Apps that help find refunds after a purchase

ABC News' Becky Worley shares apps that save money after you’ve made purchases.

ByABC News
May 26, 2017, 8:44 AM

— -- Don’t you hate it when you buy something and then you find out a few weeks later it’s been discounted? We all hate feeling like we overpaid.

The good news is there are two apps that can help you with that: Earny and Paribus.

Earny: Good for those with Chase and Citi credit cards

Many credit cards offer price protection: if the price of the item you purchased goes down within 90 days of when you bought it, the credit card company will refund you the difference. This sounds great in theory, but who has the time to crosscheck current prices against their credit card statements?

That’s where Earny comes in. Once you download the app, you give it permission to access your credit card account online. It combs through all your purchases for 90 days. If it notes a discrepancy between what you paid and current pricing, Earny does the heavy lifting of submitting a request for a refund from the credit card company.

Since I’ve had the app installed it has acquired $84 in refunds for me from a book that went down in price by $4 and a board game I bought my kids that has been discounted $6.17.

Currently, Earny only covers Chase and Citibank credit cards and they charge a 25 percent fee for all refunds they secure.

Earny’s founder Oded Vakrat says, “The average Earny user receives more than $300 back per year on their purchases ... It usually takes two to five days to start seeing refunds from the moment you register to Earny. Some users see refunds within hours, since Earny can look as far back as 90 days to find those old purchase you may have overpaid on."

Paribus- Good for those that don’t have Chase or Citi cards or who pay for a lot of expedited shipping

Paribus accesses your purchase history through your email inbox. It looks through your messages to find purchase receipts. It also watches any price fluctuations and will submit a refund request on your behalf if it sees a drop, but it has a new feature that’s even more genius. It tracks shipping times so that if a package is delivered later than promised, Paribus submits a request for a refund. Paribus uses your inbox to access receipts so it’s not limited to any one credit card company, but they too charge a 25 percent fee on any refunds they claim for you.

Both of these apps are granted access to your personal information and credit cards. So I reached out to both Paribus and Earny to ask how they use user's data. Both companies say they do not share data with marketers.

"Paribus reviews the contents of email only from merchant accounts that customers choose to link to the service," Paribus said in a statement. "Paribus uses this information to identify savings opportunities for our customers only. We do not sell or use data for any other purpose."

Earny CEO Oded Vakrat said, "Earny doesn't access any data from credit card transactions. Instead, we get the necessary information to protect your purchases from emailed receipts. We do not share any personal information and it is not in our interest to do so. Our mission at Earny, is to protect consumers from overpaying and to get them money back when prices drop on items they've purchased. By doing so, we give consumers the confidence to shop knowing that they will always pay the best price. Our customers' trust in Earny is key!"