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, 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
|Cards covered||Eligible Mastercard cards||Citi-branded consumer credit cards (excludes store cards, Chairman credit cards or business credit cards)||Eligible Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Cards and Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Cards|
|Time frame covered after purchase||60 or 120 days, depending on the card||60 days||60 or 120 days, depending on the card|
|Maximum benefit||$250 per claim, four claims per 12-month period||The lesser of the following: $200 or the amount charged to the Citi card.||$250 per claim, four claims per 12-month period|
|Excluded items||See benefits guide (below)||See Price Rewind guide (below)||See benefits guide (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||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 for same item|
|How to start the claim process||Call 800-627-8372||Call 866-918-4670||Call 800-MC-ASSIST|
|Source||Mastercard benefits guide||Citi Price Rewind guide||Capital One 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
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 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. Read more about the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer in our full review.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. 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.
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.