What is price protection?
If you make a purchase using a credit card with a price protection policy, and you later find the same item cheaper elsewhere, the policy kicks in to pay you back the difference in price so it’s as if you bought the item at the cheaper price in the first place. Your refund will often come in the form of a statement credit.
How do credit cards with price protection work?
Each credit card issuer has its own specific terms and conditions, but they all follow similar rules. For example:
- You must use your credit card to purchase the item.
This means the item you purchase has to be charged in full on your eligible credit card. You can’t use cash or debit or a combination of payment methods.
- Protection time is limited.
For many cards, the policies state that you need to make a claim between 60 and 120 days of purchasing the item if you find a cheaper price elsewhere. This time frame limit varies between cards.
- You need proof of the cheaper item.
You need to provide proof of the same item with the same model number at a lower price.
- Claim amount limitation.
All credit card providers limit the amount you can claim. Depending on your card, the maximum amount you can claim is usually between $100 and $500 per occurrence to a maximum of $1,000 annually.
- Always keep your receipt or other proof of purchase whenever you buy an important or expensive item.
How to find out which items are eligible for price protection
In most cases, all regular retail items in Canada are eligible for price protection except for the following: computers and certain electronics; vehicles such as cars, boats, aircraft; items used for business; tickets; second-hand or liquidated items; fine art; and animals and pets. The price protection terms and conditions list all exclusions from this perk so check your card’s individual policy.
How do you compare cards with price protection?
- Find out what the annual fee is.
It may not be worth paying the annual fee if price protection is the only perk you’re interested in. You should also weigh the card’s other benefits to see if the annual fee is worth it.
- Compare the interest rates.
If you plan to make purchases and carry a balance from month to month, ensure the interest rate is right for you. If you intend to pay your card off each month, then it may be useful to compare rewards credit cards.
- Compare price protection policy.
Price protection is similar between card providers. The only difference you may find is the length of your covered period and the dollar amount limitations.
- Look for added features and extras.
It’s useful to look for any additional features and benefits like bonus points or balance transfer deals.
Pros and cons of credit cards with price protection
- Potential to save money. A price protection policy could save you money by making sure you never miss out on a deal for an item you purchase.
- Peace of mind. If you’re in a hurry to buy a product, you can rest easy knowing you have 60-120 days (depending on the card) to find it cheaper and file a claim.
- Price protection is complimentary. You don’t have to pay extra to use this perk.
- Not many credit cards offer price protection. There isn’t a huge variety of credit cards that currently offer this perk.
- Coverage amount is limited. Maximum coverage is usually up to $500 per claim and $1,000 per year. But this amount varies between cards.
- Not all retail items are covered. All card issuers have a list of items and services that aren’t covered with price protection. Make sure you review your card’s policy.
Price protection is an excellent credit card perk that reimburses you the difference in the price of an item that you purchased and a cheaper price you happen to find within a set time frame. Not all credit cards offer this perk but there are many other kinds of credit cards that offer different kinds of rewards. Check out and compare the best of rewards cards here.