Nov. 26, 2012 -- intro:
Shoppers on the hunt for Cyber Monday deals would be wise to make sure they are maximizing credit card rewards, cash-back offers and price-protection programs.
With Cyber Monday sales predicted to reach $2 billion, the right credit card can protect you against buyer's remorse, product damage or theft, says Anisha Sekar, vice president of credit and debit products at financial products comparison site Nerd Wallet, based in San Francisco.
The following are some of the credit card plans and rewards to help you get the most out of Cyber Monday deals and holiday shopping, with some guidance from Nerd Wallet. As savvy shoppers might know, be sure to read the fine print to see whether there are exclusions and limitations on specific purchases.
quicklist:title: Citi Price Rewind media: 17812435 text:
Citi announced a price-protection program called Price Rewind Nov 13.
Under the program, if a product you purchased online or in-store with your Citi card drops more than $25 in the next 30 days, the difference can be refunded to your account. Citi says it searches "hundreds" of retailers' sites.
On the Price Rewind website, card members can see the products Citi is monitoring. Customers will receive an email notifying them they qualify to request a refund and can do so by fax, mail or online. Once the customer files an eligible claim, a check with the price difference will be sent to the Citi card member.
The program will refund up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 annually. Sekar calls the program a "great deal," but she points out it has exclusions, such as airline tickets or jewelry.
quicklist:title: Discover Moretext:
This quarter, Discover More gives 5 percent cash back on department stores and online shopping on up to $1,500 spent. Sekar said Discover has the best credit cards for buyer's remorse with "the most comprehensive return protection, insuring you up to $500 per item if the merchant doesn't take it back."
In addition, the return period is 90 days, 50 percent longer than MasterCard's.
quicklist:title: American Express Blue Cash Preferredtext:
American Express Blue Cash Preferred credit card offers 3 percent back on department spending, online and in-store.
Sekar says that overall, American Express and Discover credit cards offer the best protection for computer software. Software is eligible for American Express' purchase protection and warranty extension and Discover's return protection, unlike Visa or MasterCard.
But Sekar points out that Amex does not offer return protection on books.
quicklist:title: Chase Freedom text:
Until Dec. 31, Chase Freedom gives 5 percent cash back on purchases at hotels, airlines (purchased directly and not on a third-party travel site), Best Buy and Kohl's on up to $1,500 spent.
quicklist:title: Perk Street Debit Card text:
The Perk Street MasterCard debit card offers 2 percent back on online purchases at Target.com, Amazon.com, iTunes, Walmart.com and BestBuy.com on up to $2,500 spent each calendar year. For in-store purchases at Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Apple, a balance of $5,000 is required.