One day a few months ago, I bought a program that I use for my WordPress site maintenance service. The tool cost me about $99, and I was excited to turn it on and try it out for the first time. Everything worked great, but I was distraught just a couple of weeks later to see the tool on sale for half off!
After taking a deep breath, I decided I wanted my extra 50% back. There has to be a way, right? Here is my journey of finding out how to get my $48 back, and how you can do the same in the future.
Understand Your Credit Card Benefits
Most people don’t think much about the extra benefits they get from their credit cards beyond miles, points, and cashback. However, there are very valuable benefits and services that come with using credit cards.
I made my purchase with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, one of my favorite cards for travel hacking. While this card comes with an annual fee, you get quite a lot back. In addition to miles and points, here are some of the benefits (here is a full list) this card offers. The items with an asterisk are benefits I have taken advantage of myself.
- No foreign transaction fees*
- Global emergency assistance
- Protection from fraudulent charges*
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Auto rental collision damage reimbursement
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Price protection*
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
Of course, just because you have these benefits does not mean the bank will call you and tell you when to use them. You have to remember that yourself. In fact, I just realized while writing this post that I may have missed a $100 from the trip delay reimbursement from an unplanned overnight stay in San Francisco last year.
Try to Resolve Directly With the Merchant First
So back to my story. After I found out about the sale, the first thing I did was email the seller to ask for the difference to be refunded to me. Many businesses happily give refunds to recent customers when the put a product on sale, but not every business is so customer service oriented.
In this case, the seller was based in India and it took me a few emails just for them to understand what I was asking for. Their policy is a pretty strict no-refunds policy, which made me skip future purchases there, but in this case I was out of luck.
How to Use Price Protection
With no further recourse from the merchant, my next step was to look at my credit card benefits. In the benefits list, I saw a price protection benefit clearly explained in my benefits guide, which I was able to quickly download and review.
The basic gist of it is that you are covered for 90 days for purchases you made in the United States when a lower price is advertised in print or online. If you can prove that you paid more and can provide the advertised price, you can be reimbursed for the difference up to $500 per item with a maximum benefit of $2,500 per year.
I gathered the basic information about my purchase, what I paid, and made a copy of the advertisement for my records. Next, I called the customer service number on the back of the card to start my claim.
Start Your Claim
I explained the situation to the customer service representative who answered my call. She transferred me to the outside vendor Chase uses for price protection claims. I then re-explained my situation. She agreed that my claim should be covered and began to fill out my claim.
I needed to provide my personal information, the merchant name, purchase date, purchase price, source of the advertisement, and details of the advertisement to get started. At the end of the call, the claims representative emailed me my claim form information and steps I needed to complete the request and get paid.
Because this company has not moved into the current century, I had to either snail mail or fax supporting documents. I printed everything out, put it in an envelope, and dropped it in the mail.
Respond to any Requests
A week or so later, I received an email from the claims processor asking for more information to complete my claim. It was a very annoying email, as I had included everything they asked for in the envelope I sent in. However, to get my money, I went along with it.
I responded to the message with a request to submit the remaining files digitally, and this time they gave me an email address to use. I sent in the files within one business day to complete my claim.
Deposit Your Check
A few days later, I received a confirmation that my request had been approved. A couple of weeks after that, a check showed up in the mail for $48. I was officially reimbursed. I deposited the check and felt better about my purchase, and my credit card.
This was a fairly simple and straightforward process. It took a little over an hour of my time to deal with everything, which is a great ROI for the time invested. I’ll take $50 an hour any day!
The keys to success with getting your reimbursement are knowing your benefits, keeping track of price changes from large purchases, and being patient and persistent when dealing with the bureaucracy of the claims process.
In just an hour, I almost made up for the entire annual fee for my card. Adding that on top of my regular miles and points I get from the card, I am definitely getting my money’s worth.
Have you ever used price protection? Do you have any questions about how it works? Leave me a note in the comments and I’ll help you make sure you get back the money you deserve.