Credit Cards

How Does CITI Price Rewind Work

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

Nothing is more disheartening than realizing you overspent on a major item. Maybe you caved to the tempting Black Friday TV bargain, only to learn in January that the greatest time to buy gadgets is really in August. Perhaps you made the mistake of buying a used automobile from a local dealership without first doing your homework on the private sale market.

Maybe you were too busy daydreaming about the tropics to patiently wait for a flash bargain on a vacation to the Caribbean. Imagine if you never again had to face such disappointment. Others who use credit cards aren’t as unlucky as they are.

When a cardholder is on the losing end of a price reduction, price protection can help them recoup some of their losses (often in the range of several hundred dollars per claim). If you regularly use a credit card that doesn’t offer price protection on your purchases, you should probably switch to one that does, or at least find out what you’re losing out on.

What Is Price Protection on Credit Cards?

If you use a credit card that offers price protection and later discover that you could have gotten the item for less, the difference might be refunded to you. Important limits and limitations apply to all price protection policies:

  • A list of playable cards that qualify. The provision of price protection might vary widely amongst card generations from the same issuer. The best credit cards for travel rewards are sometimes the only ones that provide a price guarantee. In others, it looks like the cards are being handed out at random, although they are always being dealt from a set deck.
  • Acquisitions that qualify. Limited availability of price protection. There are exclusions from price protection for some goods and services. Do not assume that a purchase made with your card will be covered without first checking the terms and conditions.
  • You’ll Need to Sign Up. Registration of purchases is necessary for price protection under some policies. Your claim may be denied by the issuer or underwriter even though it would typically be covered if you had not pre registered your item.
  • Limitations on and exceptions to the sale. There may be limitations on or exclusions from the price protection for certain types of transactions. Auction purchases, for instance, almost never qualify for price protection on credit cards. However, not all issuers will respect online advertisements, instead only covering things with a cheaper print advertisement price. Furthermore, taxes and delivery fees are typically not covered by price protection policies.
  • Date Range for Filing a Claim. The time during which a policyholder is able to file a claim for price reduction begins on the day on which the covered item was first purchased. You can only submit a claim if you find a cheaper price throughout the time frame for which your claim is considered genuine. Usually, it lasts between 30 and 120 days.
  • The Largest and Smallest Claims Possible. There is a cap on how much you may collect from a price protection policy, and it’s rarely more than $500. Sometimes as little as one dollar is required to file a claim.

Credit Card Price Protection is not as prevalent as it once was.

As time goes on, credit cards are less likely to reimburse you for a price discrepancy after you’ve already made a purchase. Chase no longer offers price protection on any of their credit cards as of August of this year. In October of 2018, Discover was no different. 

Similarly, Citibank halted its popular Citi Price Rewind feature about the same time. Large issuers like Wells Fargo and Bank of America, for instance, don’t often offer insurance for PPCs because they consider the risk too high. In the past, Wells Fargo and Bank of America collaborated with Mastercard to offer price protection on select credit cards. Yet even they have vanished from the face of the earth.

The widespread availability of price-optimization programs, which make it easier for customers to seek lower pricing for previously purchased items, has reportedly led to the downfall of price protection, as reported by Business Insider. The rapid surge in price protection claims swamped credit card companies, which were unprepared for such a large number of claims.

Price Protection Plan Examples

There are still many who advocate for price controls. Unbeknownst to them, millions of American consumers are eligible for one of the following price protection policies.

  1. Best Value Guarantee from US Bank

Those who use certain U.S. Bank credit cards that are issued under the American Express name can take advantage of the U.S. Bank Best Value Guarantee. Standard features and settings, as provided by AXA Assistance USA, are as follows.

  • A time frame of 30 days beginning on the date of purchase that may be used to file a claim.
  • Minimum claim of $10, maximum of $250, and maximum of $1,000 every year
  • There is no recourse for damages in online advertising.

In order to sell in the United States, covered products need to be registered. During the time frame for which a claim can be made, the bank. To make a claim, cardholders must submit both the original purchase receipt (either electronic or paper) and the lower-priced advertisement. The onus to monitor pricing trends is on the cardholder.

U.S. This Bank’s Best Value Guarantee is subject to the following conditions. Such things consist of:

  • No consumables
  • There are no animals or plants
  • No unique or unusual products, such as antiques and custom-made crafts.
  • No refurbished products
  • No items such as coins or stamps are permitted.
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted.
  • No storewide sales are permitted
  1. Barclaycard Price Protection

Barclaycard’s price protection plan applies to its premier travel rewards card, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. Its fundamental parameters are:

  • Claims must be filed within 120 days after the original purchase.
  • Claims are limited to a maximum of $250 per incident and $1,000 per year.
  • There is no recourse for damages in online advertising.
  • All purchases have to be made using the protected card.

Barclaycard requires all covered purchases to be recorded with Mastercard throughout the claim period. The cardholder is responsible for keeping track of the costs of the products covered by their card and must maintain all original paperwork, including the original printed advertisement, the original itemized sales receipt, and the original credit card receipt. These are some of the most important exceptions and limitations:

  • No liquidation or storewide clearance sales
  • No Internet-exclusive sales
  • No Christmas decorations or other things subject to periodic discontinuation, such as seasonal clothing.
  • No objects may be acquired for resale
  • No monetary equivalents, including traveler’s checks or tickets
  • No products without manufacturer’s warranties are sold
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted.
  • No consumables or perishables
  • There are no animals or plants
  1. Mastercard® Price Protection

Mastercard® backs some cards from other well-known companies by underwriting their price protection schemes. Check your Mastercard credit card’s benefits booklet for the details of your card’s price protection policy. The following are typical limits imposed by Mastercard’s price guarantee policies:

  • Time limit of 60 days from the original purchase date to file a claim.
  • A maximum reward of $250 per claim.
  • Claims up to $1,000 per calendar year; maximum of four claims per year.

Cardholders are responsible for registering purchases and keeping track of price changes within the claim-eligible period, however specific regulations will differ by issuer and card. You may file a claim with Mastercard either electronically or by mail.

Price Protection in Action: How to File a Price Protection Claim

It’s important to check with your credit card company to learn their specific price protection claim submission instructions. Don’t let yourself lose out on a simple chance to lower the out-of-pocket cost of a major purchase because you didn’t take the time to study your card’s guide to benefits if you want to use the price protection policy at some point. These must be done in roughly this sequence for your price protection claim to be accepted.

  1. Verify the Item’s Eligibility

Verify the item’s eligibility before making a purchase you want to cover. Every price guarantee program has major restrictions, as we have shown. The benefits brochure for your card should provide a comprehensive list of restrictions.

  1. Please keep the original advertisement.

Save the original ad and hold onto it until your claim is approved. It’s important to remember that some price protection policies exclude online advertisements and only cover print ads. You should save a copy of any digital adverts you see, either as a cached version in your browser or as a snapshot on your computer, just in case you need it in the future and it has since been removed.

  1. Save all original receipts and proofs of purchase.

Save in mind that you must keep all receipts and other purchase records. You’ll need the sales receipt with the itemized total, the credit card receipt detailing the purchase, and a copy of your credit card bill to prove you made the purchase.

  1. If necessary, register the item.

Register your purchases as soon as possible if your price protection plan asks you to do so. The underwriter of your plan may reject an otherwise valid claim if the item’s price drops before you register it.

  1. Track Prices

Look through advertising for better deals on guaranteed similar products that qualify for discounts. Plan price tracking isn’t foolproof, so it’s still a good idea to figure out a way to keep track of costs on your own during the claimable time. Keep an eye on prices at the very least by signing up for notifications on all the big online retailers.

  1. Submit Your Claim Within the Allotted Time Period

During the claim period, if you find a cheaper price on a covered item that meets the claim criteria, you can submit a claim for a refund. If you find a cheaper price in a print advertisement, you may not have much time to initiate a price protection claim.

Barclaycard, for example, requires potential claimants to call its price protection claim hotline within 10 days after discovering the lower price. The time frame for filing a claim with U.S. Bank is 90 days, which is significantly longer than the 30-day window provided by most plans.

In any situation, you must strictly adhere to the directions given to you in order to have your claim processed. The majority of plans now accept electronic submissions of claims, but faxes are still accepted by a few.

Bottom Line

One of the numerous ancillary benefits of using a credit card responsibly is price protection. On a per-claim basis, other credit card perks, such as travel insurance and return protection, may be more valuable. When you have a few spare minutes, peruse the credit card’s perks booklet. It’s possible that what you uncover will come as a shock.

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