When we look for credit cards, the top three most searched features (based on user clicks on Canstar’s comparison tables) are:
- ‘availability of a rewards program’,
- ‘travel insurance’ and
- ‘fraud protection’.
But there are two other features you might not know about which are definitely worth considering; many credit cards offer features known as price protection and purchase protection to provide financial coverage for customers.
What is Price Protection Insurance?
Most of us have been in the scenario where we’ve made an ‘impulse buy’ from a particular store before discovering:
- There was another store down the road selling the same item at a much lower price; or
- After some time, the same store you bought from has drastically lowered their price for that item.
These scenarios happen too often to so many of us, but usually we just say “c’est la vie” and assume there is nothing we can do about it.
That’s where Price Protection Insurance steps in.
Also called a Guaranteed Pricing Scheme or even Shoppers Cover, Price Protection Insurance covers consumers against the risk of being ripped off. In the above-mentioned scenario of discovering an item bought earlier for sale at a much lower price, this feature allows you to seek a refund for this price difference.
— CANSTAR (@CANSTAR) November 16, 2016
For example, you might have been caught up in the excitement surrounding the release of a new piece of technology and rushed in and bought that item on your credit card for, say, $500. Some time later, the initial excitement regarding that item has died down significantly and retailers are now selling it for a drastically lower price of $300. Thankfully, your credit card has price protection, so you obtain proof of this price difference and claim a refund of $200.
The conditions of this feature can vary a lot. For some credit cards, the price drop has to be via the same retailer (but can be in a different location), but others might allow it to be from any store so long as they’re within a specified distance (usually 25 km) from each other. Also, the time limit to make this claim can range significantly, so make sure you check the terms and conditions on your card! Price protection can be a complimentary feature for some credit cards, but others might charge you for it as an optional extra.
Here are some popular personal credit cards offering this feature (at the time of writing) and a brief overview of the different conditions attached to each. Please note that terms. conditions and exclusions will apply to all programs:
ANZ Platinum Cards
Commonwealth Bank Diamond & Platinum Cards
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
|Policy Name||Best Price Guarantee Scheme||Price Protection (part of the Account Cover Plus)||Guaranteed Pricing Scheme||Shoppers protection|
|Min Price Difference||$75||$10||$75||$10|
|Same retailer only?||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Policy Cost||Complimentary||1% of the monthly closing balance. Max monthly premium of $50 (note, other protections are included in cover)||Complimentary||0.5% of monthly closing balance. Max monthly premium of $50 (note, other protections are included in cover)|
|Time Limit||21 days||24 months||21 days||6 months|
*Annual limits apply
Source: Providers’ websites
NAB Premium and Flybuys Rewards Cards
Westpac Black, Platinum Plus & Platinum A Cards
|Policy Name||Price Protection Insurance Plan||Price Guarantee Cover|
|Min Price Difference||$75||$75|
|Same retailer only?||No||No – but need a printed catalogue|
|Time Limit||21 days||21 days|
*Annual limits apply
Source: Providers’ websites
There are particular terms and conditions regarding which items are eligible and how to prove this price difference so be sure to thoroughly read the product disclosure statements.
What is Purchase Protection Insurance?
Purchase Protection Insurance (also called Purchase Security Insurance or Merchandise Protection) is insurance for the new products you buy with your credit card. It provides coverage for the items against loss, theft, or accidental damage – usually for up to 6 months from the time of purchase.
So, if you drop a new phone you bought outright on your credit card and it breaks (and it’s not covered by a warranty or repair), with purchase protection you could make a claim for the amount you paid for that phone so you can buy a new one.
— CANSTAR (@CANSTAR) November 29, 2016
Like price protection, the conditions regarding purchase protection varies a lot among the different credit card providers. This includes annual payout limits and limited payouts per item as well as how long after purchase the items are insured for.
At the time of writing, more than 50 credit cards on Canstar’s database state that they offer some form of purchase protection insurance. These include credit cards from the following providers – although note that not all credit cards from these providers will include purchase protection insurance:
|Bank of Melbourne|
|G&C Mutual Bank|
|QT Mutual Bank|
There are additional conditions that may apply such as payout limits per item and excesses you might have to pay. Also, some credit cards offer coverage for items purchased outside of Australia while others might not. Be sure to read the product disclosure statements.