Sunday, November 04, 2012

Buyer's Regret? It doesn't have to be...

One of the many great benefits of having a credit card in addition to loyalty program rewards is price protection.  For example, you buy something at a major electronics store one day and the next it is substantially marked down.  Will the store reimburse you?  Yes?  Great!  No?  Typically, this is not an issue to get a refund of the difference if you are willing to a bit of homework and follow-up.

First, let's distinguish between "price protection" and "purchase protection" or "return protection "  Price protection is simply coverage of the difference in price if a purchase is made, and within a given period, let's say a week, it gets marked down.  If the store does not have such a policy, than your credit card issuer may.  

Second, "purchase protection" is the theft or damage to an item within a certain time frame, say 90 days from purchase date, and that is no longer returnable to the store.  If the item was stolen, it's not the store's fault, is it?  And, of course also subject to limitations, overall dissatisfaction with the merchandise can be reason enough to have the credit card company accept a return item that a store otherwise wouldn't.

To see if the cards you currently have cover these protection areas, you should visit your card's website, or do a general Google search on keywords such as "price protection" + chase and look for their benefits page.  Typically, major card issuers such as American Express and Chase have very robust return programs for a variety of reasons. 

While you are it, review those lengthy, "mice type" documents that periodically come in the mail to see what other benefits you might have with your card.  You might be surprised at what they are offering as a card holder.