Citi Price Rewind takes price protection up a notch

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Citi Price Rewind is a free perk available to Citibank’s credit card customers.

This online program lets you register your Citi card purchases and then automatically searches retailers’ websites to look for lower prices on your registered items.

If, within 30 days of your purchase, Price Rewind finds a price at least $25 below what you paid, you can request a refund for the difference.

Once you register a purchase at citi.com/pricerewind, you’ll be able to see when the search period expires, when the claim period expires and how much of a lower price, if any, the system has found.

Citi Price Rewind is both more and less restrictive than the free price protection that already comes with most credit cards issued by MasterCard and Visa, including Citi cards.

The MasterCard/Visa benefit lets you request a refund for the difference if you find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase.

Price Rewind has a shorter time frame for you to claim a refund, but it does some of the searching work for you and allows price drops based on Internet prices (excluding auction sites). Visa and MasterCard require you to find the lower price yourself, and Visa requires the lower price to be in a print advertisement.

Like Visa and MasterCard, Citi imposes numerous requirements, restrictions and exclusions on its program.

Here are a few that apply to Price Rewind:

Under some circumstances, there are easier ways to take advantage of a price drop after your initial purchase.

First, check the merchant’s price-drop policy. Many offer a one-time price adjustment within seven to 14 days of your original purchase.

If the merchant doesn’t have a price-drop policy, or you’re outside the price-drop window, you could buy the identical item at the lower price and return it with your original receipt.

Neither of these options requires you to meet a $25 threshold, rely on Citi’s approval or wait 10 to 14 business days for a refund. Plus, the refund will go directly back to your credit card, whereas Price Rewind refunds are issued by check.

For items where you might find a substantial price drop, like electronics, it’s worth keeping an eye on print ads. If you find a $25 or more price drop yourself within 30 days of purchase, you can file a claim by mail.

You must send in your original purchase receipt, a copy of the credit card statement showing the purchase, a copy of the advertisement showing the lower price and an official claim form. Citi must receive the paperwork within 90 days of your purchase.

If you find a lower price within 31 to 60 days, contact MasterCard or Visa about getting a refund through their price protection programs.