Use This: Price Protection and Other Credit Card Benefits

About a month ago, my six-year-old computer was on its last legs and on the verge of a complete breakdown.  I did a little shopping around and bought a Dell desktop computer from Best Buy at the regular price of $319.99.*  Since it was an immediate problem, I couldn't wait for a good sale.  I charged the purchase on my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and used Big Crumbs to earn 1.7% ($5.60) in cash back

If you studied my guidance on maximizing reward credit cards, you're probably questioning why I used my Sapphire Preferred card instead of my Barclay Arrival card since I would have stretched more value from the purchase with the Arrival (710 points vs. 320 points).  The reason: the Sapphire Preferred card offers a benefit called Price Protection.**  I had a feeling the computer would go on sale within 90 days and wanted to try and take advantage of this Price Protection benefit if the opportunity presented itself.  

Fast forward two weeks...I checked in on the computer and, lo and behold, it was on sale for $299.99!
  YES! On Sale for $20 Off!       
As soon as I saw this sale I contacted Chase who transferred me to their Price Protection benefits provider.  After a quick discussion, they emailed me a 1-page form to fill out and some instructions.  Fifteen minutes later, I emailed them back, attaching the completed form, a screenshot of the item on sale, and my online receipt.

Yesterday, five days after I emailed in my documentation, I received the following email:

Using the right credit card, knowing the benefits, and a little price checking vigilance scored me a $20 refund with minimal effort!

The tip here is simple: Know your credit cards' benefits and take advantage of them.  I'm sure the Sapphire Preferred isn't the only credit card that offers a Price Protection benefit.  Other common credit card benefits include rental car insurance, extended warranties, roadside assistance, etc.  Although credit cards with the best benefits often demand annual fees, instances like my price protection success show that sometimes they're worth it.***  

* The computer is basically used for the Internet and Microsoft Office, so we don't need too fancy of a computer.
**The Price Protection benefit states, "Receive a reimbursement for the difference between the price you paid for an eligible item on the card and a subsequent covered lower advertised price for the same item within the first 90 days of purchase."
***This $20 refund alone wouldn't cover the $95 annual fee, but that refund coupled with the 7% end-of-year dividend on points earned will provide a significant dent in the fee.  

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