Credit card issuers are always announcing new perks that come their cards, but they’re also frequently discontinuing perks that go largely unused. One of the perks most recently cut back is price protection.
In 2018, Discover eliminated price protection completely, Citibank devalued their program by cutting back the amount you can claim, and Chase eliminated price protection from multiple cards. In 2019, USAA did the same.
So what is price protection, and why is it important that you have it? Well, it can potentially save you a large amount of money on the purchases you’re already making. And all you have to do is use the right credit card.
What is price protection?
Making a large purchase can be anxiety-inducing. While you may find the best price at that time, you could maybe get an even better price the next day. This can be disappointing and frustrating for any consumer. This is where price protection comes to save the day. Price protection helps consumers be sure they are getting the best possible price on a product.
Let’s say you purchase a TV for $600 on January 1st. On January 12th, you discover the same TV is now being advertised for $400 at a different retailer. Your first idea could be to return the TV and go purchase it again at the lower advertised price. This would be a large hassle on your part.
With price protection, you can simply submit a claim to your credit card company. If you meet all of the terms of their policy, they will send you a check for the price difference you found. This is a much easier process than returning your purchase and repurchasing it elsewhere.
The details of using price protection
There are some terms to keep in mind when using price protection and some aspects that will vary from card to card. Here’s what you need to know to understand your price protection policy:
- Full purchase vs partial coverage: Each credit card’s terms and conditions will define whether the purchase must have been fully charged on the specific credit card or not. If you split a purchase between two cards or use cash and a credit card, your item may not be eligible for coverage, so be sure to read your card’s policy.
- Refundable amounts: Each card will have a maximum amount you can claim for each item and a maximum on how much you can claim per calendar year. For example, Capital One offers up to $500 per item and a max of $2500 in claims per year.
- True price difference: The sticker price on an item can be much different than the actual price you pay at the register. Price protection policies typically do not include merchant rebates, taxes, or shipping and handling fees. So if you are comparing prices, make sure it is for solely the price of the item.
- The definition of advertised: Price protection is based on you finding a “lower advertised price.” However, each credit card issuer will define “advertised” a bit differently. Be sure to refer to your terms and conditions on what qualifies as an advertisement.
- Time limits: Unfortunately, price protection does not last forever. Otherwise, we would be able to recover a ton of costs on items that lose their value quickly, such as electronics. Price protection policies typically cover anywhere from 30-90 days after the time of purchase.
- Items that qualify: Each credit card issuer will list different items that do not qualify for price protection. As an example, boats, automobiles, and any other car accessories largely do not qualify for price protection.
In addition to these terms, one core piece of utilizing price protection is handling your documentation. One of my bad habits is throwing away receipts. But if you want to take advantage of price protection, it is imperative that you keep all documentation that can prove your claim. This documentation includes all necessary receipts and proof the item has fallen in price from a retailer that falls within your credit card’s terms. Without documentation, your chances of getting a refund will be slim.
9 credit cards that still offer price protection
Despite the recent news that credit card issuers are eliminating price protection, there are still a few cards that offer it. Having price protection can give you peace of mind if you are planning any large purchases, such as electronics or appliances. It’s normal for anxiety to set in when making a large purchase — we keep thinking that next week the price could fall. But this exact situation is where price protection can assist and relieve some stress.
Whether you are in the market for a business or personal credit card, you have options that not only offer price protection but are also great rewards credit cards. Here are nine credit cards that still offer price protection:
|Card issuer||Card names||Price protection details|
|Capital One||Capital One Spark Cash for Business||Equivalent item must be found within 60 days of the date of purchase. Up to $500 per item and max $2500 a year per eligible account.|
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business|
|Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business|
|Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business|
|Chase||United TravelBank Credit Card||Equivalent item must be found within 90 days of purchase. Up to $500 per claim and $2,500 per account.|
|United MileagePlus Club Card|
|United Club Business Card|
|Wells Fargo||Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card||Equivalent item must be found within 60 days of purchase. Up to $250 per item and $1,000 per year.|
|U.S. Bank||U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card||Equivalent item must be found within 30 days or purchase. Up to $250 per item and $1,000 per year.|
With Capital One, price protection perks are only available with their business credit cards. However, these cards pack a real punch as all of them offer outstanding policies. If you make a purchase and find an equivalent item within 60 days of purchase, you can file a claim for up to $500 per item. You can do this to a maximum of $2,500 per year in reimbursements.
Additionally, each card comes with unique reward potential that can help you earn valuable points or cash back for your business:
- The Capital One Spark Cash For Business will help your business save 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. Along with this, you will earn a earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months.
- The Capital One Spark Miles for Business will give your business the ability to earn points on your purchases for future travel expenses such as airfare and hotels. With the card, you will earn 5X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, and 2X miles on every purchase, every day. You can also earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months.
- The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business is a great option if you want to earn cash back for your business without a pesky annual fee. You will earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on all cards attached to the account. Your cashback earnings can get off to a great start with the ability to earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
- The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business is a $0 annual fee card that will earn your business Capital One points. Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel, and an unlimited 1.5X miles on all other purchases made with all cards associated with the account. This means if you have employees with cards on this account, you will earn miles on their purchases as well. Plus, you can earn 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Chase also has both personal and business credit cards that offer price protection. However, they are all co-branded United Airlines credit cards. So if you are a regular United Airlines passenger, these cards can earn you more United Airlines miles and give you price protection on your purchases, as well.
The United TravelBank Credit Card is essentially a cashback card. You will earn “TravelBank” cash to redeem on United Airlines flights. You can earn this cash back on United Airlines purchases, as well as on all your other purchases. As you are earning TravelBank dollars, you will have price protection up to $500 per item, and up to $2,500 per year in claims.
The United MileagePlus Club Card is a great card for a frequent flyer to earn additional United Airlines points. You will earn 2X miles on United purchases, and 1.5X miles on all other purchases. Along with great earnings, you will have price protection on all your purchases. You can claim up to $500 per item, and up to $2,500 per year. Also, when you get started with the United MileagePlus Club Card, you will earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature Credit Card is a great card for someone looking to earn rewards points on everyday purchases. With this card, you will have price protection on eligible items that are advertised for a lower price within 60 days of your original purchase. You can be refunded up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 per year.
The Wells Fargo Visa Signature Credit Card also helps you earn points that you can put toward travel. You will earn 5X points for every $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and drugstores (up to $12,500) for the first 6 months; and 1X points on everything else.
This card is no longer offered, but if you happen to have one already in your wallet, the U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card is a great card for everyday spending while also equipping you with price protection on those expenses. However, keep in mind the terms specify that an equivalent item must be found within 30 days of your original purchase. This is a bit shorter than other cards that offer 60 or 90 days for their price protection policies.
How to get the most out of price protection
Price protection is a great perk to help you save even more money on your purchases. However, it does take some documentation and preparation. If you believe you have a claim, your first step is to check the terms and conditions of your credit card. There, you will be able to find the contact information for the department to contact. Along with this, the terms and conditions will tell you what documentation needed to make your claim. Typically, the documentation will look something like this:
- Original receipt for the purchase
- Proof of advertisement from approved retailer showing lower price of identical item within specified timeframe
- Proof of item being charged to credit card
Keep in mind you are still responsible for paying the statement in full while your price protection claim is being processed. If you are expecting a refund for $100 on a $250 item you purchased, be sure to pay the full $250. Once your claim is approved, you will be sent a check in the mail. Typically, it will not come from your credit card issuer, but rather an outsourced third-party.
Another way you can get price protection
Price protection is an outstanding way to ensure you are getting the best price possible on your purchases. However, credit cards are not the only way to get price protection. Consider using this platform as an easy, free alternative:
Waldo is a free service that monitors the online shopping receipts in your email and looks for price changes. If Waldo finds a price change, it will automatically request a refund with the merchant. Waldo monitors over 100+ brands and can quickly help you save money on your day to day purchases.
The main downside of price protection policies that come with credit cards is that you have to find a lower price on your own. With Waldo, that work is taken care of for you. To get started, you can sign up for Waldo here.
The bottom line on price protection
Price protection is a great feature to have on all your purchases. Prices can rapidly change on items, especially in the technology sector. And with so many different retailers for us to choose from, the best price today may not be the best price tomorrow.
While more credit cards are continuing to get rid of the price protection perk, you can still find it on select personal and business credit cards. This perk has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars per year, so consider it when selecting your next credit card.