10 reasons to use a credit card – Part 6: price protection

Have you ever bought something from a website or a store and realized a month later that the exact same thing was being sold elsewhere for much cheaper? That TV you had bought from Best Buy the week before for $600 was selling for $500 on Newegg? In my college days, I hated it every time it happened.

Lower price on something you've already purchased. What to do?
Lower price on something you’ve already purchased. What to do?

And then I got a credit card, and I’ve never had to feel that way again.

With my Citi credit card for example, if within 90 days of purchase I find my purchased item being listed anywhere for $20 or more lower than the price I paid, Citi will refund the difference in price for me. So I always get the lowest price no matter where I buy my stuff from! Even better, Citi will actively monitor prices in multiple stores for 90 days to detect any price drop that would qualify you for a refund.

The catch is that the lower price has to be an originally listed price before any promotion, discount, or rebate is applied.

Only a select few credit cards offer this benefit, and the policy varies from issuer to issuer in eligible time window and coverage limit. Following is the list of the cards I know that do have price protection:

  • All Discover-issued cards
  • All Citi cards
  • Barclaycard’s World Mastercard cards
  • Select Chase cards: Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, and United Explorer

Notice that American Express does not have any card on the list; they used to provide price protection but have recently got rid of it. Citi is the only issuer to go out of their way to make sure you get the best price by monitoring online prices of the item you purchased. I use my Citi cards to buy expensive electronics for this reason. For other credit cards, you’d have to find the lower price yourself and include the proof of the lower price in your claim file.

When you buy any expensive electronic device, definitely look out for this benefit. Who doesn’t like some refund? I know I do.

-Richard (Hiep Tran)

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