As the holiday season draws to a close, there are lots of sales being offered by merchants.
Almost everyone has experienced the frustration of buying something, for example a $500 television set, only to see it in stores for $350 2 weeks later.
While a minority of merchants will offer a refund if you have proof of purchasing at the higher rate, not everyone will.
If you find yourself in this position and the merchant refuses to offer the refund then there may be good news if you paid by credit card.
As credit card issuers battle to snag as many customers as possible, they are offering more and more perks and additional features.
One feature which is becoming increasingly popular is Price Protection. Although not as common as extended warranty or purchase protection features, there are still many cards offering this benefit.
However, as it can become fairly costly it is not often advertised so you may not even be aware that you have access to it!
If you are unsure if you have Price Protection benefits on your credit card account then read the disclosure statements and benefits guide carefully. If the benefit is offered then it must be listed somewhere in the information provided with the card account. You can also check online guides on the card website.
If your card does offer this benefit keep in mind that there may be some exclusions and you may need to meet certain criteria. For example, with MasterCard if a cardholder finds the purchased item at a lower price within 60 days of purchase they will be eligible for a refund.
However, only certain MasterCards are covered so it is necessary to call the issuer and clarify if you are able to use this particular benefit. Citi credit cards also offer price protection on selected cards, but the lower price must be advertised in print and you may only claim up to $250 of difference. Visa also offer price protection, but only on selected accounts.
Discover do not offer price protection as a benefit on any of their cards, and American Express have now discontinued this particular benefit in favor of other features.
In order to file a claim with your card issuer if you do have price protection benefit, you will need your original receipt – which must be dated – and you will need a copy of a print ad proving the new price of the item. In some cases the reduction must be offered by the same merchant that you purchased the item from, but others will accept reductions form elsewhere. Once again this is something that must be clarified with your card issuer.