Discover Cardholders Losing Price Protection Now, Too
If you are a Discover cardholder, you may be unhappy to learn that one of their best card benefits is disappearing in a few months. Depending on how often you use this handy perk, this may cost you hundreds in lost dollars each year.
Back in December, we told you how Discover was removing a number of benefits from their card products. These included extended warranties, return protection, rental car coverage, and flight accident insurance, all of which have disappeared entirely. Now, there’s another helpful benefit on the chopping block: price protection.
Currently, Discover offers price protection to customers on some of their card products. So, what is this benefit?
Let’s say that you buy an item – like a new television -- and then find that it went on sale a few weeks, or even months, later. Rather than kicking yourself about the lost money, price protection allows you can recoup the difference. It doesn’t apply to services, used items, or a few other exceptions, but otherwise, price protection is a great way to ensure that you always pay the best price.
As of this writing, Discover offers up to $500 per eligible price protection, up to a maximum of $2,500 per year. So if the cost of that brand new television drops from $1,200 today to $800 when the new model comes out (and you paid with your Discover card), you’ll get the $400 difference refunded to you. Price protection is offered for 90 days from the date of purchase, which means that you can file a claim up to 3 months after you buy an item.
Any feature that can save you up to $2,500 a year is great to have. However, it will be ghosting Discover customers this Halloween: as of October 31, 2018, price protection will disappear.
Purchases made through October 31, 2018 will be covered by the current price protection feature. This means that you can technically file a claim in January 2019 and still get the price difference refunded, as long as you meet the current requirements. However, any purchases made on November 1, 2018 or beyond will not be offered Discover’s price protection. The amount you pay at the register is what you’re stuck with, unless the merchant offers their own price adjustment policy.
Discover isn’t the first card issuer to remove the price protection feature from their card products this year, though. Chase has also dropped the benefit this summer, eliminating coverage for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (my personal daily use card). Citi has dropped coverage for the Double Cash Card’s Price Rewind feature; as of July 29, the limit per claim was devalued from $500 to $200.
Many believe that bots and automated price-tracking software are to blame for the loss of price protection features. While most of us can’t be bothered to track every single thing we buy on our credit cards, apps like Sift will track purchases for you. If an item’s price drops within your card’s allotted timeframe, you’ll be alerted and can file a claim... even if the claim is only for $0.50.
This has led to an increase in not only overall payouts, but also claim frequency. The cost of price protection refunds, combined with the manpower required to manage all of those small, $1 and $2 price drop claims, has likely put a strain on issuers. As a result, we are seeing the feature disappear.
If you’re a Discover cardholder and plan to make any big purchases in the near future, be sure to get them in before October 31, 2018. That way, you can still enjoy 90 days of price protection coverage before you lose the benefit entirely. For everyone else who values this feature, it may be worth looking into another card that still offers this coverage – though, there’s no telling when it could disappear.