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Credit card price protection

This card benefit is becoming less common, but it can provide a lot of value if you still have it

Summary

Price protection is a noteworthy perk on your credit card that adds value. Benefits vary from card to card – and many issuers have already discontinued this benefit – but if you can snag one that still has it, it can equal significant savings.

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Most savvy shoppers carefully compare prices before making a purchase – whether it’s through internet searches, in-person shopping or by shopping retailers like wholesale clubs that often offer deeper discounts than traditional retailers.

But if you do discover a cheaper price on an item after you buy it, it can be inconvenient to return the merchandise and then repurchase the item at another retailer. It can also be frustrating to try and get a price adjustment from the retailer who sold you the original purchase.

The COVID-19 epidemic has made this scenario even more challenging for shoppers with reduced store capacities and limited store hours. And, holiday shopping lines can be even more frustrating.

When you choose the right credit card, you can protect your purchase price. Read on to learn how.

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

What is price protection?

Price protection is a perk offered by select credit cards that will provide you with recourse if you see a price drop. If you pay for your purchase using a credit card that offers a price protection benefit, you can have the price adjustment refunded to your account.

This benefit is often overlooked because cardholders may not realize it’s offered. And it’s usually a free benefit if your credit card offers it. Knowing how to take advantage of this benefit can save significant money, especially on a high-ticket purchase.

If the price drop happens during an eligible time frame – usually 60 to 120 days of when you made your original purchase using a qualifying credit card, you may be reimbursed the price difference.

While some credit card issuers have removed this price protection benefit from their products in the last few years, there are several credit cards in the marketplace that do still offer this free coverage. You’ll want to check your credit card guide to benefits carefully to see if you have one in your wallet.

How does price protection work?

Each issuer has a protocol for filing a claim. In general, there is a time frame for filing, which is typically between 60 and 120 days of purchase – and this time frame can vary depending on the credit card. Another term that can vary for qualification purposes is whether the item’s price has dropped, or if you found a lower price than what you paid. Price protection technically refers to the former, though you might be able to find a price matching term with the retailer you bought the item from.

Filing a claim involves providing both proof of what you paid for your purchase as well as 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 for price protection?

It’s important to recognize that you can’t file for price protection on all purchases. Most credit cards have exclusions, and these can generally be found in the fine print of your benefits overview. Here are common exclusions across many card issuers.

  • Cars, boats, air and water vehicles
  • Medication
  • Food and drink purchases
  • Jewelry which includes precious stones, diamonds and other loose or unset gems (in some cases, watches are permitted)
  • Antiques, stamps, collectibles, art or coins
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Tickets to sporting events, concerts or shows
  • Air tickets
  • Currency, traveler’s checks
  • Auctioned items
  • Resales

What items are eligible for price protection

Beyond the exclusions listed above, you should have peace of mind that your purchase is eligible. It’s best to contact your issuer to confirm if your purchase will be covered.

For credit cards that do offer price protection, exact coverage does vary. There are some important things to know.

  • There might be claim limits. Credit card issues don’t allow unlimited price adjustments, so be careful to make sure the match is worth it. The range is broad, as caps can be as low as $500 or as high as $2,500 depending on the card. There could also be a limit to four claims a year, per cardholder.
  • Be organized. Paperwork is required to file a claim. This usually includes your credit card statement showing your purchase, an original itemized receipt and an advertisement or online listing of the item and the lower price.

What issuers still offer price protection?

Price protection is a valuable benefit, but many issuers have revoked this benefit, so finding a card that offers this perk can take some looking.

For example, in July 2019, Mastercard dropped the benefit of price protection – which it had offered as an across-the-board perk for its credit cards.

In addition, credit card issuers like Chase, Citi and Discover have dropped the benefit completely.

There are, however, some issuers who have retained price protection on specific credit cards.

Since price protection can save you money just for filing a claim, searching for a card with price protection might make sense for you.

Here are 3 credit cards that still offer price protection:

CardRewards ratePrice protection benefit
Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card
  • 5X rewards points earned for up to $12,500 spent on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months
  • 1X points on other purchases
If you see eligible items advertised for less within 60 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 a year.
Capital One Platinum Credit CardNoneIf you see eligible items advertised at a lower price within 60 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed up to $250 per claim. There is a maximum of 4 claims per year, per cardholder account every 12 months.
Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card
  • 3% cash back on qualifying purchases made through Rakuten.com, In-Store Cash Back offers, Rakuten Hotels and Rakuten travel
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
If you find an eligible item with a lower price within 60 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per claim and up to $2,500 per year.

How to file a claim

Filing a price protection claim is not complicated, but there are some required steps.

There is typically a claim form that needs to be completed and signed as well as documentation that needs to be submitted, including:

  • Proof of purchase from your original purchase, which is your itemized, dated receipt.
  • A copy of a printed advertisement or a screenshot of the exact item displaying a sale or reduced price. This documentation must include the date, store or retailer name and a product overview and description.
  • Your credit card statement showing the purchase.

This required documentation can either be uploaded or mailed in. Check with your issuer for the requirements, as they can vary.

Is it worth it to get a card with price protection?

Price protection is a noteworthy perk on your credit card that adds value. Benefits vary from card to card – and many issuers have already discontinued this benefit – but if you can snag one that still has it, it can equal significant savings.

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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