Photo: Thomas8047 (Flickr)

Update: Chase no longer offers price protection on their cards, unfortunately.

It sounds like cheating, but if you use the right credit cards and apply a bit of diligence, you can get refunded the price difference on a lot of purchases if a better deal pops up within a few months.

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Different issuers have different price protection policies, so be sure to check your card’s benefit guide for complete details. But in this post we’ll focus on Chase, since they offer price protection on a wide array of cards, including several that you should have in your wallet regardless.

What’s Eligible For Price Protection?

First and foremost, you’ll have to use an eligible card on any item you want to invoke purchase protection for (obviously). Among Chase cards, the following carry the benefit:

Sadly, Chase’s Amazon Prime Rewards Visa isn’t included, so for Amazon purchases, you’ll have to choose between 5% back and price protection; you can’t have both.

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Even if you use the right card, not all products are eligible. Purchases from any of the following categories are excluded, none of which are particularly surprising:

  • Animals and living plants
  • Boats, automobiles, and any other motorized vehicles and their motors, equipment, and accessories
  • Cell phone service agreements and cell phone contracts
  • Items advertised or shown as price quotes, and bids or nal sale amounts from a non-auction Internet site
  • Items returned to any store and layaway items
  • Items previously owned, sold “as is,” and refurbished items
  • Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use
  • Items purchased outside of the United States
  • Jewelry, antiques, collectible items, rare or one-of-a-kind items, special order items, custom items, and tailored items
  • Manufacturer or merchant rebates
  • Perishables, services, consumables, and limited-life items including, but not limited to, rechargeable batteries
  • Price differences involving manufacturer and/or merchant rebates, shipping and handling fees, and sales tax, if any, are not covered by the Price Protection benefit
  • Traveler’s checks, cash, tickets, credit or debit cards, and any other negotiable instruments

And finally, not all sale prices are covered. Chase’s claims form says “flea markets, fire sales, limited quantity promotions, seasonal sales, or auctions” don’t apply for price protection. A few of those categories leave open room for some interpretation, so your mileage may vary. You can, however, match against a sale from a different retailer than the one you originally purchased from.

How Much Is Covered?

Again, this will vary by issuer, but Chase will reimburse up to $500 per item, and up to $2,500 per year. For price drops pegged to “cash only, close-out, liquidation and going-out-of-business sales,” you’re limited to $50 per item, and $150 per year.

How Does It Work?

All you need is your original sales receipt, proof of a price drop within 90 days of your initial purchase (it doesn’t have to be the same retailer, but it does have to be the exact same product), and a copy of your credit card statement showing the charge.

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Once you have your documents together, you’ll need to fill out a form and upload them through this site, the same one you’d use for Chase’s trip delay and rental car insurance claims. Once you’ve started your claim, they’ll also send you an attestation form in the mail that you have to sign, basically saying you aren’t lying.

Assuming everything is in order, you’ll soon get a check in the mail for the price difference. With so many stipulations, it’s far from a guarantee that you’ll see any money from this benefit—the seasonal and limited quantity sale exclusions leave a lot of room for interpretation)—but it’s really not a ton of work, and can be quite lucrative on major purchases like TVs.