MasterCard Price Protection: Get Money Back When Prices Drop

by Michael on Sep 23, 2013 · 3 comments

MasterCard Logo

By now, we all know about things like the car rental insurance provided by many credit card issuers, as well as the extended warranty protection that sometimes comes with a credit card purchase.

Well, my pal TFB recently tipped me off to a really nice World MasterCard featureā€¦ Price protection. It seems that, buried in the fine print, many such cards offer as much 60, 90, or even 120 days of price protection when you charge a purchase to your card.

When I read this, I went and dug out the Guide to Benefits for my Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. Sure enough, it’s covered — and at the high end, with price protection extending for a full 120 days. Nice.

What this means is that, if I purchase an “eligible item” using this card and see it advertised for less at any retail store or non-auction website within the next 120 days, I can file a claim and get reimbursed for the difference, up to $250/item.

For this particular card, there’s an annual limit of four claims (so $1k max) per 12 months, though these sorts of details seem to vary from card-to-card.

There are a bunch of exclusions, including items purchased for resale, rental, or commercial use, as well as jewelry, art, antique items, one-of-a-kind items, items purchased on layaway or at auction, professional services, plants or animals, consumables and perishables, motorized vehicles, etc.

But even with all of these exclusions, if your spending patterns are anything like ours, the majority of your purchases are likely to be covered.

To qualify, the item has to be purchased entirely with my card or associated reward points, and I have to request a claim form from 1-800-MC-ASSIST within 60 days of the “incident” — i.e., the availability of the lower price.

I’ll then have 180 days from the date of the advertisement to complete the claim. For this, I’ll need to submit the completed and signed claim form, a copy of the advertisement showing the date, retailer name, product, sale price, etc., an itemized receipt, and a statement showing the purchase.

That’s it. Pretty easy.

Because the details vary a bit across cards, you should check the terms and conditions for your particular card. The Barclaycard Arrival gives the longest window I’ve seen at 120 days, though there are certainly other options out there.

Hat tip: The Finance Buff


1 Adam September 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

Out of curiosity, I looked up the price protection policy for my Visa card. They exclude “advertisements posted on the Internet” which seems to mean I wouldn’t be able to use a lower price on Amazon.com, for example, as a claim under this policy. The “advertisement” must be in a printed publication (newspaper, journal, magazine, catalog, etc.) and they typically require you to submit the entire page or publication (not just a cut down excerpt) as evidence. This would also seem to exclude products that are reduced in price on the shelf but not published in any ads. Bummer.

2 Michael September 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

Yeah, a lot of brick & mortar stores do that, too, though that’s beginning to change — at least wrt matching prices at major e-tailers like Amazon (but not Amazon Marketplace sellers).

MasterCard doesn’t seem to exclude online purchases as long as they’re not from auction sites, etc. Or at least my MasterCard doesn’t. I suppose it could vary across cards.

3 William Charles May 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

As long as it’s a non auction site it seems to be OK. They also exclude sites that sell only one item or one item + related items which seems a bit weird.

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