Do you ever leave the store after making a big purchase and think, “I hope I didn’t pay too much for that”?
In the past I liked to do at least an hour’s worth of research on big ticket items, often comparing several stores and looking at price trends. But the busier our lives get the harder it is to find time for the research.
These days I’m more prone to just make the best guess on whether it’s a deal and swipe my card. I’d rather spend the extra time with my family or building my businesses anyway.
Well, the folks at Citi have discovered that many of their card users are in the same boat as I am. We just don’t have the time to ensure every big purchase is the absolute best deal available, both now and a month from now. “I should have waited! Agh!”
Citi Price Rewind
Citi recently rolled out their Price Rewind feature to help solve this pain point.
The good news is that Citi Price Rewind is free and resulting in some decent refunds for savvy customers. The bad news is that it still requires a little effort on your part.
Here are the steps to start using Citi Price Rewind if you are a current customer:
- Purchase an item with a qualifying Citi credit card. Business cards ineligible.
- Register your purchase within 30 days at citi.com/pricerewind. Citi will automatically search for a better price over the next 30 days and email you when they’ve found one.
- Submit your receipt within the next 90 days to receive your refund.
Refunds are limited to $250 per item and $1,000 in total for the year.
So those are the basics of how the free program works. There are several notes from the fine print that you should be aware of.
This doesn’t include everything you purchase. Things like boats, airline tickets, land, and other things you wouldn’t expect to be eligible aren’t.
Things like close-out sales or going out of business sales do not apply.
If you purchased the item with Thank You points or gift cards or store credits it isn’t eligible.
What People Are Saying About Citi Price Rewind
Several other bloggers have picked up this story and done an excellent job of covering the feature. Most have been positive, encouraging their readers to at least try the service out once.
I’ve seen at least one report of a truly disappointed Citi Price Rewind customer due to non-acceptance of a manual submission.
But the biggest complaint I’ve seen is the fact that you have to submit which purchases you want them to check price on. I wonder why Citi doesn’t just do this with all of their customers retail purchases over $100? They have the data, right?
Anecdotally this does seem to be having a positive impact for some Citi users. Here’s a tweet where someone said they got a $200 refund through the program:
If you are looking for a credit card, I am happy with my Citi one today–just got $200 back on a "price rewind" from before Xmas. #fb
— Emily Morton-Owens (@bradamant) January 18, 2013
And after their trial run with current customers Citi claims to have saved customers on 1 out of every 4 items listed over $100. The average refund was $80!
Ultimately I think it makes sense to at least give Citi Price Rewind a try on a few big ticket items from the last month.
Citi Cards with Citi Price Rewind
If you’re not currently a Citi customer and you’re looking for a card that qualifies, I’ve got a couple for you:
Citi Simplicity® MasterCard – This card has a lack of fees that anyone could appreciate. The Citi Simplicity® Master Card comes with no annual fee, and there are no late payment fees or over limit fees. The card doesn’t have a rewards program, but it does have one of the best balance transfer card offers available today. But if you are going to be using it for big ticket spending, that shouldn’t matter to you. This card is best for someone who just wants a simple, hassle-free credit card.
Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card – This card has a nice balance transfer offer as well, but the rewards program is where this card shines. There is even a sign up bonus of $100 after you make $500 in purchases. You can earn 5% cash back every quarter in must-have categories. Right now, on eligible purchases within the Hilton Portfolio, car rental agencies, movie theaters and theme parks from 7/1/14 – 9/30/14. Enrollment each quarter is quick and easy. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Enroll at no additional cost each quarter for new categories that earn additional cash back. If I were planning to make a big purchase above $500 in the coming weeks I’d definitely check out this card. You’d get the $100 bonus, 5% cash back, and the purchase would qualify for Citi Price Rewind. The total cash back earned with the card is $300 per calendar year, excluding the $100 cash back with this offer. See Citi Dividend Card Reward Program Information. Then, going forward the card would be a great everyday reward card. Hard not to like this offer.
If you’ve tried Citi Price Rewind or a similar service, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you ensure you don’t pay too much for the things you buy?