We inherently associate credit cards with debt, but you might be surprised to know that they’re actually pretty great for saving money, too. Yes, they’re mainly used for making large purchases and building credit. However, credit cards also come with a bunch of benefits that aren’t always about spending.
The problem? These benefits are usually hidden in the fine print of agreements. Unless you’re combing through the card’s documentation like a hawk, you’ll need a lot of luck finding anything.
Among these features is something called “price protection,” which helps you save money by rebating certain credit card purchases.
If you’re a vigilant customer like most other shoppers online, the next few sentences will sound familiar. You know that pair of shoes you’ve been wanting for so long? Good news, Amazon finally has them in stock. It’s a tad bit pricey. However, you then notice it listed at a much lower price point.
This means you’ll want to hold out and decide to wait a few days for the price to go down.
That “waiting” game involves a number of things. First, you have to keep a list of every retail store that sells the item you want to purchase. Not only that, but you must track every single item for price drops in all those stores, too.
You see where this is going?
This is a grueling and complicated process. Even if you do end up getting the best deal, you will have already wasted so much of your precious time cross-checking deals.
Here’s How Earny Lets You Save Money
This is where Earny comes in.
It’s an app that automates the entire process we mentioned. This allows you to buy an item and never have to think twice about a sudden price drop or missing out on the best deal.
Earny works by automatically looking at the things you’ve purchased using your credit card. Then it determines whether a particular item costs less from another merchant. If so, you’ll be rewarded the price difference.
The refund comes in the form of credit, check, or a bank deposit.
It’s as simple as that.
Earny does the chore of constantly monitoring retailers for the best price. Perhaps you just bought the latest Samsung phone using your credit card. A few days later, you might find out the price has suddenly dropped. Earny will automatically take that price drop into account and refund you for overpaying.
This essentially makes Earny a “free money back” service — saving by doing nothing at all.
If you’re concerned about security, fear not. Earny’s Chief Executive Officer Oded Vakrat wanted to put people at ease, as he claimed:
We do not have access to your personal information. We only have access to receipts.
Basically, Earny looks at Amazon receipts inside your inbox then immediately begins tracking the price.
Earny works with a bunch of online retailers, not just Amazon.
Among them are Best Buy, Bloomingdale’s, Costco, the Gap Group (including Gap), Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, JCrew, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Newegg, Nike, Nordstrom, Overstock, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot.
The company says it’s “always expanding” the list of retailers covered by price protection. Customers can also recommend stores Earny could add next.
Earny Supports These Credit Cards
Earny works with most major credit card issuers. This includes all Citibank cards but only select Mastercard cards from Capital One, U.S. Bank, Barclays, Bank of America, and First Premier Bank.
Earny says customers who use their price protected credit cards when they shop, provided they’ve linked their cards in the Earny app, will be able to benefit from price protection right away.
You can also visit this page to see a list of cards that, when paired with Earny, will help you maximize refunds.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides.
The main thing is that Earny doesn’t do all this money-saving for free. For each refund, the company takes a 25% cut. That might seem a bit steep, sure, but you’ll still end up with money you wouldn’t have acquired anyway.
Keep in mind that this does not cost you anything until you save money, then it takes a cut from the top. It’s also worth noting that price protection doesn’t last forever.
“The average price protection time is 90 days,” according to Dori Yona, co-founder of Earny. It can be far less at individual stores, though, usually anything between 7 and 14 days. “If anyone else sells it cheaper in the U.S. during that time, you are owed the money,” she says.
You might think that this window is a bit too small. However, you must also consider that price protection is something cards have never been able to get customers to use.
This is due in no small part to a simple lack of awareness about the feature.
Earny, however, puts price protection front and center. Plus, if more people begin using it, we have no doubt it’s going to be the future of smart and savvy online shopping.
The Future Of Online Shopping
Just imagine, there’s no need to wait for Wednesday to shop at Wal-Mart and Best Buy, as the best day for buying items from both stores. No need to wait until Sunday to shop at Target, when prices are usually better. Nor will you need to wait until Saturday for the Banana Republic or Wednesday for Gap.
These random days when they usually have the best deals available are no longer going to be an issue with Earny around. You’ll get the best deals throughout a given month and week.
What’s amazing is they don’t even have to come from the same store. If the item shows up with a better price on a different outlet, Earny will still refund you the price difference.
Vakrat and Yona’s future initiatives for Earny include making it the ultimate personal assistant for everyone’s shopping needs. They told TechDayHQ:
We are building the ultimate consumer advocate personal assistant. Our goal to is to protect every customer’s purchases and give consumers the confidence to shop knowing they will never overpay for an item again.
To try it out for yourself, you can do so for 100% free. It costs nothing to download and use, and we’ve already informed you about how they profit. This means that in order for them to make any money, you first have to make some.
That is a good business model if you’re asking us!
[Photo Credits: Earny, Inc.]