When you get a new credit card, you usually also receive a small brochure describing the various benefits your new card offers. Most of the benefits are common: rental car coverage, protection against loss or damage of a new purchase within the first X days, extended warranty, travel accident insurance, etc. Don’t just throw away that little brochure though. Sometimes you find unique benefits you didn’t know you had.
One of my credit cards is a World MasterCard, which offers more benefits than a Platinum MasterCard. The bank sent me a new Guide to Benefits brochure recently. I found a great benefit that I didn’t know before.
It’s called Price Protection. If you bought something with the card and you find a lower price some time later, you can get the difference credited back to you. Of course there must be limits. Here’s the verbiage for my card:
If you purchase an eligible item with your Account in the United States and see a Printed Advertisement at any retail store or Non-auction Internet Advertisement for less within ninety (90) days of the original purchase date, simply file a valid claim and the Benefits Administrator will reimburse you the difference up to five hundred ($500.00) dollars for each item. Price Protection is limited to twenty-five hundred ($2,500.00) dollars a year for each Account.
I think the limits are very reasonable and in fact quite generous. Most importantly this benefit price-matches both brick-and-mortar stores and online stores (except auction sites like eBay). This gives you the benefits of both worlds: you can buy locally if you want the product right away and price match to an online store that sells at a lower price. No more guilty showrooming!
Some brick-and-mortar stores already offer a price match but the terms are usually much more restrictive. Best Buy for instance only matches lower prices from "a local retail competitor’s store or a designated major online retailer" — not other online stores outside its designated list. It also only matches a lower price within 15 days after purchase, not 90 days.
I don’t see this Price Protection benefit on any of my Visa Signature cards. I will definitely use my World MasterCard when I must buy something expensive when it’s not on sale.
If you have a MasterCard, take a look at the front of the card near the MasterCard logo. If it has the word "WORLD" above the logo, then it’s a World MasterCard.
The time and dollar limits for the Price Protection benefit can be different on different cards. If you have a MasterCard, ask the bank or call MasterCard Assistance Center at 1-800-MC-ASSIST (800-622-7747) to find out if it has the Price Protection benefit and what the limits are.
[Photo credit: Flickr user Mark Morgan Trinidad B]