you used a credit card with a price protection benefit, you could get a refund of the difference.

It’s a perk that’s gotten harder to find over the past few years. Some issuers, such as Discover, have eliminated the feature entirely. But other cards are holding steady with the benefit.

Here’s what to know about this feature.

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

If you buy an item with a credit card that has price protection and you later find it advertised for a lower price within a certain time period, you can file a claim asking to be refunded the difference in price. (Things like taxes and shipping are not included.) The lower-priced item must match the item you purchased exactly — same model, manufacturer and year.

Unlike purchase protection or extended warranty coverage, price protection isn’t typically automatic. Depending on the terms and conditions of your specific card, you may have to register the item for tracking, or monitor the price and file the paperwork yourself to get your refund. Some apps can help you with this.

» MORE: Credit card features you wish you had — that actually exist

Which cards have price protection?

Check with your card’s payment network

Price protection is available on select Mastercard and Visa Signature cards. Call the number on the back of your card to check eligibility.

The perk is not available on Discover or American Express cards.

Check with your card’s issuer

Card issuers change benefits and terms frequently. Even if your issuer once offered price protection, it may have dropped or changed the policy. As of February 2019, some issuers that have cards with the benefit include:

For the most up-to-date information on your specific card, it’s always best to check directly with your issuer via secure message through its website or app, or by calling the number on the back of your card. You can also check the terms and conditions booklet that came with your card.

Keep in mind that just because one of your cards may have this feature, it doesn’t mean that your other cards — even if they’re from the same bank — will also have it.

What to ask your issuer

If your card does offer price protection, here are some follow-up questions to ask:

How do I file for a refund?

Each card comes with its own rules for filing a claim. There is usually a time frame — typically anywhere from 30 to 120 days, depending on the card — in which the item’s price has to have dropped or been found for sale at a lower price than what you paid. When you file a claim, you usually have to show proof of both what you paid and where the item is listed for a lower price, like a copy of a printed advertisement or a screenshot if you found it online.

What items are not eligible?

The price protection terms and conditions usually include a detailed list of items excluded from this perk. For example, something bought from an auction or a going-out-of-business sale may not be eligible for price protection. Most services, like an oil change or a haircut, also won’t qualify.

Is there a limit to how much I can get back?

Reimbursement caps also vary by specific card. For example, eligible World Elite Mastercards have a ceiling of $250 per claim, excluding taxes, storage, shipping and handling costs. There is also a maximum of four claims per cardholder account within a 12-month period. Citibank cards that offer Price Rewind top out at $200 per claim, with a maximum benefit of $1,000 per calendar year.

How long do I have to file?

You may only have a specific time frame in which to make your claim before you’re no longer eligible for a refund of the price difference. Delaying the paperwork on your end could mean you miss out on savings.

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