Golfers have the mulligan. The rest of us have the "do-over." And now shoppers have "Price Rewind." It's a new service for people with Citi credit cards, where if you buy something and then the price goes down more than $25, Citi will send you a check for the difference.Here's how it works. Buy your $750 worth of holiday gifts --the amount the National Retail Federation says we're all supposed to spend this year-- and pay with your Citi card. Then register the purchases on Citi's Price Rewind Site. After that, for 30 days, Citi will scour hundreds of websites looking for a lower price on your item. If it finds one, it will refund you the difference up to $250.
The giant credit card company is shrewdly kicking off this service during the hot-and- heavy holiday shopping season, but says it's here to stay and will be available year-round. Of course, there's some fine print associated with the offer --this IS a credit card company we're talking about-- and you can read the details here.
"We've found a lower price for one-out-of-four registered purchases over $100," said Ralph Andretta of Citi. "During the holiday seaspon when the clock is ticking on getting popular gifts and toys, our customers can make their purchases...with more confidence."
Of course, many of you who are reading this don't have a Citi card. Since I've often argued in this column that it's not a good idea to carry too many credit cards, I don't expect you to run out and get one. So let me run down a few key retail stores that offer shopping "do-overs," otherwise known as a "price adjustments" on their own.
This will give you a feel for retailer policies in a few key categories. There are many, many more. Just search the name of the retailer and "price admustment." I found that easier than going to the retailer's site and trying to find it. They don't necessarily want people to have this information, so sometimes they bury it. Here's what I uncovered:
Store: Time Frame: Requirements:
Amazon: 14 days Applies to TVs only.
Gap/Old Navy: 14 days Inquire in store or by phone.
Home Depot: Varies Prices adjusted during the returns period, which varies by product.
J. Crew: 7 days Full-price purchases only
Kohl's 14 days Does not apply to clearance items.
Macys: 14 days Bring receipt.
Pottery Barn: 30 days Show receipt. Only 1 adjustment.
Sears: 30 days Bring receipt to store.
Target: 7 days Use Target Weekly ad as proof.
Of course, if a retailer doesn't have a formal price adjustment policy, you can always create your own. If your item is in new condition and you have your packaging, just return it and buy it back at the lower price! If it's not still new and in the box --as long as you're within the return period-- buy another, identical item at the lower price, and then return it at the higher price, using your original, higher receipt.