Many credit card companies now offer "price protection," meaning consumers can be reimbursed if the price of an item drops shortly after a consumer buys it using their card. But not all price protection programs are created equal.
Most shoppers are aware that a growing number of retailers will price-match. Bring in an advertisement showing another store has a cheaper price, and most large chains, including Walmart and Best Buy, will match the lower price.
However, a new study by the consumer finance website CardHub highlights another way shoppers can ensure they get the lowest price—credit card price protection.
CardHub found that just under half of all consumer credit cards (excluding co-branded cards) have some type of price protection program. That means consumers who use their credit card to buy a product and later notice the price has dropped can get reimbursed for the difference by their card company.
That said, not all cards are created equal and some have easier to use price protection policies.
For instance, cards ranged from $250-$500 when it came to the maximum reimbursement coverage per item. Annual limits ranged from $1,000 to $2,500. CardHub found most credit card companies will give consumers about 60 days after their purchase to file a claim, though Barclaycard holders have twice that amount of time.
Some cards also limited the number of price protection claims a customer can file each year.
One bank, Citi, requires consumers to proactively register individual products for price protection, though the other cards included in the survey automatically grant price protection for all purchases when a consumer signs up for the program.
In general, jewelry purchases were excluded from price protection coverage.
Which cards off the best overall price protection coverage?
CardHub devised a scoring system looking at factors such as the sign-up process, coverage benefits, extension of the return period, and other factors. Using those metrics, Discover and Chase cards won out, scoring 87% out of a total of 100%. They were followed by Chase (79%) and Barclaycard (74%).
At the lower end of the spectrum were a handful of Capital One cards (69%) and Bank of America’s Better Balance Rewards card (66%).
The entire CardHub report is available here.