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If you've ever bought something only to find a lower price a few days later, you've likely experienced that sinking feeling in your gut. Perhaps you could return and rebuy the item to save money, but even if that's a possibility, it can be a pain.
If you use a credit card with price protection to make a purchase, though, you may be able to file a claim and get a refund for the price difference.
Price Protection Isn't Widely Available (Anymore)
A few years ago, several large credit card issuers offered price protection as a standard credit card benefit. The specific name would vary—you might see Citi® Price Rewind, price protection or Best Value Guarantee—but the programs generally worked the same way. If you bought something and saw a lower advertised price later (even from a different store or website), you could submit a claim and get a refund.
Then, the benefit started to disappear. Card issuers like Discover, Citi and Chase either cut the benefit altogether or from certain cards. Fortunately, there are still a few cards that offer a price protection benefits—at least for now.
How Do Price Protection Policies Differ?
While the benefit helps you get a refund after a price drop, the specifics of price protection programs can differ in several ways. Here are some of the common limitations and rules to look for:
- Purchase requirements: You may need to pay for the entire purchase with your card, or you may only be able to claim a refund for the part of the purchase you made with the card. Additionally, some policies only cover purchases you make in the United States.
- Advertised lower price: There are generally rules around what types of advertisements you can use to show the lower price. For example, you might not be able to use online ads or a storewide sale might not qualify. You may be able to use a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale price, but there could be lower claim limits for these types of price drops.
- Time to file a claim: How long you have to find a lower price and file a claim may range from 30 to 90 days depending on the card issuer.
- Claim limits: These are limits on how much of a price difference you can claim. For example, the price must drop at least $10 to file a claim or you may have a limit of $500 per claim. Additionally, there's often a limit on how much you can receive from the card's price protection program each year.
- Exceptions: Certain purchases might not qualify, such as vehicles, pets, plants, jewelry and collectibles.
You can review the specific rules of your card's price protection program in its guide to benefits, which you may be able to find online before applying for the card.
Three Cards with Price Protection
Your options are limited, but here are three cards to consider if you're looking for the price protection benefit:
UnitedSM TravelBank Card
The UnitedSM TravelBank Card lets you earn TravelBank "cash," which you can use to book United flights. The card doesn't have an annual fee or foreign transaction fees and you can earn 2% cash back on flights booked through United and 1.5% back on other purchases.
The card's price protection benefit covers up to $500 per item when there's a price drop within 90 days, and up to $2,500 in claims each year. However, if price protection isn't a priority, other travel rewards cards could be more rewarding overall.
United ClubSM Card
Another co-branded United card, the United ClubSM Card offers the same price protection but a different rewards program. You'll earn 1.5 United MileagePlus miles per $1 spent in purchases you make with the card. The card has a $450 annual fee, which is in line with other premium credit cards, and you'll receive United Club membership and up to two free checked bags on United-operated flights if you buy your ticket with the card.
U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card
If you're looking for a simple cash back card, the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card is an option. There's no annual fee, and you can earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. It's a good—but not the best—rate for a flat rate cash back card without an annual fee.
Its price protection program, which U.S. Bank calls Best Value Guarantee, can cover up to $250 per purchase and $1,000 per year if you find a price drop within 30 days of making a purchase.
The information related to TravelBank, United Club and U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express credit cards has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of the cards.