Black Friday usually has great prices on a few key items every year.
If I’m looking to buy a TV or other popular electronic device, chances are I’ll wait until Black Friday to make the purchase.
The one major downside of Black Friday is making sure you get the deal.
You usually have to line up hours before the store opens to get the best deals.
Thankfully, this year I found a way to avoid the lines and get Black Friday prices before Black Friday even comes around.
Here are the details.
Citi Price Rewind To The Rescue
This year, I found out about a benefit I already had, but didn’t know I had. As a part of having a Citi Double Cash credit card, I also have access to the Citi Price Rewind program.
I had heard of the Citi Price Rewind program before, but I just figured I’d never save money using it. Most of the time, I don’t buy big ticket items and when I do, I usually make sure I’m getting a good deal. So, I never looked into the program.
However, this year we were planning to buy a TV for our son’s play room. I heard a story about using Citi Price Rewind to purchase items that were going to be on sale on Black Friday before Black Friday and still get the Black Friday price.
I didn’t think it could be true, so I did some investigating. The results shocked me.
How The Citi Price Rewind Program Works
Here’s what I found out. Citi Price Rewind is pretty easy to use.
Basically, after you buy your item with your Citi card, make sure you keep your receipt. Then, head to Citi Price Rewind and log into your Citi account. Then, search the Citi Price Rewind database for the item you just purchased.
Sometimes, the item won’t show up unless you type in the model number. If it still doesn’t find your item, you can always call the Citi Price Rewind number, 1-866-918-4670 to file a claim. This is what I had to do for my TV.
Once you find your item, enter the details of your purchase including the price you paid before tax, where you bought it and the date you bought it. You also need to upload a picture or scan of your receipt.
Now, Citi Price Rewind will search advertisements for the next 60 days looking for a lower price for the same exact item and model number. If it finds one, you get the difference back as a statement credit or as a check.
I didn’t feel like leaving it up to chance for Citi to find the lower prices I had found in Black Friday ads, so I went ahead and submitted the advertisements with the Black Friday prices to get my claims started.
In 14 business days, I should have an answer as to whether they were approved or not.
The Nitty Gritty Details
This is where I expected to find some fine print that said Black Friday sales don’t count. Thankfully, I found just the opposite.
To count, the lower priced item must be the same exact item including manufacturer, model number and color. It must be published on an online retail site or a printed advertisement.
The best part is, Citi specifically says it includes special promotions such as Black Friday or door buster sales.
The Not So Fun Details
As with any program, there are limitations and exclusions. Citi Price Rewind will only cover up to a $500 difference on each item and up to $2,500 in total per year. Honestly, that’s a pretty generous allowance.
Only certain Citi cards have access to Citi Price Rewind, so make sure you have access before you make a purchase.
Not all items are eligible for the program. For instance, boats, cars, other motorized vehicles, food, fuel, medications, jewelry, tickets, collectible items and labor, among other items and services, do not qualify for the program.
Additionally, if you need to sign a service contract, the item is offered at no cost, the item is part of a going out of business sale or an online auction or if the item is used, it does not qualify for the program.
Citi does state they don’t guarantee that they track all retailers or that they will always find the lower price, but you can’t expect them to know everything.
Other Programs Like Citi Price Rewind
Citi credit cards aren’t the only credit cards with price protection features.
Chase offers a price protection program with their Chase Freedom card which you can read about here. Sadly, it says it doesn’t cover limited quantity promotions or seasonal sales, so Black Friday may or may not be excluded.
Discover also offers price protection. Discover’s program covers 90 days after your purchase, which is nice. I’ve heard rumor it works for Black Friday deals, but haven’t seen anything from Discover plainly stating they do.
My Black Friday Purchases So Far
I feel like we’ve done pretty awesome this year as far as Black Friday deals go.
We were looking to buy a 55 inch smart TV for my son’s play room, but we ended up finding an amazing deal on a 50 inch 4K smart TV at Best Buy. Regularly, the TV is $499.99 but the Black Friday price is only $179.
Granted, the TV was on sale when we bought it for $399.99, so the savings aren’t quite as big as they seem. *Update* A few days later I received confirmation that my Price Rewind went through and I’ll receive $220 back! *Update*
It is important to note that the Black Friday ad online specified the exact model of the TV in the sale. This is important because many manufacturers will make special Black Friday only models to offer rock bottom prices.
If you can’t buy the exact model before Black Friday, the Citi Price Rewind won’t work.
We also bought 3 Google Home Mini devices, 2 for ourselves and 1 for a present. The retail price is $49.99, but the Black Friday price is only $29.
Add in the fact that we got two $25 gift cards to Walmart through Google Express on our two devices means we got 3 devices for essentially $37 plus sales tax.
Finally, I’ll be buying a work bench/tool chest for the garage. I’ve had my eye on these for a while as our garage needs some major organization. I had pretty much decided on the one I wanted when Home Depot’s Black Friday ad was leaked.
As luck would have it that the model I wanted, regularly priced at $278, would be on sale for just $199. Another great savings thanks to Citi Price Rewind.
Make Sure You’re Only Buying Things You Would Have Bought Anyway
It seems like I’m saving a lot of money, but if you look closely, you’ll see I’m spending a lot of money and not putting a penny in my savings account. Why is this important?
If you were not going to make the purchase anyway, you’re just spending more money. All of the things I purchased were items we were looking to buy anyway. We just bought them now due to the great sales.
We probably wouldn’t have gone out to fight the Black Friday crowds to make these purchases. Honestly, we wouldn’t have had much of a chance at the limited quantity TV at all.
Because of Citi Price Rewind, we were able to make these purchases at the rock bottom prices.
Whatever you do, don’t buy items on a credit card if you can’t pay them off in full. The interest will eat you alive and may even exceed the savings from using Price Rewind.
That said, if you have the cash set aside already and were going to make a purchase anyway, go ahead and get it now to skip the headache and lines on Black Friday.
Just make sure you use the right credit card and file a claim to get your money back.
Have you ever used a Price Protection feature like Citi Price Rewind? How did it go? Let us know in the comments.