Price Protection Is the Best Credit Card Benefit You’re not Using

Most major credit cards have a variety of cardmember benefits, including things like extended warranty protection and trip cancellation. But one of the best perks, in my opinion, is price protection — a program that reimburses you for items that go on sale after you buy them.
 In early November, I read on the Slickdeals forums that people were planning on buying designated Black Friday sale items early, and then filing price protection claims after the BF discounts became active. It’s an ingenious strategy because it guarantees the purchase of highly sought-after items, while avoiding unwieldy holiday shoppers.
 It sounds too good to be true, right? How come everyone isn’t doing this? Curious how difficult the entire process would be, I decided to put this money-saving plan into action on my Chase Sapphire credit card.

Benefits Research

After a couple of phone calls and some light reading, I learned the following about my particular card:

  • Price protection (PP) will reimburse a price difference up to $500 for any eligible item, up to 90 days after the original purchase date.
  • PP reimbursement is capped at $50 per item for limited quantity, cash only, close-out, liquidation and going-out-of-business sales.
  • PP is secondary to store policies, meaning you should try to get a price adjustment from the store first.

So far, so good. There are no apparent restrictions on annual seasonal sales, like Black Friday, but it’s ultimately up to the claims department.

The Purchase

While browsing Black Friday ad scans, a PlayStation 4 Uncharted bundle caught my eye. I’d been wanting a PS4 for a while, and $299 was a solid deal.
 On November 21st, almost a full week before Black Friday, I navigated the empty aisles of Walmart and purchased the console bundle for the full retail price of $350. And to show my commitment to this experiment, I opened it and connected it to my TV right away. There was no turning back now!

Filing the Claim

Once the Black Friday sales began on Thanksgiving night, I called the 800 number on the back of my credit card to file my price protection claim.
 To my surprise, two separate phone calls netted the same result: “I’m sorry, sir, but Black Friday sales are not covered under the price protection benefit.” And that was that. They wouldn’t even let me start the filing process.
 But like a true Slickdealer, I didn’t give up. The next morning, after confirming that Walmart would not price match previous purchases, I called Chase customer service one more time. Fortunately, this particular representative allowed me to file a claim, even though she knew it was a Black Friday deal. According to her, a customer is always welcome to file a price protection claim — item eligibility is determined after the claim is submitted. (Sounds like the night shift crew needs additional training!)
 With that little speed bump behind me, the rest of the process was a breeze. I emailed a claim form, a scan of the receipt, a screenshot of my account activity showing the PS4 purchase and a snippet of the Walmart Black Friday ad displaying the discounted price.

The Result

Three days later, I received an email saying that my claim had been approved and that I would receive a check in the mail for $50. If that’s not a slick deal, I’m not sure what is!
 For about the same amount of effort needed to file a standard manufacturer’s rebate, I was able to guarantee Black Friday pricing without having to bail on Thanksgiving dinner, fight the crowds or wait in a long line.
 Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the type of credit card and banking institution, but for this case, my Chase Sapphire card came through with flying colors.
 With potential savings like this, it’s worth it to verify your credit card benefits, or even sign up for a new card with price protection (plus, the Sapphire Preferred card is currently offering 50K bonus points for new customers).
 So, Slickdealers, how many of you have taken advantage of price protection benefits? Tell us your successful (or unsucessful) stories in the comments.
 Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Kunertus

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