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Price protection is disappearing, but you can still save on your purchases

Mobile apps offer alternatives to the vanishing credit card perk

Summary

Price protection is being slashed from credit card perks left and right, but these apps can get you the same benefit.

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Price protection used to be a common perk of rewards credit cards, but it has seen significant cuts in the past year. One by one, credit card issuers are slashing the perk from their cards, with Barclays, USAA and Citi as the latest to follow the trend.

This can be a big drawback for cardholders, as the perk can save frequent shoppers hundreds of dollars a year. Luckily, there are several apps that serve the same purpose as price protection on a credit card – and won’t require that you open a new card account to access the perk

What is price protection?

Have you ever bought an item online, only to see it listed at a lower price just a few days later? Enter price protection, which covers the difference in cost if this happens to you.

Many popular retailers will refund the difference if the price on an item drops within a designated time period after your purchase – usually from 30 to 90 days. Price protection apps are designed to log your purchases and automatically scan merchant sites for a lower price and then notify you if the price goes down. Some then prompt you to file a claim with the merchant yourself, while others send the request on your behalf.

Apps that offer price protection

Though price protection is disappearing from credit cards more and more, there are several apps that any shopper can download to take advantage of the perk. These services scan your digital receipts to log your purchases and then monitor the merchant’s website for a lower price. If the retailer has a price drop policy, the app will then file a request for a refund on your behalf.

Here’s a quick look at some of our favorite price protection services. None of these options charge a fee for their services, though a couple keep a percentage of the refunds they acquire for you.

App nameHow it worksCharges
Paribus
  • Scans your email for confirmations & receipts
  • Files a claim on your behalf if the price drops with a participating merchant
  • Credits refund to your original payment method
  • Owned by Capital One, but available to anyone
No fees
Earny
  • Scans your email for confirmations & receipts
  • Files a claim on your behalf if the price drops with a participating merchant
  • Files a claim with your linked credit cards if they offer price protection
  • Credits refund to your original payment method
  • Charges its cut of your refunds to your account once per month
25% of your refund
Sift
  • Scans your email for confirmations & receipts
  • Files a claim on your behalf if the price drops with a participating merchant
  • Flags any linked credit cards that offer price protection in the app
  • Credits refund to your original payment method
  • Charges its cut of your refunds to your account once per month
25% of your refund

All three of these apps are designed primarily for online shopping, so you’ll need a digital copy of your receipt sent to your email address to trigger price monitoring. Luckily, most brick-and-mortar retailers allow digital receipts, so you can opt for email over paper when you shop in person.

After any one of these apps detects a price reduction online, they will contact the merchant on your behalf to request a refund – so you can just sit back and wait for any refunds to roll in. Earny goes beyond merchant claims to file with your credit card issuer (if your card offers price protection), for any difference in price not covered by the retailer.

Unfortunately, both Earny and Sift charge users 25 percent of their refunds, bundled into one monthly charge instead of taken from each claim. On the bright side, Paribus is completely fee-free.

Cards that still offer price protection

Though there are few cards left on the market that offer price protection, the benefit is still holding strong with on a couple cards. Check out our favorite cards for price protection below.

CardRewards rate
United MileagePlus Club Card
  • 2 miles per dollar on directly purchased United airfare
  • 1.5 miles per dollar other purchases
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business2% cash back on all purchases
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
  • 5 miles per dollar on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel
  • 2 miles per dollar on all purchases
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
  • 10 points per dollar on IHG hotel stays (in addition to 15 points per dollar earned as an IHG Rewards Club member)
  • 2 points per dollar on gas station, grocery store and restaurant purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases

Final thoughts

Even though price protection is slowly disappearing from credit card benefits, shoppers still have plenty of ways to take advantage of the perk. To avoid spending hours manually checking for price drops for your purchases, try downloading one of these price protection apps to save on your shopping.

If your credit card still offers price protection, don’t forget you can file a claim even if the merchant denies it.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: April 1st, 2020
Business
14.07%
Airline
15.85%
Cash Back
16.16%
Reward
16.06%
Student
15.87%

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