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I remember the first time I stumbled upon the price protection plan in my credit card perks welcome pamphlet - you know, the one that no one ever reads?

It sounded too good to be true. Yet within just a few months of trying it out, I received an actual $10 check from my credit card company for a pair of sneakers I had already purchased.

That’s right: Credit card companies will help you price match even after you’ve already purchased a product. It’s one of the many little-known perks on top of the already nice rewards program features you’re likely using.

What Is Price Protection?

Price protection - or price matching, really - is when your credit card acts like a store that will meet the best price for an item. But with credit cards, you can price match after you’ve already made the purchase. You have a certain number of days after making a purchase with your credit card to show that the exact same item is being offered at a lower price somewhere else.

After submitting a claim, all you have to do is wait to get a refund for the difference in price.

What Are the Limits on This Program?

While every credit card price protection program is a little different, some basic boundaries exist within each.

  • Deadline to find a better deal: A program typically gives you between 30 and 90 days to find a better deal in order for the item to be eligible.
  • Deadline to submit claims: The claims submission deadline for each credit card perks program - once you have found a better deal - is around 21 days, but varies by card.
  • Maximum refund amount: There will be a maximum refund amount both for each item, typically between $50 and $500, as well as annual totals across items, typically between $1,000 and $2,500. Some programs also have maximums for certain categories of items, such as limits on going-out-of-business sales.

So, How I Do I Kick Off a Claim?

Each program has different requirements, claim processes and maximum amounts allowed under their rules. For example, when I submitted my own claim with my credit card, I had to call a department to start the claims process. They then sent me a claims form, which I filled out and sent back to them, along with the sales flyer for the lower price of the sneakers I had just purchased.

The best way to make sure your claim is successful is to call your credit card company and ask them to explain the claims process. After you submit a claim or two, you’ll likely have the kinks worked out and can begin smoothly submitting whenever a better deal strikes.

It’s time to go above and beyond normal credit card perks programs. Now you can start expecting checks from your credit card company!

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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