Price Protection overview by issuer (2019)

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With the holiday shopping season nearly wrapped up, one credit card benefit that has become rare but 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, this is one benefit that has gone from prevalent to mostly absent. However, in updating this guide, I found that there are a few cards which I’d previously missed that do in fact include price protection, so there are some good options that remain.

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 the 2017 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. Since cutting price protection on the IHG cards in November 2019, just a few of the Mileage Plus cards still carry price protection (as shown below).
  • Citi: Reduced maximums to $200 per claim / $1K per year per card on July 29, 2018 (previously $500 / $2500). No more price protection for purchases as of 9/22/19.
  • Barclays: Removed price protection from all of its cards 11/1/19.

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 no longer offers price protection as of 11/1/19.

Capital One

Capital One price protection varies by card, but is generally available on some Capital One Mastercards and also on Visa Business Signature cards. 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.

For most readers, the key cards offering this benefit are Capital One Visa Business Signature cards, including the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, and Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business credit cards. The good news is that each of those cards offers price protection for 60 days, up to $500 per item and $2500 per year.

UPDATE: Before relying on Capital One price protection, please see this reader comment.  It might be way harder to use than it should be.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 60-120 days (varies by card)
  • Limits: $250 per claim, 4 claims per 12-month period OR up to $500 per claim up to $2,500 per year (varies by card)
  • Phone number to file: Varies by card type. Could be: 1-800-MC-ASSIST / 1-800-553-7520 / 1-844-288-2140. Your best bet is to find the guide to benefits that applies to your card.

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.

Chase

Chase slashed price protection from most of its credit cards in 2018 and then also from the IHG credit cards in November 2019. However, the benefit remains on the follow cards:

  • United TravelBank Card
  • United Explorer Business Card
  • United Club Card
  • United Club Business Card

Notably absent from the list of United cards is the United MileagePlus Explorer (personal). While the Club cards and the Explorer business card and even the no-fee TravelBank card offer price protection, the more mainstream Explorer personal card does not.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 90 days
  • Limits: Up to $500 per claim up to $2500 in claims per year
  • Phone number to file: The guide to benefits just says to contact the benefits administrator. It makes sense to start with the number on the back of your card.

These cards all offer price protection within 90 days of purchase for a difference of up to $500 per claim and a max of $2,500 in claims per year.

Exclusions: 

Price Protection does not cover the following items:
• Animals and living plants
• Boats, automobiles, and any other motorized vehicles and their
motors, equipment, and accessories
• Cell phone service agreements and cell phone contracts
• Items advertised or shown as price quotes, and bids or final sale
amounts from a non-auction Internet site
• Items returned to any store and layaway items
• Items previously owned, sold “as is,” and refurbished items
• Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use
• Items purchased outside of the United States
• Jewelry, antiques, collectible items, rare or one-of-a-kind items,
special order items, custom items, and tailored items
• Manufacturer or merchant rebates
• Perishables, services, consumables, and limited-life items
including, but not limited to, rechargeable batteries
• Price differences involving manufacturer and/or merchant
rebates, shipping and handling fees, and sales tax, if any, are not
covered by the Price Protection benefit
• Traveler’s checks, cash, tickets, credit or debit cards, and any
other negotiable instruments

Citibank

Update 9/19: Citi no longer offers price protection.

Discover

Discover no longer offers price protection.

HSBC

The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card offers price protection. Oddly, the guide to benefits says that coverage applies for 120 days from the date of purchase but then goes on to say that if you do not file your claim within 60 days of purchase it may be denied. YMMV.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 60 days or 120 days (unclear from the guide to benefits)
  • Limits: Up to $250 per claim up to 4 claims per year
  • Phone number to file: 1-800-MASTERCARD

Exclusions:

  • 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 nonauction Internet advertisement
    containing the lower price was published after one hundred and twenty (120) 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

Synchrony

The Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card offers price protection (here is the guide to benefits). It is possible that other Synchrony cards have this benefit, though it does not appear to be common on their cards.

Key Details:

  • Find a lower price within: 60 days of purchase
  • Limits: Up to $500 per item up to $2500 per year
  • Phone number to file a claim: 1-800-553-7520. The guide to benefits also suggests that you can file a claim online at cardbenefitservices.com.

Exclusions:

  • Internet Auction Advertisements including but not limited to sites such as eBay, Ubid, Yahoo and public or private live auction sites.
  • 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 including, but not limited to, items that are hard-wired or hard-plumbed, 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.

TD Bank

TD Bank does not offer price protection.

US Bank

Price protection is only available on the Cash 365 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. 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,
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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, but other holiday and post-holiday sales should probably be fair game. It pays to keep this kind of thing in the back of your mind to make a great deal outstanding.

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