bank rates

Citi Offers New Price Protection Program

Credit card company will search for lower prices, provide refunds.Worried that you paid too much for something?

Citigroup has launched a unique new price protection program for its credit card holders in which it checks your recent card purchases for lower prices.

If it finds a better price than what you paid, it refunds you the difference.

The service, called Price Rewind, searches hundreds of retailer sites for 30 days after you make a purchase on your Citi card to find a lower price. If it finds the same item for at least $25 less than what you paid for it, Citi will refund the difference, up to $250 per item.

Launched in time for the holiday shopping season, the service will be available year-round on eligible Citi consumer credit cards, although not its business credit cards.

The service, while free, isn’t automatic. In order to have your purchase covered, you must register the item on www.citi.com/pricerewind, including where and when you bought the item and the price you paid.

For 30 calendar days after the purchase, Price Rewind will search retailer sites for a lower price on the same item. It only checks items that are sold online, not newspaper advertisements and merchant fliers, although some of those are covered, too.

Most MasterCard and Visa credit cards already have free price protection — for 60 days, in fact — although these programs do none of the searching work for you, like the Price Rewind program.

If Citi finds a price that is at least $25 lower than what you paid for the item, it sends you an email telling you how to request a refund. Once you file a claim and it’s approved, Citi sends you a check refunding the difference.

Refunds are capped at $250 per item and $1,000 a year per customer. Multiple purchases of the same item are limited to $250 per sales receipt.

The entire purchase amount for the item must be made with your Citi card to be eligible for a refund. Items purchased with Citi ThankYou Points are not eligible.

Not all products are eligible for coverage, including jewelry (although watches are covered), airline tickets or transportation tickets of any kind, automobiles, and consumable and perishable items. Check the website for a full listing.

Valid claims must include a photo or scanned copy of your original receipt. Claims can be filed online, by fax or by mail. Claims filed by mail must also include a copy of your credit card statement showing the purchase was made with a Citi credit card.

All required documents must be filed within 90 days from the date of purchase.

Although Citi only checks online prices, it does accept claims based on a validated lower online price from a price-tracking entity it authorizes. In those cases, you will need to include a legible copy of the advertisement showing the lower price with your claim form.

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