Ever buy an item, only to find out it drastically dropped in price the next week? If only you had waited…
If you’ve ever wondered if there is a way to make up the difference, you may be in luck. By shopping at certain retailers and/or using a credit card that has a perk called price protection, you may be entitled to a reimbursement within a specified period of time.
Let’s take a look at how price protection works and if you can get those discounts!
What is Price Protection?
Price protection is a fairly simple concept: you purchased an item, you find a lower price afterward, and now you want the difference reimbursed.
Price Protection from Retailers
Retailers typically offer this perk for their customers as a way of keeping them loyal to the store. After all, it is harder to win over new customers than retaining those familiar with the brand, so allowing a customer to feel like they “win” (still within profit margins, of course) is a smart marketing strategy. While the customer is looking to “get even” with the retailer, they are unconsciously exposed to other sales, markdowns, and deals that positively affects the retailer’s bottom line.
The following are just a few retailers that offer price-matching reimbursement within a set time-frame:
|Retailer||Time-frame for reimbursement|
|Banana Republic||14 days|
|Best Buy||15 days|
|Old Navy||14 days|
Price Protection from Credit Cards
Many don’t know that there are card-based price protection perks that actually augment a retailer’s ability to price-match! With a credit card that has the price protection perk, you can receive some of your money back within a certain time period—typically augmenting the price protection policy of retailers from about two weeks to 90 days.
Bear in mind that the now-lower-priced item must match the item (i.e. model, size, manufacturer, etc.) that you previously purchased to qualify for price protection. Additionally, taxes, shipping, and other fees are not included in this reimbursement. Still, it can help to soothe that sticker shock you’ve been feeling!
Exceptions to Price Protection
You may know that other credit card benefits, like extended warranty coverage and purchase protection, are automatically activated when you are issued a credit card, but price protection may not be standard. Every issuer is different. With some, you’ll have to register to take advantage of this benefit Others require you to register each time online (like Citi’s Price Rewind program).
Know that price protection perks don’t apply to every item you purchased. Some items which are excluded from price protection include consumables (e. g. groceries, and health and beauty), jewelry, motor vehicles, and so forth. Be sure to review the fine print (see below for a list of resources).
Which Cards Offer Price Protection?
Not all credit issuers and payment processors offer price protection as a standard perk. MasterCard, and Citi typically do, however, American Express, Discover and Chase has discontinued this perk on their cards, and Visa only has a limited number of cards with this benefit.
Amazon no longer provides price protection, but if you use a card that offers the perk, you will still be covered!
How to File a Claim for Price Protection
As mentioned before, some issuers require registration of the price protection perk per item to qualify. As you may have guessed, you will have to file a claim to take advantage of price protection—they won’t just take your word for it when that new gadget suddenly drops in price.
You will likely need to provide some of following documents to begin the claims process:
- An original receipt
- A completed claim form
- A copy of a dated print ad or non-auction Internet ad for a matching item
Comparison of Price Protection Perks
What’s the difference between all of the different brands when it comes to price protection perks? Let’s look at a comparison in the following table:
|Participating credit cards||Chase United Club MileagePlus||All Citi cards||Savor, Savor One, Spark Cash and Spark Miles.||Eligible MasterCard cards|
|Time-frame covered for price comparison||90 days||60 days||90 days||60 days|
|Maximum reimbursement per claim||$500 per claim (note: for cash only, closeout, liquidation and going-out-of-business sales: $50 per claim)||$500 per claim||$500 per claim||$250 per claim (4 claims per 12-month period)|
|Maximum reimbursement per year||$2,500|
(note: for cash only, closeout, liquidation and going-out-of-business sales: $150 per year)
We know, a lot of this sounds complicated and time-consuming. Not to worry, though, because Sift automatically keeps track of each item’s price protection for you. If the price of the item drops within the retailer window we will automatically claim it for you. If it drops outside of a retailer’s window but is covered within credit card price protection window, we will also claim it for you! If you haven’t signed up for Sift yet, download the app today and start saving money!