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How Credit Card Price Protection Works

By Jennifer Calonia · September 26, 2022 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

How Credit Card Price Protection Works

A price protection credit card benefit offers a limited lowest price guarantee on your purchases. If an item you purchased is advertised at a lower price than you paid, then you might be eligible for a refund of the difference if you paid using a credit card with price protection.

Although the idea seems straightforward, price protection credit card clauses aren’t as simple due to differences between card programs. Here’s a closer look at what price protection is and how it works.

What Is Credit Card Price Protection?

Credit card price protection is a card benefit that some programs offer their cardholders. It guarantees that if an eligible item you purchased using your credit card is advertised at a lower price, the card issuer will refund you the price difference.

To receive the funds, you’ll have to file a claim asking to be refunded — it won’t automatically get deducted from your credit card balance. It’s also up to the cardholder to be on the lookout for price fluctuations.

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How to Use Price Protection

Credit cards with price protection are most advantageous when used toward a good that commonly changes in price. For example, this could include electronics, clothing, and other items that often go on sale.

There are also a few things to keep in mind when it comes to how credit cards work with price protection. For starters, to use price protection, the lower-priced item must be the exact specifications of your original purchase. This includes the product manufacturer, model number, and year it was released.

You’ll also need to ensure that the reduced price was advertised within the program’s specified timeframe, which is usually anywhere from 70 to 120 days. Plus, you’ll need to file a refund request within the allotted claim window.

Questions to Ask Issuers That Offer Credit Card Price Protection

If you’re specifically looking for a credit card with price protection, make sure you know all of the terms associated with this benefit. Contact the card issuer upfront to get clarity about the eligibility requirements for filing a price protection claim.

What Items Are Eligible for Price Protection?

The range of items that are eligible for price protection under your card’s benefit program can be quite broad. For example, home goods, furniture, clothing, footwear, kitchenware, bedroom linen sets, pet accessories, and more might qualify under your price protection credit card.

What Items Are Not Eligible for Price Protection?

Below are some examples of goods that might be excluded from price protection, depending on your benefits program:

•   Animals

•   Antiques

•   Bespoke or one-of-a-kind items

•   Cash-only purchases

•   Collector items

•   Food and beverages

•   Discontinued items

•   Jewelry

•   Limited edition items

•   Live plants

•   Original artwork

•   Perishable goods

•   Tickets

•   Services and related costs

•   Vehicles

•   Watches

Further, items purchased at liquidation sales, storewide sales, or online might not be eligible for price protection. Also note that price protection isn’t the route you take if you’re simply unsatisfied with the service or product you received. In that scenario, you’d request a credit card chargeback.

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Guide to Filing for a Credit Card Refund

If the advertisement you’ve found shows a lower price than what you paid for your original purchase, and your situation fits your credit card price protection requirements, you can submit a claim for reimbursement. To do so, you’ll generally need to go through the following steps:

1.    Save the lower-priced advertisement. Retain the original physical ad that shows the product’s name, merchant or retailer, price, and date, if applicable.

2.    Find your original receipt. The purchase receipt for the item you bought should include the merchant’s name, date of purchase, item, and price. It should also show that you used the credit card with price protection. You might also be asked to supply a copy of your statement that has the original purchase on it.

3.    Submit a claim. Contact your card’s Benefits Administrator, or call the number at the back of your card, to file a claim for a price protection refund. Make sure that your claim is submitted within the eligible claim period.

4.    Review your balance. Check your credit card balance or statement to confirm that the refunded amount is correctly reflected on your account.

How long a credit card refund takes depends on your card issuer and its processing timeline. Generally, it can take three to seven business days to see a refund posted to your account’s balance.

How Long Do You Have to File for a Credit Card Refund?

The timeline you have to claim a credit card refund under price protection varies between credit card programs. Some cards allow you to file claims up to 70 days after your purchase date, while others give you up to 120 days from your purchase date.

Additionally, some benefits programs require that the advertisement date is within a certain number of days of your original date of purchase. Make sure to confirm the ad date requirement under the credit card price protection benefit, as well as the deadline to file a formal claim.

Is There a Limit to Reimbursement Through Price Protection?

Another restriction you might encounter for cards with price protection is the minimum and maximum refund limit per item. For example, your card might impose a minimum refund threshold of $10 up to a maximum refund of $250 per item. It also might have an annual reimbursement limit, which caps the total refund amount you can receive in a year.

If you want to file a refund claim under your price protection benefits, check your credit card’s benefits guide to learn about its specific requirements.

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Tips for Saving Money Without Credit Card Price Protection

Using a credit card with price protection isn’t the only way to save money when prices are reduced. Here are some other possibilities for saving:

•   Look for same-retailer price adjustments: Some retailers offer a price adjustment if you recently purchased an item in their store, and the same item is marked down at the same store not too long afterward.

•   Find price matches. To outprice their competitors, a retailer might offer a price match or lowest price guarantee. If you find the exact item elsewhere at a lower price, it will offer to match the price or offer a credit card refund for the difference if you’ve already purchased the item at their store.

•   Catch items on sale. Track upcoming sales, like a retailer’s annual sale or holiday sale, that offers a large discount off of the retail price. If shopping online, using an online price-tracking tool can help you find the lowest price.

•   Keep an eye on your credit card statements. While not necessarily a guaranteed path to savings, regularly reviewing your credit card statement can help you catch any charges that aren’t right, whether due to fraud or getting charged incorrectly. In those instances, you could dispute a credit card charge to attempt to get your money back.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

The Takeaway

A price protection credit card offers peace of mind when purchasing goods that might fluctuate in price. Aside from applying to tangible goods, you can take advantage of price guarantees for travel-related purchases like hotel rates, which can change daily.

When you use the SoFi Credit Card to book your hotel accommodations through Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Service, you’re covered by its Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee. It refunds you the difference if you find the same stay for less. Plus, you’ll earn cash-back rewards on all eligible purchases. Learn more and apply for a credit card with SoFi today.

Apply for a SoFi Credit Card now.

FAQ

What is price protection on a credit card?

Price protection allows cardholders to claim a credit card refund on a price difference if a lower published price becomes available. Typically, price protection is available for a limited period after the original purchase was made.

Do all credit cards offer price protection?

No, not all credit cards offer price protection. Card benefits, like price protection, vary across card issuers and credit card programs. See your card agreement to learn more about your card’s benefits and terms.

How can I use price protection?

In order to take advantage of price protection, you’ll first have to make a purchase using a credit card with price protection. Then, within the permitted time period, find the same product marked at a lower price. From there, you’d contact your card issuer to submit a claim for a refund in the amount of the difference between the two prices.

What is a price protection clause?

A price protection clause is the written parameters of your card’s price protection benefit. It states the issuer’s criteria for claiming the benefit, including the allowable time frame for a price protection request, eligible purchase categories, and more.


Photo credit: iStock/jroballo

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