Best Credit Cards for Price Protection
We’ve all heard about retailers offering price-match guarantees. But what most people don’t realize is that several major credit cards do the same thing, perhaps even better. So-called credit card price protection enables you to get a refund for the difference between what you pay for an item and a lower price advertised in the following 60-120 days. In other words, credit card price protection can eliminate your fear of missing out on a better deal, allowing you to both buy with confidence and save money.
But credit cards with price protection are not created equal. Coverage amounts and exclusions vary widely, as do claims procedures. So to help you better understand what the most popular cards bring to the table, WalletHub’s editors compared the 10 largest credit card companies’ price protection policies from top to bottom.
You can find the results of WalletHub’s review below. And if you’d like to learn more about the other secondary benefits that credit cards provide, check out our reports on extended product warranties, purchase protection, rental car insurance and more.
Some of the cards listed on this page originate from our partners, but that did not impact our conclusions. Offers are accurate as of Nov. 1, 2019.
|T - 1||Capital One Savor Cash Rewards||80%|
|T - 1||Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards||80%|
|3||U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express||76%|
|4||Bank of America Cash Rewards||73.5%|
|5||Wells Fargo Visa Signature||71%|
Only 15% of credit cards from the 10 largest issuers continue to offer price protection, and only four issuers have even one card with price protection.
Chase and Discover had the best credit card price protection from 2014 until dropping the benefit in 2018. Citi, Barclays and USAA also dropped price protection in 2019.
|Issuer||% of Cards with Price Protection|
|Bank of America||50%|
Nearly 38% of the credit cards with price protection provide coverage for 120 days.
75% of the cards that offer price protection limit claims to 4 per year.
Capital One and Wells Fargo are the most transparent about their price protection policies.
The Coverage You Can Expect
|Example of a Standard Policy||Best Policy|
|Sign Up||Not required||Not required|
|Coverage||Get a refund for the difference between what you pay for an item and a lower price advertised on:
Clothes and shoes
Electronics and computers
|Get a refund for the difference between what you pay for an item and a lower price advertised on:
Clothes and shoes
Electronics and computers
Jewelry and certain other purchases
Jewelry and certain other purchases
|Maximum Coverage per Item||$250 per eligible item||$250 per eligible item|
|Maximum Coverage per Year||Up to $1,000 annually per account||Up to $1,000 annually per account|
|Price Protection Period||60 days from the date of purchase||120 days from the date of purchase|
|Number of Claims per Year||4||4|
|Number of Claims Per Identical Item||No limit||No limit|
|Cards Offering this Type of Policy||BankAmericard||Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards|
|Overall Rank||Card Name||Sign Up||Covered Items||Price
|T - 1||Capital One Savor Cash Rewards||10.00%||26.00%||20.00%||14.00%||10.00%||80.00%|
|T - 1||Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards||10.00%||26.00%||20.00%||14.00%||10.00%||80.00%|
|3||U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express||10.00%||26.00%||15.00%||15.00%||10.00%||76.00%|
|4||Bank of America Cash Rewards||10.00%||26.00%||20.00%||14.00%||3.50%||73.50%|
|5||Wells Fargo Visa Signature||10.00%||26.00%||10.00%||15.00%||10.00%||71.00%|
|T - 6||Capital One QuicksilverOne||10.00%||26.00%||10.00%||14.00%||10.00%||70.00%|
|T - 6||Capital One Platinum||10.00%||26.00%||10.00%||14.00%||10.00%||70.00%|
The following cards do not offer price protection:
Ask The Experts
We took an even deeper look at the practice of price matching, turning to a panel of experts in the fields of retail and consumer studies for insights on issues ranging from the value of price matching for retailers to whether or not price monitoring is worthwhile to the consumer. You can check out the experts we consulted, the questions we asked them, and their responses below.
- To what extent is a price match guarantee an effective strategy for a retailer?
- Does leveraging a price protection policy (one that enables you to monitor and act on price changes after you buy) tend to be worth a consumer’s effort (e.g. price monitoring) when all is said and done?
- How do price match guarantees impact consumer habits?
The data used in this report are based on public disclosures regarding the price protection policies of the 10 largest issuers of consumer credit cards in the United States. Co-branded, student and business credit cards were not evaluated. Offers for which online applications were not available also were excluded. In situations where policies were incomplete or unclear, we requested verification and proceeded to update the report as needed. Information listed is accurate as of Nov. 1, 2019.
Each individual card was scored according to the following criteria:
1. Sign Up – Worth 10% Total
- If there is no sign-up requirement = 10%
- If product registration is required but price reduction is tracked automatically by the company = 10%
- If there is a onetime sign-up requirement = 5%
- If there is an annual sign up requirement = 2%
- If each product needs to be registered and price reduction needs to be tracked manually by the consumer = 0%
2. Coverage – Worth 45% Total
A. Coverage & Exclusions – Worth 20%
- For each major category of items excluded from coverage, we subtracted 6%
- For each minor category of items excluded from coverage, we subtracted 2%
- Issuers are deducted a maximum of 20% points, even if their exclusions add up to more issuers only lose 20% points
B. Coverage Limit Per Item – Worth 15%
- $500+ = 15%
- $400 - $499 = 12%
- $300 - $399 = 9%
- $200 - $299 = 6%
- $100 - $199 = 3%
- Less than $100 = 0%
C. Annual Coverage Limit – Worth 10%
- $2,000+ = 10%
- $1,500 - $1,999 = 8%
- $1,000- $1,499 = 6%
- Less than $1,000 = 0%
3. Price Protection Period – Worth 20% Total
- 120+ days = 20%
- 90 – 119 days = 15%
- 60 - 89 days = 10%
- 30 - 59 days = 5%
- Less than 30 days = 0%
4. Claims – Worth 15% Total
A. Annual Claims Limit – Worth 5%
- 5+ claims = 5%
- 4 claims = 4%
- 3 claims = 3%
- 2 claims = 2%
- 1 claim = 0%
B. Claims – Worth 5%
- If filing a claim requires only 1) a product receipt, 2) a credit card statement and 3) either a dated ad OR a statement from a store documenting the details of the lower price = 5%
- If filing a claim requires a 1) product receipt, 2) a credit card statement, 3) a dated ad and 4) a statement from the store documenting the details of the lower price = 2.5%
- If filing a claim requires a 1) product receipt, 2) a credit card statement, 3) a dated ad, 4) a statement from the store documenting the details of the lower price, and 5) any additional documentation = 0%
C. Claims Limit On Items Purchased As A Set – Worth 5%
- 5+ items = 5%
- 4 items = 4%
- 3 items = 3%
- 2 items = 2%
- 1 item = 0%
5. Transparency Score – Worth 10%
A. How easily can one find the info? – Worth 3%
- Information is prominent on issuer website = 3%
- Information is not prominent on issuer website; or it is prominent, but users need to log in to see the full disclosure = 1.5%
- Information cannot be easily found on website = 0%
B. How easy it is to read the info? – Worth 1%
- Information is presented in normal-size font = 1%
- Information is in small-size font = 0%
C. How complete are the policies provided? – Worth 4%
- Full policy provided = 4%
- A couple of key points missing from policy = 3%
- Part of policy provided = 2%
- Benefits briefly described = 0.5%
- No key details provided = 0%
D. How open and transparent are card issuers about the policies? – Worth 2%
- Transparent about policies = 2%
- Not transparent about policies = 0%
Scores were determined based on our opinion of how each price protection policy compares to a theoretical ideal policy. An ideal policy is one based on common sense for which a consumer knows all of the most important information without having to delve into the fine print.
Was this article helpful?