So I just got this perplexing e-mail from Citi telling me that price rewind requests will, as of October 18, no longer be accepted by e-mail or fax; now, it’ll have to be by phone or snail mail, or by logging in to the price rewind website:
Why is this important? Because (and I’m speculating here) it may be an attempt to limit the use of price protection claims apps like Earny and Paribus.
What Is Citi Price Rewind?
Citi Price Rewind is Citi’s name for its credit card price protection policy. You can use it when you buy something with most Citi credit cards and the price drops on it after your purchase, at pretty much any store, within 60 days after you bought it (terms and conditions here).
So, for instance, if you buy a $1,000 TV and a month later it drops to $800 at another store, you can get $200 back. Awesome, right?
Enter the Apps
Because of these policies at Citi (and Chase), new apps cropped up; two of them are Earny and Paribus, and what they do is track your purchases on Amazon and some other merchants, and automatically submit price protection claims for you. I have Earny, and get small amounts of money back pretty much every week. My understanding is that Earny makes these claims via e-mail or other electronic means, since I never gave it my credit card issuer login credentials.
Putting the Two Together
What I’m thinking here is that, as more people have signed up for Earny and Paribus, Citi and Chase have probably started to get inundated with price protection claims, and it’s costing them money. Perhaps that’s why Citi will now make you file the claims by snail mail or phone, both of which are burdensome and costly (mail requires paper and postage, while a phone call needs a person to make it). The other option (using the website) requires you to log in, and therefore to give Earny or Paribus your credit card account login credentials (which I think most of us hesitate to do).
I’ll keep an eye on this one!
What do you think of Citi price protection?