How Does Price Protection Work?

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Do you ever feel a sense of regret after making a big purchase? There could be a number of feelings that drive that sensation. Perhaps the big purchase that you were saving up for didn’t turn out to be as useful as you’d imagine.

It could also be that the same item was being sold by another retailer for less but you just didn’t notice. Ending up paying more for something that could have been bought for someone else is a sure-fire way of feeling some buyer’s remorse. 

There will be hundreds of retailers selling the same item. You can’t possibly compare prices at them all. The problem is further exacerbated by online retailers. With most running special discounts and promotions, it’s not difficult to miss out on a great deal just because you didn’t know about it. 

You could try returning the product and buying it from another retailer but there are risks associated with it. For starters, the retailer that you originally purchased the product from may only provide a refund in-store credit. 

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So the amount that you paid can only be redeemed with that particular retailer. That doesn’t do anything to help you out in such a scenario. Some retailers may also charge a restocking fee for returns, meaning that you may not end up saving any money even after going through the hassle of returning the item.

Chances are that you used a credit card to make that big purchase. What most people don’t know is that their credit card might offer them an incentive that allows them to claim back the price difference as a refund. 

Credit card companies offer a lot of incentives to their customers in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. It’s a very competitive industry and customers are only ever going to prefer the cards that provide them with the most incentives. 

That’s why an incentive called price protection is offered with many credit cards. It’s the perfect way to prevent that buyer’s remorse from sinking in after you’ve bought that appliance or gadget that you had long been waiting for. 

What is price protection on a credit card?

Price protection is a common incentive that most credit cards provide. Cardholders are guaranteed a refund for the difference in the price of items bought with the card if the same item ends up being available for a lower price than what it was initially purchased for.

It doesn’t matter if the customer opens and uses the product. Price protection doesn’t place any limitations on the use of the product. That’s because customers aren’t required to return the item. They simply need to file a price protection claim and they will be refunded the difference in price.

What is purchase protection?

Credit card purchase protection is different than price protection but just as useful. It’s basically a kind of insurance against theft and damage for purchases. For example, if you buy something with a credit card that offers this feature and that item is either stolen or damaged, you may be refunded the cost to either replace or repair the item. 

Many personal, business and corporate credit cards offer this feature. The limits and requirements for a claim to be eligible vary by the card provider. For example, customers may need to file the claim up to 90 days after purchase. 

The card provider may cap the maximum refund amount at anywhere between $500 to $10,000 per claim. Some might even have an annual limit for claims. 

How does price protection work?

Credit card price protection works well for customers if they’re diligent. Usually, they will have to make a claim anywhere from 30 to 90 days after purchase. If during this time they can find the same item for a lower price, they will have to file a claim. 

The process will typically include providing a copy of the credit card statement to show that the purchase was made using the right card. A sales receipt will be required in addition to the proof of a lower price. This may include a screenshot from an online store or a store sales flyer, for example. 

It’s a bit tedious and time-consuming but those who see it through do end up receiving a refund for the price difference in most cases. The onus of finding the lower price is left entirely on the customer in most cases. 

However, some card providers will do the heavy lifting for customers themselves and automatically provide a refund if a lower price is discovered.

Which credit cards have price protection?

These are some of the personal and business credit cards that provide price protection:

  • Wells Fargo Visa Signature
  • UBS Visa Infinite
  • HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
  • U.S. Bank 365 American Express
  • Chase United co-brand cards
  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
  • Spark Cash Select 

How do I know if my credit card has price protection?

Most people tend to be unaware that price protection is offered free of charge on many credit cards. So it’s entirely possible that you may have a card right now that offers this feature but you don’t know about it.

The easiest way to find out if your card has price protection is to check the benefits guide that came with it. The guide lists all of the different incentives that are offered with the card. It should clearly mention there whether or not this feature is available on your card. 

In case you can’t find the benefits guide, chances are that your card issuer will have a copy of the guide available on its website. If finding that is proving to be difficult, you can simply call the card provider’s customer support lines and ask the representatives directly. They’ll be able to answer any and all queries related to price protection on your card.

Why is the price protection claim process so complicated?

There’s no denying the fact that the price protection claim process is complicated. There’s a significant amount of due diligence that’s required to be done on your part. You also need to provide enough evidence to support your claim. 

If that wasn’t enough, there’s often a long wait before you can find out whether or not your claim was approved. Many chalk it up to the card provider not willing to process claims because it costs them money. That’s not entirely true, though. It’s not the credit card issuer that’s typically processing these claims. 

The claims are generally processed by a third-party administrator company that’s a separate entity from the one that issued your credit card. That’s one of the reasons why you’re required to submit credit card statements and other documents because that entity doesn’t have access to the data that the credit card company has. 

Other ways to innovate your cards (eco-friendly debit cards)

Price protection is an innovative feature. It’s a great incentive that keeps customers loyal to their credit cards. With no shortage of choices, customers can be quick to change cards. 

With price protection, they have another reason to remain loyal as they have the peace of mind that they can be refunded the difference if they end up paying more for a product. 

Customers these days prefer innovative products. If that resonates with you, there’s now a way for you to even innovate your debit cards with an eco-friendly option that’s in line with your values. 

Aspiration is an online bank that’s 100% committed to clean money. None of our customers’ deposits are used to fund fossil fuel projects that are actively harming our planet. It provides cash management accounts that combine the best of both the checkings and savings accounts in one package with an APY of up to 1.00%. 

All customers receive debit cards with their accounts. They can avail an option to plant a tree by agreeing for every transaction to be rounded up to the full dollar amount. They’re also offered up to 10% cash back on purchases made with the Conscience Coalition, a group of retailers that have the betterment of the planet at their heart of what they do.

Why wouldn’t you want to plant a climate change-fighting tree with every purchase? Open an account with Aspiration today and always have the peace of mind that you’re helping reforest our planet while you shop.

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