Amazon no longer offers price protection, but you could still use your credit card’s perks to take advantage of the event and benefit from your purchases with other merchants, too.
With Amazon Prime Day coming up Oct. 13-14, consumers are priming up to take advantage of a variety of deals.
As with a lot of programs this unusual year of the coronavirus, this event, usually held in summer, has been pushed out to later in the year. However, it is still likely to offer a plethora of deals that you could take advantage of.
For instance, Amazon is advertising that, among many other deals, you can save up to 40% on “daily essentials by Amazon,” up to 20% on school supplies and furniture, and up to 60% on “subscription boxes.” You will need to have an Amazon Prime subscription to take advantage of such deals though.
If you think it’s worthwhile, you could sign on for a free trial membership to Amazon Prime just to take advantage of such deals. In case you don’t have any other use for Amazon Prime, you could cancel the membership after your trial period ends. You could even sign on for a paid membership, in case you are not eligible for a free trial, and close your account after a month.
In the past, Amazon would even offer price protection for your purchases, whereby the e-commerce firm would compensate you for the difference in case the price on an item you bought from it went down. While that no longer applies, you could still use your credit card’s price protection feature to take advantage of the event and benefit from your purchases with other merchants too.
That means you don’t even have to shop directly on Amazon to benefit from this online deal bazaar. If you bought an item from some other merchant, you could track the Amazon Prime Day deals and see if the identical item is on sale.
See related: Best credit cards for Amazon Prime Day
Credit card price protection
So what is credit card price protection and how does it apply in these situations? This is a feature whereby a card issuer will reimburse you for the price difference if you see the identical item for sale at a lower price within a specified period after you buy. You have a limited window of time to put in for the price protection, based on your issuer’s policies.
This feature is not readily available nowadays, since a large number of issuers have cut back on it after apps made it easier for consumers to keep track of deals and put in more claims for price protection reimbursement.
If your card does still offer this feature, though, you might want to take note of the deals around Amazon Prime day.
See related: Price protection apps, and how they work
Multiple exemptions to price protection coverage
If you have access to price protection, be aware that it applies only under the terms and conditions that your issuer spells out. These could include:
- The reimbursement would only kick in after any guarantee that a retailer offers to match lower prices. That means you would have to turn to the outlet you made your purchase from first if you see the identical item sold at a lower price and the merchant offers a price match guarantee.
- A price limit on the reimbursement typically applies per item, and there is also typically an annual limit on the total amount you can claim under this feature.
- Issuers also usually specify geographic limits on the coverage for price protection, limiting the protection to markets within the U.S. If you see the identical item you bought go on sale for a lower price in a Canadian market, for instance, the feature wouldn’t apply.
- There are a variety of sales situations that are not likely to be covered by this feature, such as auction sales, fire sales and seasonal sales. Sales of items that are seasonal, such as holiday decorations, or are discontinued may also not be covered.
- Airline and other travel tickets are usually not covered by such protections. Exclusions also generally apply to cell phone contracts, refurbished items, antiques and collectibles.
- If you find that your purchase is eligible for price protection – after crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s – you will have to provide proof of the lower price (through a screen shot, for instance) and submit it to the card issuer along with your claim and proof of purchase.
Take advantage of all the Prime Day ripple effects
It’s possible that your card issuer’s price protection will not compensate you for lower prices on Amazon Prime Day deals, since this is a members-only event that you participate in by paying a membership fee.
In any event, there’s typically a ripple effect as other retailers try to keep up with Amazon’s deals and offer consumers deals of their own. You could take advantage of all these spillover effects using your card’s price protection feature.