It occurred to me that getting a guaranteed price match might be easier than the five steps I outlined in my holiday shopping strategy guide post. I ended up going to Best Buy three times to deploy my savings strategy on the electronics I bought for my parents.
Trip One: Bought a 50″ LED SmartTV for $799, a soundbar for $249, and a Chromebook for $199 pre-tax on a Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Best Buy return policy is 15 days, so I was all set to try and take advantage of the price match during the Black Friday weekend sales.
Trip Two: Went back on Thanksgiving Thursday at 11:50pm after a poker game to get a 32″ LED TV and blu-ray player on sale for my mother and also see if I could get a price match for the 50″ LED SmartTV which is now on further sale for $599. They said, “no” which I had anticipated since Best Buy’s policy is to not price match on Black Friday, but unclear on the entire weekend sale. I was not deterred because they often say yes later on because I can simply return the product and argue for the cheaper price within the return policy. Besides, I had more stuff to buy this trip.
Trip Three: I was going to go back on the Monday after the Black Friday to try again on the 50″ TV and also price match anything I find on sale from Cyber Monday. But as luck would have it, I played golf on Sunday afternoon after Black Friday just a couple miles away from Best Buy so I did a drive by on the way home. Best Buy thankfully agreed to credit me $209 after tax for the 50″ LED SmartTV and I also returned the blu-ray player because it couldn’t connect to the internet. I also returned the chocolate HDMI cable for $38 and got a generic one for $9.95 because I’m connecting the blu-ray to a 32″ TV with no add-on sound system. Paying up for a fancier HDMI cable would therefore be a waste.
Despite making one extra trip than anticipated, I’m happy to have gotten the best deals possible for products I needed to buy for my parents anyway. Thankfully Best Buy was relatively quiet all three times I went. It was about time my parents upgraded their old notebook and 25+ year old CRT TVs. The biggest pain was actually trying to carrying those beasts out to the garage!
LEARNING ABOUT A NEW PRICE PROTECTION PLAN
My father mentioned over dinner one night before they left on a trip that the Discover it® card has a price match guarantee on all purchases. He’s owned the card for a decade, but I didn’t really think anything of it since I have my system and I also didn’t want a fourth credit card in my wallet. The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard for rewards travel works just fine and there’s a law of diminishing returns after the third credit card.
But after I published my holiday shopping strategy guide post, another person mentioned the Discover card in the comments,
There’s a much easier way to get the deal without every stepping foot into the madness than what is outlined here in the post.
If you have a Discover it® card, they will price match the same item you see in any Black Friday ad on the day of Black Friday. They snail mail you a form and you have to complete it and return it but they refund up to $500 per purchase and up to $2500 in a year. Pretty nifty.
That is actually very nifty! If don’t have ants in your pants, then the best thing to do is buy everything at once, online or offline, check all the sales online over the next 90 days based on Discover’s policy I researched, and then send all your cheaper findings into Discover card for a refund!
A $2,500 a year annual refund amount is HUGE and probably way more than any of us will ever need. A $500 refund per purchase for each item is also a great buffer. The only way I could see myself using a $500 refund buffer is if I bought a $2,000 or higher TV which is probably never going to happen as that would be a 65″+ beast. Furniture and kitchen hardware are the other two categories where the Discover protection plan comes in handy given such categories are notorious for their high margins and variable prices.
Besides the sweet price protection program, Discover it also offers at least 1% cash back on all purchases and up to 5% cash back on revolving categories, no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, a free FICO credit score on your monthly statement which they’ve been advertising on TV a lot lately, 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months, and likely better customer service since they are a smaller company with all their reps based in the United States.
One of the main reasons why I don’t like to buy things is because I don’t want to risk feeling like a fool if the item goes on sale soon after. With the Discover it® card, it’s like having a permanent insurance policy against overpaying.
Anybody else have the Discover card who has successfully taken advantage of their price protection program? Any other credit cards that provide similar price match guarantees?