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Guide to Credit Card Price Protection

Guide to Credit Card Price Protection
Jason Steele
Jason SteeleUpdated January 9, 2023
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Credit cards can provide some valuable cardholder benefits. One of the lesser-known of these is price protection, which can refund you the difference if you find a lower price for an item you recently bought. Not every credit card has this benefit, but if yours does, it can help you save money. Read on to learn what is price protection, how to know if your credit card offers it, and strategies for using it successfully.

What Is Credit Card Price Protection?

Credit card price protection is a benefit that allows you to receive a partial refund on a product that becomes available at a lower price within a specified time period. It doesn't matter if you’ve already used the item, or if the item is being offered for less  by another retailer. If you buy the product at one store and see it for a cheaper price at another store a week later, you may be able to file a claim with your credit card issuer for a refund.Many cardholders aren’t aware this perk exists. To find out if you have a price protection credit card, read through the terms and conditions of your card to check for it. This benefit can be something to keep in mind when choosing a credit card. You may want to look for a card that offers it.

How Cards With Price Protection Work

When you purchase an item using one of the credit cards with price protection and then see the exact item offered for a lower price within a certain time frame—typically within 30 days—you can file a claim with your card issuer for a refund of the price difference. For instance, let’s say you just purchased a new television for $1,000. Two weeks later you see an ad for the same TV for $200 less. Rather than trying to return the original television and re-purchase it at the lower price, you can file a price protection claim with your credit card issuer. That’s one example of how credit cards work

How to Use Credit Card Price Protection

First, check your credit card details to make sure it has price protection. If it does, read on to find out what items the policy covers and what it doesn’t. If the product you purchased is eligible, you’ll need to file a claim with your card issuer to receive the difference between the purchase price and the discounted price (taxes and shipping are typically not included).Each credit card has different rules for filing a price protection claim, so check yours and follow the prescribed procedure. In general, you might need to provide a copy of your credit card statement to prove that you bought the item with the card, an itemized sales receipt with the price of the item, and proof of the lower price and the date it was offered at that price, such as an advertisement or flyer (you can also take a screenshot of it if you see it online). You will need to make your claim within a certain time frame set by your card issuer.Price protection may be one of the benefits of using a credit card that other forms of purchase, such as a cash card, may not offer.

Common Exclusions to Price Protection

Price protection is not available for every item. Typically, exclusions include such items as jewelry, tickets to concerts and sporting events, airline tickets, cars, boats, and medication. Check the fine print in your card details for the items your card excludes. Also, the lower-priced item usually can’t come from an auction site like eBay. Certain retailers may sometimes be excluded as well. Check to see if your card has rules about eligible retailers. 

Items That Are Eligible for Price Protection

Most card issuers don’t offer a list of items that are eligible for protection. If you’re not certain an item will be covered, check with the credit card company before you purchase it.

Items That Are Not Eligible for Price Protection

Products that aren’t eligible for price protection generally include:
  • Most motor vehicles such as cars and boats
  • Jewelry 
  • Airline tickets
  • Tickets to sporting events, concerts, and shows
  • Medication
  • Foods and drinks 
  • Antiques
  • Stamps, collectibles, art, and coins
  • Animals 
  • Plants 
Currency is also excluded. For instance, you may be charged fees when you withdraw cash from a credit card, but you can’t file a credit card price protection claim if you later find lower fees elsewhere. In addition, there may be limits on the amount of money you can claim. Check to see if your card’s price protection plan has a price cap. There may also be a limit on the number of price protection claims you can make per year.

Filing a Price Protection Claim

To file a claim, you will typically need to fill out and sign a claim form provided by your card issuer. You will also need your dated and itemized receipt for the purchase, plus your credit card statement showing the charge. Additionally, you’ll need a copy or screenshot of the advertisement showing the exact item and the lower price, with the date of the ad and the name of the retailer on it. You may be able to upload this information electronically—check with your credit card issuer. The card’s benefits administrator will consider the claim and may ask you for more information. If your claim is approved, you can expect to receive a refund via check or as a statement credit. 

Tips for Saving Money Without Credit Card Price Protection

Not all credit cards offer price protection, so it’s important to know how to save money on purchases if yours doesn’t have it. For instance, using a rewards credit card can help you earn points or miles on purchases that you can later redeem. Also, check to see if your card offers special rewards such as extra cash back at certain times of year or from certain retailers. If you do see the price drop on an item you’ve bought, take it back to the store and ask if they will match the lower price. You can also save money by sticking to a budget. In this case, you might want to consider using a credit card like a debit card, which can help you avoid taking on too much debt.And if you’d like to apply for a credit card but have a limited credit history, secured credit cards may be able to help you establish credit. These cards are typically backed by a cash deposit, serving as collateral for the account. The deposit is the limit you can spend with the card. Finally, there are companies that offer credit card pre-approval, so you'll know ahead of time if you’re likely to qualify for a card you’d like to apply for.

The Takeaway

Credit card price protection can be a valuable benefit that may help you save money when the price of an item you’ve purchased drops. Check to see if your card offers this perk, and know the rules and terms in order to use it successfully.   If you’re looking for a credit card that offers a price protection policy, Lantern by SoFi can help you compare credit cards to find the best benefits, rates, and terms for you. Our marketplace makes it fast and easy to compare offers from multiple lenders at once.Compare cards today with Lantern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do credit cards still offer price protection?
What items are not eligible for price protection?
Which issuers still offer price protection?
Is there a limit as to how much I can get back with my price protection credit card?

About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards and award travel since 2008. One of the nation's leading experts in this field, he has contributed to dozens of personal finance and travel outlets and has been widely quoted in the mainstream media.
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