If you’re like most people striving for financial independence, you probably want to take advantage of every offer and angle you can in order to speed up the time to your financial independence date. If you are responsible with your credit cards and pay your balance in full each month, a nice and simple cash back credit card is probably an attractive way to get some of your purchase prices back.
For those of you interested in just having one simple cash back credit card with a high cash return and no annual fee, I recommend the Citi Double Cash card. According to the Points Guy, the Citi Double cash card:
earns 2% cash back on each and every purchase — 1% when you make the charge and another 1% when you pay it off. No bonus categories, no rotating quarters, no caps. Nothing but 2% cash back all the time.
Couple the Citi Double Cash card with Citi price rewind for extra cash back
As if 2% cash back on all purchases wasn’t good enough, Citicards offers a program, called Citi Price Rewind, that is easy to use and provides price protection on purchases made with your Citi Cards. Therefore, it can safely be said that 2% cash back is the floor, or the minimum cash back you can earn with this everyday card.
If you couple your Citi Double cash card with the Citi Price rewind program, you can regularly be earning over 2% on all your purchases.
What is Citi price rewind?
According to the Citi price rewind website:
Citi Price Rewind is a complimentary benefit that searches at hundreds of online merchants for a lower price on the registered items you pay for at least in part with your Citi Card. If the same item is found online at a lower price within 60 calendar days of your purchase, you may receive the difference in price.
So for example, let’s say you want to purchase some toys or gifts, but don’t want to wait until the hectic shopping day of Black Friday. You could simply purchase your gifts in mid-November, enter and scan your receipts into Citi’s price rewind database, and ca ching, ca ching, any lower price found, online, during black Friday will be refunded to you, via the price rewind program.
Why I like Citi price rewind and benefits I experienced
The beauty of the Citi price rewind program, vs. other price match programs offered by other credit card companies, is that Citi has an automated online system where you can scan everything online instead of filling out a paper form and mailing it in. Honestly, I would have never taken advantage of this benefit if I had to jump through that many hoops in order to get a price refund, which isn’t always guaranteed.
Another benefit is that, when you submit a receipt from any purchase, you can still get a refund if THAT merchant offers a lower price within 60 days. For example, we would sometimes buy items on walmart.com, scan the receipts into Citi Price rewind, and still get a refund of part of the purchase price, due to a lower price advertised by walmart.com at a later date. How cool is that?
An example of how Citi price rewind works
- Access the Citi price rewind portal. In the upper right hand corner of the screen, you will see a prompt to log in to your Citi card account.
2. From the main screen, type in the name of the item that you want a price rewind search performed on. In the main box shown below, type in the details of the item you purchased. It has been my experience that it’s better to type in more details, than fewer, in order to filter your search results. In this example, we are going to search for a boogie board LCD writer. We are going to type in “boogie board pink lcd” in an attempt to find the exact model we purchased.
3. Hit enter, and you will see a screen that brings up a couple of different options to choose from. Usually, these are makes and models and different colors of the same product. Choose the product that most closely resembles your purchase item. For my search, the second item listed below looks like an identical match of the item we had purchased. Therefore, I am going to click on the green “Track this item” button.
4. After having found the item and clicked on the green button, we now head over to the entry screen. Here, we need to enter in three different pieces of information; the purchase price, date purchased, and the store it was purchased at. On the lower left hand side of this screen, we will need to select whether we want our potential refund as a check, mailed to your address, or a statement credit. For myself, I always choose the statement credit as I find that less hassle than getting a check in the US snail mail that I have to deposit.
5. In the lower right hand side of the screen shot above, you will need to click on the “upload receipt” in order to provide proof that you purchased the item you are requesting a refund for. At this point in time, I should mention that it is a requirement that you must use your Citi card, to purchase items and not a different brand credit card, in order to qualify for a refund on any item. If you have a scanner with your printer at home, you can scan your receipt that way (or at work via a copy/scanner machine). However, when I don’t have those available, I use the “Iscanner app” on my Iphone. You will need to save this receipt, first, on a PC where it can be easily uploaded. The picture below is the scanned receipt of the example price rewind refund request.
6. After you submit the receipt., the next step is to wait. For the next 60 days after purchase, let the Citi Price rewind program do its magic and search, online, for lower prices for you. You don’t need to do anything at this point other than go on your regular daily business. After the waiting period is over, you can log into your account and see the price tracking history of your purchase. In the case of the Boogie board, Citi tracked a price for this item that was only $13.99, vs. our original purchase price of $29.99.
7. The result of this price rewind was a whopping refund of $16.00, or 53% of the original price we paid. Citi even lists the website where the lowest price was found, which in this case was Jet.com. The chances of my buying this item on Jet.com were negative, so I am very glad they scan the internet for lower prices so I didn’t have to. At this point, within a week or two, you will see the item credited to your account. The process is automatic, and you need not claim or request this credit.
Items not eligible for Citi price rewind
It’s important to note that certain items, such as consumables, aren’t eligible for a price rewind refund. The Citi price rewind portal lists the following items as not eligible for the program:
- Boats, cars, aircraft, or any other motorized land, air or water vehicles and their original equipment. Tires are eligible.
- Products that can spoil or be consumed, such as food, fuel, or medications.
- Jewelry including loose gems, precious stones, metals and pearls. Watches are eligible.
- Tickets of any kind (e.g., for airlines, sporting events, concerts or lottery).
- collectible items; including but not limited to, antiques, coins, art, sports memorabilia or stamps.
- Items purchased for resale use.
- Plants or animals, including stuffed or mounted animals or fish.
- Advice or services for a purchased item, such as product installation, labor, maintenance or repair.
What items work well with Citi price rewind
From my experience, toys and gifts are the number one items where we received the biggest price refunds. We have also received price refunds on such diverse items such as weight scales, a Dyson vacuum cleaner, and Children’s stereo headphones. My advice with this program is, when in doubt, try it out.
Walmart seems to be a sweet spot for the price rewind program. I suspect part of the reason is that most items purchased in walmart stores are also listed on walmart.com. Walmart.com happens to be one of the many common websites that the price rewind program scans for lower prices. I have even purchased clothing from walmart that found a lower price from walmart.com.
What items haven’t worked for me
There are certain items I submitted that did not receive a price rewind refund, these include:
- make up
- sun block
- Toro leaf blower
I suspect some of the items listed above fell into the ineligible category of “consumables” and were a learning mistake.
Other Citi cards that are eligible to participate in Citi price rewind include:
- Citi AA Advantage cards
- Citi Premier
- Citi Prestige Card
- Expedia Card from Citi
Cards such as the AA Advantage and Citi Premier card are great for travel hacking.
By using your Citi Double Cash card, combined with the user-friendly Citi Price rewind program, you can average more than 2%, perhaps 2-3% per month, cash back on all your purchases. In addition to price protection, the price rewind program provides many additional advantages such as; not having to wait for sales dates to purchase an item around the holidays, not having to find the lowest price store for each item purchased and ability to purchase items from higher priced stores for convenience.
I recommend any user of any Citi credit card take advantage of the price rewind program.
What are some ways you save additional funds? Have you ever used Citi Price rewind? What was your experience? Do you use cash back or credit card portals for online purchases?