When you’re out there shopping this holiday season, you want to be sure you get the best deal. Did you know your credit card can actually help you do that?
A look at price protection
Many cards offer a feature known as ‘price protection.’ Let’s say your new TV went on sale for $800 after you paid $1,200 for it. Don’t get mad! Your credit card might reimburse the difference if the retailer refuses you the same.
Read more: 9 places you should never use a debit card
Who offers it?
Discover and Citi offer price protection on all of their cards. MasterCard, Visa and Chase, however, only offer it on select cards. Contact your issuer or see your benefits guide to determine if you’re covered.
How exactly does it work?
In general, you must track the price of a past purchase either online or by monitoring sales circulars. Then when you see a better deal on the same object you bought, bring it to the attention of your credit card issuer by calling them up. You’ll need to provide your receipt and the credit card statement to show the original price you paid.
While that might sound like a lot of work, Citi stands alone with their Price Rewind service that actually does the hard work for you. Simply register your purchase with Citi and they’ll search ‘millions of products at hundreds of online merchants’ for the prior 60 days. If they find a better price, you’re refunded the difference, up to $300 per item and $1,200 per year!
Here are a few other specifics to be aware of:
- MasterCard and Citi give you a 60-day window after purchase to invoke price protection.
- Discover and Chase give you a 90-day window after purchase to invoke price protection.
- The maximum benefit varies by issuer from $250 per claim to $500 per claim. Other limitations apply. See NerdWallet.com for more details.
- Many issuers will exclude certain types of purchases for price protection. In general, these categories of purchase include animals, art, gift cards, motor vehicles, plants and services, according to USA TODAY.
- Chase and Master Card won’t honor the low prices of Black Friday doorbuster deals because they have an exclusion on limited-quantity items.
- Chase will not honor prices found during seasonal sales, so you can pretty much forget about comparing the price on a recent purchase to any prices you see during Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season!
While price protection is great, buying things on credit isn’t so great if you can’t pay the bill off in full when it comes due. Be sure you’re not collecting hefty interest charges that would negate the savings of any possible price protection refunds!
For more money-saving info, see our Money & Credit page.