Price adjustment (retail)

Price adjustments, also called price protection, is a retail practice in the USA in which customers can obtain a partial refund of the purchase price of an item if they can show it on sale at a lower price within a fixed time frame. In such circumstances, retailers will do a “price adjustment,” refunding the difference between the price the customer paid and the price now available. For example, if a customer buys a TV from for $300, and it drops in price by $100, they can go back to the retailer to ask for a price adjustment and get the difference returned to them, often in cash. Retailers with price adjustment policies include Macy's, Gap, and Staples.

Many credit card companies now also offer price protection benefits as a standard benefit. There are typically limited to the amount of benefit that can be claimed and the period in which the claim must be made. However, there are no restrictions on retailers, making this an attractive option. Chase, Barclaycard, Discover, and Citi all offer a variety of cards that offer this benefit.[1]

Price adjustments are not the same as return policies. With price adjustments, retailers will refund a customer the difference in cost even if the item has already been used. Returns, on the other hand, usually need to be in an unused condition. Some retailers have different policies for in-store purchase and online purchases. Many retailers also exclude certain items from price adjustments, price guarantees or price matching (like items that were on sale to begin with).

Price adjustments are also slightly different from price matching policies. Price matching is when a retailer will give you a refund of the difference between their higher price of a good and a competing retailers lower price for the same good. Price adjustments only compare different prices within the same retailer over time.


  1. "The Complete Guide to Credit Card Insurance". 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
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