Price Protection overview by issuer

With the holiday shopping season coming up, one credit card benefit you won’t want to ignore is price protection, whereby you can get a refund from the bank if the item you purchased drops in price. Unfortunately, several issuers have changed their policies or intend to do so shortly, so options are different than they have been in holiday seasons past — so you’ll want to make sure you know the current benefits that apply for you.

Don’t light money on fire: file a price protection claim to get the difference back when the price drops.

Price Protection Explained

Simply put, price protection is like insurance against a future price drop; you buy an item today and if it drops in price within a specified period of time after purchase, the bank will refund you the difference.

For instance, let’s say you purchased a TV from Best Buy today for $500 and you buy it with your Bank ABC credit card. Next month, that same TV goes on sale at Target for $400. You file a claim with Bank ABC, showing Target’s ad for the same TV at a better price, and the bank refunds you $100. That’s the idea, though keep in mind that different banks have slightly different rules regarding timeframe, amount, etc.

Generally speaking, you’ll need a copy of the advertised lower price and your original receipt (and sometimes the credit card statement showing the charge for that purchase). After you call the claims administrator at the phone numbers below, they will give you further instructions as to where to send that information to process your claim. Rules vary by issuer and sometimes by card as seen below. Also keep in mind that most issuers no longer cover Black Friday sales, though I believe both Citi and Discover still will this year, which might make them your go-to choices once we catch wind of Black Friday ads.

Price Protection negative changes

Up through last holiday season, most of the major issuers offered some type of price protection on at least some of their cards. Unfortunately, over the past year, we’ve seen issuers modify or pull price protection completely on a number of cards. Casualties include:

  • Discover: No more price protection as of 10/31/18
  • Chase: No more price protection on most cards as of June 1, 2018, though note that it still exists on the IHG cards.
  • Citi: Reduced maximums to $200 per claim / $1K per year per card on July 29, 2018 (previously $500 / $2500)

Price protection overview by issuer

American Express

American Express does not offer price protection on any US-based cards

Bank of America

BOA does not offer price protection

Barclays

Barclays lists price protection in its Visa Guide to Benefits as well as in both the World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard guides to benefits, though you’ll want to call to confirm that your card is included. Generally speaking, the details follow.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 120 Days
  • Limits: $250 per claim, $1K per year
  • Phone number to file: 1-800-553-7520

Exclusions:

What is not covered?
The Price Protection benefit does not cover the following items:
• Advertisements posted on the Internet.
• Advertisements of cash-only sales, close-out sales, flea markets, fire sales,
going-out-of-business sales, limited-quantity promotions, or liquidation sales.
• Advertisements of sales of seasonal or discontinued items including, but not
limited to, holiday decorations.
• Animals and living plants.
• Boats, automobiles, and any other motorized vehicles and their motors,
equipment, or accessories.
• Cell phone service agreements and cell phone contracts.
• Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use.
• Jewelry, antiques, and collectible items, rare or one-of-a-kind items, special
order items, custom items, or tailored items.
• Manufacturer and/or merchant rebates.
• Perishables, services, consumables, and limited-life items including, but not
limited to, rechargeable batteries.
• Real estate and items which are intended to become part of real estate.
• Traveler’s checks, cash, tickets, credit or debit cards, and any other negotiable
instruments.
• Items purchased outside of the United States.
• Items without a manufacturer’s U.S. warranty (warrantable items only).
• Previously owned, sold “as is,” and refurbished items.

Capital One

Capital One price protection varies by card, but is generally only available on Capital One Mastercards. In this case, the price protection is available through Mastercard itself on Platinum Mastercards, World Mastercards, and World Elite Mastercards. World elite Business Mastercards also offer price protection, though the rules and administrator are significantly different. See the various guides to benefits found on this page to see the specifics for your type of card.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 60-120 days
  • Limits: Up to $250 per claim, 4 claims per 12-month period
  • Phone number to file: 1-800-MC-ASSIST

Exclusions:

What is NOT covered:
Any item purchased from an Internet site whose primary purpose is not the sale of the item or related items.
Items purchased for resale, rental, professional, or commercial use.
Jewelry, art, used or antique items; collectibles of any kind (such as items designed for people to collect or items that
over time become collectibles); recycled, previously owned, refurbished, rebuilt, or remanufactured items.
Customized/personalized, one-of-a-kind, or special-order items.
Layaway items; items returned to any store.
Any items purchased from an auction.
Items for which the printed advertisement or non-auction Internet advertisement containing the lower price was
published after sixty (60) days from the date you purchased the item.
Items advertised or shown as price quotes, bids or final sale amounts from a non-auction Internet site.
Items advertised in or as a result of “limited quantity,” “going out-of-business sales,” “close out”, or as “discontinued”.
Printed advertisements or non-auction Internet advertisements that display pricing lower than your purchased
item due to rebates, special offerings, bonuses, free items/giveaways, manufacturer’s coupons, or special financing.
Professional services, including workmanship, installation, professional advice/counseling, and technical support, or help line.
Plants, shrubs, animals, pets, consumables, and perishables.
Motorized vehicles, including, but not limited to, automobiles, watercraft/boats, aircraft, and motorcycles, or their
motors, equipment, or accessories.
Land, any buildings (including, but not limited, to homes and dwellings), permanently installed items, fixtures, structures,
or home improvement.
Game animals, pets or specimens preserved for display (e.g., fish, birds, reptiles, or mammals).
Traveler’s checks, tickets of any kind (e.g., for airlines, sporting events, concerts, or lottery), negotiable instruments,
bullion, rare or precious metals, stamps, and coins, currency or its equivalent.
Differences in price due to sales tax, storage, shipping, handling, postage, transportation, and delivery.
Differences in price due to foreign exchange rates or fluctuation in foreign exchange rates.

Citibank

Most Citi personal cards are covered by Citi Price Rewind. The (potentially) nice thing here is that you can set it up for Citi to continuously search for a lower price for you. Of course, how well that works will really vary from one item to another. You can also manually submit a claim. You can easily log in and get the automated process going at the Citi Price Rewind website.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 60 days
  • Limits: Up to $200 per claim, $1K per year
  • Phone number to file: 1-866-918-4670

Exclusions:

The following items are not eligible for Citi Price Rewind:

  • Boats, cars, aircraft or any other motorized land, air or water vehicles and their original equipment. Tires are not eligible.
  • Items that can spoil or are consumable and need to be replaced after they have been used for a period of time such as food, fuel, batteries, medications, beauty products or personal care products.
  • Watches or jewelry including loose gems, precious stones, metals and pearls.
  • Tickets of any kind (e.g., for airlines, sporting events, concerts or lottery).
  • Travel arrangements of any kind (e.g., hotels, vacations rentals, or car rentals).
  • Collectable items; including but not limited to, antiques, coins, art, sports memorabilia or stamps.
  • Items purchased for resale use.
  • Plants or animals, including stuffed or mounted animals or fish.
  • Advice or services for a purchased item, such as product installation, labor, maintenance or repair.
  • Firearms or ammunition.

The following specific circumstances are not eligible for Citi Price Rewind:

  • The lower-priced item requires a service contract, such as cell phones with a service contract.
  • The lower-priced item is offered at no cost, or the lower price includes a bonus, free offer, special financing or a rebate.
  • The lower-priced item is offered through a warehouse club where the merchant requires a customer to pay a membership fee.
  • The lower-priced item is a going-out-of-business sale item or from an internet auction site.
  • The item is returned, used, customized, altered, refurbished, or secondhand.

Discover

Unfortunately, Discover is totally ending price protection as of 10/31/18. That said, purchases made before 10/31 will be covered under the old rules.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 90 days
  • Limits: Up to $500 per claim, $2.5K per year
  • Phone number to file: 1-800-347-2683

Exclusions (H/T: DoC):

  • Items must be purchased and advertised in the United States, or its terroitories, including Puerto Rico.
  • All services are excluded, this covers items only.
  • Any used, rebuilt, remanufactured or second hand items are all excluded.
  • Consumable and perishable items (e.g food, fuel, oil, household products & cosmetics)
  • Travelers checks, tickets of any kind, jewelry, art objects, negotiable instuments, bullion, rare or precious coins or stamps, antiques cash and it’s equivalents
  • Computer components including but not limited to external and internal hard drives, CPUs, power supplies, batteries, DVDs, video cassettes, CDs, audio cassettes, printed materials, or any other informational and recreational media
  • Motorized vehicles and their parts including, but not limited to, boats, airplanes, automobiles, trucks and motorcycles; and their parts and accessories including but not limited to tires and batteries
  • Floor models, demonstrator models and one-of-a-kind items
  • Live animals and live plants
  • Negotiated sales, one-of-a kind sales, cash-only sales
  • Close-out/liquidation/going-out-of-business sales but only as they relate to a business (not a particular item) going out of business
  • Employee discounts
  • Digital downloads including, but not limited to, music, movies, books, mobile apps and eCertificates
  • Gift cards
  • Special discounts offered through a specific retailer membership or rewards program
  • Price differences involving manufacturer or merchant rebates
  • Purchase transactions involving refunds, exchanges, trade-ins, layaways, gift cards, or store credits
  • Items purchased and/or advertised as price quotes or bids from an Internet auction site
  • If you return the item, Discover can charge back the amount you received from the Price Protection claim

TD Bank

TD Bank does not offer price protection.

US Bank

As best I can tell, price protection is only available on the Cash Rewards American Express card (and they call it a “Best Value Guarantee”). Here’s a link to the benefit information,

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 30 days
  • Limits: $250 per claim, $1K per year
  • Phone number to file: 1-855-327-1424

Exclusions:

ltems not covered are: animals and living plants; one-of-a kind items (including antiques, artwork and furs);
limited quantity items; items that the advertisement states can be purchased with cash only; demonstration items;
going-out-of-business sales items; “discontinued” items; consumable or perishable items with limited life spans
(such as, but not limited to perfume, light bulbs, non-rechargeable batteries); jewelry (including, but not limited to
loose gems, precious stones, metals, and pearls); watches; services and additional costs (such as installation charges,
warranties, shipping, taxes, or car rentals); rare and precious coins; stamps; used; rebuilt and refurbished items;
cellular phones; pagers; tickets of any kind; travelers cheques; motorized vehicles (such as cars, trucks, motorcycles,
boats, or airplanes) and their parts; land and buildings; negotiable instruments (such as promissory notes); cash and
its equivalent.

Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo Visa Signature card offers price protection. Other cards may also – check the guide to benefits for your specific card for details. Here is the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Guide to Benefits.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 60 days
  • Limits: $250 per item, $1K per year per eligible account
  • Phone number to file:  1-800-553-7520

Exclusions:

What is not covered?
Price Protection does not cover the following:
• Advertisements of cash-only sales, close-out sales, flea markets, fire
sales, going-out-of-business sales, limited-quantity promotions,
liquidation sales, or auctions
• Advertisements of sales of seasonal or discontinued items including, but
not limited to, holiday decorations
• Animals and living plants
• Boats, automobiles, and any other motorized vehicles and their motors,
9
equipment, or accessories
• Cell phone service agreements and cell phone contracts
• Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use
• Jewelry, antiques, and collectible items, rare or one-of-a-kind items,
special order items, custom items, or tailored items
• Manufacturer and/or merchant rebates
• Perishables, services, consumables, and limited-life items including, but
not limited to, rechargeable batteries
• Real estate and items which are intended to become part of real
estate including, but not limited to, items that are hard-wired or hardplumbed,
garage doors, garage door openers, and ceiling fans
• Traveler’s checks, cash, tickets, credit or debit cards, and any other
negotiable instruments
• Items purchased outside of the United States
• Items that are previously owned, sold “as is,” and/or refurbished

Leveraging price protection

It’s important to keep in mind that things like portal rewards and rebates will likely not affect your claim nor be affected by it. For instance, you might find the same item available for $800 with a $150 rebate through Retailer A or for $600 and no rebate through Retailer B. You could theoretically purchase from Retailer A and file your price protection claim. In that case, you should get $200 back from your bank and still get your $150 rebate for a net cost of $450. Stack that with portal rewards for even greater potential savings. For an example of how that might work, see this old (and long expired) deal: Great deal on a 60″ 4K Home Theater Display at Dell with cash back & price protection).

That said, be sure to check the guide to benefits for your card. Some guides will insist that your first recourse is with the retailer itself to ask for any kind of price guarantee or return policy, so it’s worth giving your benefits a read-through before you dive in.

Bottom Line

Price protection can be a valuable benefit to have, especially during retail sales season as it is common for items to go on sale — sometimes for significantly less in the coming weeks. Be aware that most issuers no longer cover Black Friday sales, though to my knowledge Citi still does and Discover may if your purchases are within the window and before October 31st. In some instances, you might be able to find leaked ads and purchase items ahead of time — again, leveraging portal rewards, rebates, and credit card category bonuses — to get a great deal. Price protection is a terrific benefit to have at this time of year.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

3
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
3 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
VicKey Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Key
Guest
Key

Great article as always! Perfect timing for holiday’s. What about City National Bank? From their website, “If, within 60 days of the original purchase date, you find an advertisement for a lower-priced item that’s identical to one already purchased with your eligible Crystal Visa Infinite Card, Price Protection will refund the difference between your purchase price and the advertised price, up to $1,000 per item and up to $4,000 annually per account, when terms and conditions are met.”

Vic
Guest
Vic

Hey Nick, your “Exclusions (H/T: DoC):” hyperlink actually links to TPG, and it doesn’t contain the info either (so it’s a wrong link entirely.) Proof that I read the article carefully 🙂