You know what’s really annoying? Buying something, say a $500 HDTV, and then seeing the same TV on sale for $375 a week or two later. Some merchants will reimburse you for the $125 difference if you ask and have some proof. But this doesn’t always work out.
If the merchant refuses and you purchased the item with a credit card that has price protection, though, you might be able to get a refund for the $125 price difference.
[Related article: How Your Credit Card's Return Protection Can Help You]
Now, this feature isn’t offered nearly as often as extended warranty and purchase protection benefits. I imagine price protection is a benefit that can get costly, so that’s probably why this perk isn’t widely advertised.
To find out if your credit card has price protection, read the disclosure statements, especially the benefits guide, that came with your card. If price protection is offered, it will be listed. You can also look for the benefits guide online. If it’s not plainly marked on the card’s home page, do a Google search. I did a search for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and found the Benefits Guide, which showed that this card does, indeed, offer price protection.
[Featured Products: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com]
Remember that even if your card provides price protection, there’s likely to be a long list of items that are excluded. Here are a few facts to keep in mind:
- MasterCard: If you find a lower price for your purchased item within 60 days of the purchase date, you might be reimbursed for the price difference. Some cards are covered, some are not. To find out if your specific MasterCard credit card offers coverage, call your issuer and ask.
- Citi credit cards: Some of their cards, both Visa and MasterCard, offer price protection. For example, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card and the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card both offer it. Citi’s policy: If you buy something and see it at a lower price (in print only), you can get reimbursed for the difference up to $250. You can get the details of the program here. To talk with a representative at Citi, call 1-866-696-5673.
- American Express: Price protection used to be offered on its cards, but alas, they no longer do so.
- Visa: Visa Signature cards have extended warranty and purchase protection, but price protection isn’t a benefit that’s offered on every card. To find out if your Visa card has coverage, call your issuer and ask.
- Discover: Price protection is not offered on its credit cards.
To file a claim, you’ll need your receipt and a copy of the print ad. Yes, they’ll want proof that the price is less somewhere else.
[Consumer Resource: The better your credit, the lower your credit card interest rate should be. Learn where you stand and get matched to more affordable credit cards with Credit.com's Free Credit Report Card.]
Image: sharpstick’s photos, via Flickr.com