Price protection is a noteworthy perk on your credit card. Benefits vary from card to card – and many issuers have already discontinued it – but if you can snag one that still has it, it can offer significant savings.
Most savvy shoppers carefully compare prices before making a purchase – whether it’s through internet searches, in-person shopping or by shopping at 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 it and then repurchase it at another retailer. It can also be frustrating to try and get a price adjustment from the retailer who sold you the original purchase.
When you choose the right credit card, you can protect your purchase price. Read on to learn how.
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 on something you bought. If you pay with 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 it can save you significant money, especially on a high-ticket purchase.
If the price drop happens during an eligible time frame – usually within the first 60 to 120 days after you made your original purchase using a qualifying credit card – you may be reimbursed for the price difference.
While some credit card issuers have removed price protection benefits from their products in the last few years, there are several that still offer them. Check your credit card guide to benefits carefully to see if you have a card with them 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 from which you bought the item.
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. Many card issuers have the following exclusions:
- Cars, boats, air and water vehicles
- 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
- Tickets to sporting events, concerts or shows
- Air tickets
- Currency or traveler’s checks
- Auctioned items
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, though.
For credit cards that do offer price protection, exact coverage varies.
For example, there might be claim limits. Credit card issuers 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 $250 or as high as $2,500, depending on the card. There could also be a limit for the number of claims per 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 stopped offering it, so finding a card that offers it might be difficult.
Many credit card issuers like Chase, Citi and Discover have dropped the benefit completely.
However, there are some issuers who have retained price protection on specific credit cards – like Capital One, which offers price protection on certain cards.
Since price protection can save you money by simply filing a claim, searching for a card with price protection might make sense for you.
Here are three credit cards that still offer price protection:
|Card||Rewards rate||Price protection benefit|
|Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||If you find a lower price on eligible items within 120 days of purchase, you can get the difference refunded.|
|Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®||If you see eligible items advertised at a lower price within 120 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed up to $250 per claim. There is a maximum of 4 claims per year, per cardholder.|
|Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card*||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 to fill out and sign, as well as documentation to submit, including:
- Your itemized, dated receipt for your original purchase
- A copy of a printed advertisement or a screenshot of the exact item displaying a sale or reduced price; must include the date, store or retailer name and a product overview and description.
- Your credit card statement showing the purchase
You can either upload or mail the documentation in: Check with your issuer for its requirements, as they may differ.
Is it worth it to get a card with price protection? The answer is probably yes: Price protection is a noteworthy perk. Just keep in mind that you might have to hunt for one and that benefits can vary among cards, but if you do find one that fits your needs, it can lead to big savings if you buy something and find it cheaper elsewhere.