Credit card perks continue to quietly evaporate.
Earlier this year, Discover dropped five cardholder benefits and Chase reduced its trip cancellation insurance benefit. Now, MarketWatch reports that these companies are cutting back on benefits like price protection.
The latest scaling back of cardholder benefits is due to customers generally not using the affected perks much, according to MarketWatch. So, perhaps you won’t miss price protection if you recently lost the perk.
If you understand what price protection is, however, you will likely wish you had it. If that’s the case — or if you were among the minority of cardholders using the perk in the first place — you can still get it for free. You just have to know where to look.
What is price protection?
Price protection enables you to get money back if the price of something you bought drops within a certain time period after you purchased it.
Say you buy a TV for $600, and the price drops to $500 one week later. If you bought it from a retailer with a price-protection policy or paid for it with a credit card that offers price protection, you stand to get back $100.
Retailers and credit card companies are the two main types of entities that offer price protection.
How to get price protection for free
If you lost or never had the cardholder benefit of price protection, one option is to look for a new credit card that still offers the perk.
Failing that, you can always take advantage of a retailer’s price protection policy. Sometimes it’s referred to as a price-drop or price-adjustment policy, or is part of the retailer’s price-match policy.
You can take advantage of a retailer’s policy on your own or let a third-party service like Paribus do it for you. To illustrate how these two routes work, let’s look at Walmart.
The retail giant’s price-match policy for online purchases allows for what Walmart calls price adjustments. It states:
“If an item previously purchased from Walmart.com (not including items from a Marketplace or third-party seller on our site) is now listed at a lower price, and the item is within its eligible return window, contact Walmart.com Customer Care to request an adjustment for the price difference. …”
The return window generally ranges from 14 to 90 days, depending on the type of item being returned.
So, say you buy that $600 TV from Walmart.com, and the price drops to $500 one week later. Provided that no exceptions apply to the situation, you can get back the $100 difference.
To get the money back on your own, you must go through customer service. Navigate a couple of drop-down menus in the Walmart.com Help Center, and you will find that this means you must chat with a representative online or via email, or call customer service to request your $100 back. Then you would proceed from there.
If you use Paribus, on the other hand, no work is required on your part. Once you sign up for a Paribus account, which is free, you will be prompted to give the service access to your emails so it can scan for receipts from online purchases — or receipts emailed from brick-and-mortar stores that offer that option.
Once Paribus picks up on your receipt for that TV, it will automatically check up on the going price. When Paribus sees the price drop within the return window, it will automatically contact Walmart on your behalf to request your $100 back.
What’s your take on or experience with price protection? Share with us by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.