Price protection is a feature that is often offered by credit card providers which makes it possible for consumers to obtain a refund on an item purchased with a particular credit card, if that item decreases in price within a stated period of time. The time frame involved varies from one provider to another, and additional restrictions may apply in some cases. While a fairly common feature, this particular benefit is rarely called to the attention of credit card users.
In many instances, the time frame associated with the price protection feature is short. Companies that issue credit cards usually limit the provision to purchases that have been made in the last 30 to 60 calendar days. This means that if a consumer notices an item purchased two and a half months ago is now on sale, the price protection coverage is not applicable and there is no chance of obtaining a refund.
Other restrictions often apply to the coverage provided by credit card price protection. Some providers require that the item in question must be offered at the same store or by the same vendor at a price lower than the amount charged by the consumer. To support the claim, the consumer must also submit proof that the purchased item is now offered at a lower price. One common type of documentation that credit card companies accept as proper verification is a newspaper advertisement that carries the name of the retailer and the current price of the item. To confirm the date connected with the lower price, the consumer would not simply clip the ad from the newspaper, but submit the entire sheet with the ad, including the date at the top of bottom of the sheet.
While items purchased at brick-and-mortar locations are often covered by price protection, relatively few credit card companies extend the coverage to online purchases. In addition, limits on the amount of the refund are often imposed. Those limits may be per item, or cover all claims submitted within a defined period of time, such as one calendar year. To determine exactly how a price protection feature functions with a particular credit card, it is important to read the terms and conditions related to the use of that card. Doing so will make it easier to understand how to submit a claim, what documentation to include, and what type of refund the consumer can reasonably expect to receive.