There are many different credit cards perks out there. I think we always hear about travel perks, such as travel delay, auto insurance, or many others. One benefit of some cards is matching the price of a product if it drops after you purchased it. An underrated and extremely easy one I have been able to use is Citi Rewind.
My Experience with Citi Rewind
What is Citi Rewind?
Citi offers a perk to all of their cards, which doesn’t seem to get much spot light. It could actually be one of their more valuable ones, especially if you use one of their cards frequently.
Citi Rewind monitors the price of an item you purchased for 60 days. If the price drops, Citi will send you a check, or credit your account the difference. Other credit card companies have a similar benefit, but you are responsible for doing the leg work.
If you are feeling ambitious, Citi does have a form you can fill out if you choose to look on your own. If they are willing to do the work for you, why would you?
How do you file your claim?
After you log into Citi Rewind, you’ll be asked to search for your product. I have seen lots of products in these searches, but not every product available is in their database.
After you search for your product, you will have some information to fill in. I have noticed on some electronics, there are multiple options. Some of these ask for different model numbers, so be aware of that information.
The information you will need is:
- The price you paid
- The date you purchased the product. Your search is from 60 days of purchase, so you can register a product if you forgot about it.
- Where you purchased the item
- Upload a receipt. This can be from an email or taking a picture from your phone and uploading it.
- How you’d like to receive your refund, if Citi finds a lower price
Once you enter all that information, you are finished. Citi takes over and looks for a better price.
Waiting for a better price:
I have noticed that the updating of prices usually lags a few days. It isn’t anything to be concerned about, but if you are impatient (like I am) it could bother you.
If you do realize there is a better price that Citi did not find. There is a form you can fill out and fax to them. Why you can’t fill it out and email it baffles me. Maybe since it is more work, they thing people won’t follow through? Hopefully they update their system to allow for electronic submission of a better price.
When your claim is being tracked, Citi has a great graph showing you their results:
As I mentioned previously, these aren’t updated in real time. Citi does notify you if there is a lower price found.
If a better price is found, the refund is not instant. You must wait until the end of the 60 days before Citi will issue a refund.
Receiving your refund:
This is pretty straight forward. If you select a credit to you account, it takes a couple of days after the Rewind closes.
The limit on refunds is up to $500 per claim and up to $2,500 per year.
If you select the check option, Citi does say it can up to 2 weeks for you to receive your check.
Either option is acceptable, but if you are wanting your refund sooner, then you should definitely select credit.
My Personal Experience with Citi Rewind:
I have used Citi Rewind 3 times. If I could commit to using just a few cards, then this could actually be a higher number of Rewinds. I try to tell myself to stop opening cards and use the ones I have, but the big bonuses keep pulling me in!
The times I have used Citi Rewind, they have been for electronics. Out of the 3 times I have used Citi Rewind, I have received only 1 refund. The one refund was well worth it.
You can see I struck out twice, but on the TV I purchased, I received a refund that made up for the others. Or there’s the possibility I do solid research when I purchase something, I find the lowest price 🙂 .
The Argument for Fewer Points
I am someone who loves to maximize my point earnings. If I am not working on a bonus, I am using the highest reward earning card.
There could be the argument to bypass some rewards for the ability to save some serious money on certain items. For non-bonus spend, I have been shifting more to cash back instead of points.
Let’s take the TV I bought as an example.
Now I bought that Samsung TV at Best Buy for $1699.99 and used the Ibotta App for 2% cash back. I did use some Amex Offers to buy some gift cards to lower my cost as well ( I saved about $50 more using those offers). To compare the potential savings against points, let think of it this way.
If there was a 5x card to use at that time, like the Chase Freedom (there wasn’t, but stay with me), I would have earned 8495 in Ultimate Reward points points, plus $33.98 in cash back from the Ibotta App. I would peg Ultimate Reward points around 1.8 cents, that would be about $150 in rewards, plus the cash back from the Ibotta app. Totaling about $184. Which isn’t bad, if that option was available.
Using my Citi Double Cash, I earned about $34 in cash back, plus about $34 in rewards from the Ibotta App. With this method you “only earned” $68. Which is slightly more more than one third when compared with the option above.
Now add in the $202 I received back as a refund from Citi, now my total cash back was about $270. Which was about 46% more than the potential value of 5x points.
That is a decision you would have to make. Is forgoing extra points worth the potential of earning money back on items? I would think for large ticket items, yes, but that is just me. On smaller ticket items, probably not.
Citi Rewind is a great benefit that you can just “set and forget.” It could definitely be one of the more underrated benefits of Citi credit cards.
It is very easy to fill out the forms necessary to get your claim rolling and there is no downside here. Especially when there is a lot of potential for earning money back. If you don’t receive a credit, then you spent 10 minutes filling out a form.