Money at 30: Paribus Review (2019) Paribus Review: What Is It and Is It Worth Signing Up For?

Money at 30: Paribus Review (2019)

Have you ever pulled the trigger on a purchase only to watch the price fall mere days later? That’s the frustration Paribus aims to alleviate and eliminate. The Capital One-owned service helps consumers claim refunds on their purchases when items drop in price or their packages arrive after their promised date.

So does Paribus live up to the hype? Let’s take a look at what the service is, how it works, and my experience trying it out.

Paribus app screenshotWhat is Paribus and How Does it Work?

Signing up and getting started

The process of opening your Paribus account is probably a bit different from what you’re likely used to. Instead of getting the options to create a username and password, you’ll have to sign-up using your e-mail account. More specifically, you’ll need to have either a Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft account. Lest you think you can sneak by this step by clicking the “Use another email provider” button below, doing so will merely display a message reading (in part), “In order to optimize security for our users going forward, Paribus only allows sign ups with Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft email accounts.”

So, assuming you have one of the three available options, the next step will be to log into your account and grant Paribus permission to access to your e-mail. Admittedly this can be a fairly intimidating proposition — especially since Gmail states that you’ll be allowing Paribus the ability to “Read, compose, send, and permanently delete all your email from Gmail.” On the one hand, Paribus notes that they use a tokenized log in flow, meaning that your credentials aren’t actually stored. But, on the other hand, one can’t help but think of Capital One’s recent data hack when considering whether to grant them such access.

In any case, once you’ve completed the main sign-up process, Paribus will begin scanning your e-mails for purchase receipts. As this happens, you’ll see past items begin popping up in your Paribus dashboard and may even get alerts about any eligible refunds or compensation you can file for. Meanwhile, if you want to allow Paribus to monitor your Amazon purchases to verify that your shipments arrive on time, you’ll need to log in to your Amazon account via Paribus as well.

What Paribus does

Now that you’ve allowed Paribus to comb through your e-mails and Amazon purchases, what exactly does the service do? The short version is that looks for purchases you’ve made at select retailers, assesses whether a price drop occured after your purchase, and helps you file for a refund if you’re eligible for one. Additionally the app will compare any promised shipment dates to their actual arrival to see if you might be compensated for late deliveries. Lastly you can also see if an item is still able to be returned according to the retailers policies.

Currently some of the retailers Paribus’s service works with include:

  • Best Buy
  • Macy’s
  • Old Navy
  • Target
  • Costco
  • Wayfair
  • Kohl’s
  • and more

It’s important to note that each of these retailers has their own rules and restriction, which you can get more info on via Paribus’s guide. For example, Macy’s will price adjust for price drops or missed coupons within 10 days of your order, while Sears will price adjust for price drops within 30 days of your order — but, quite specifically, no adjustments are given between Thanksgiving Day and the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. Plus, while Paribus will be able to file for price adjustments on your behalf withfor some retailers, other times the service will merely alert you to a drop and tell you how to file for a refund (be it by calling, online chat, or other means).

Once upon a time, Amazon was among those that offered price protections on some of its item. Unforuntately those days have passed. Thus, Paribus shifted to alerting Amazon buyers about late shipments and trying to get them refunds on associated shipping costs. That’s still what the service offers, although now you’ll need to copy and paste their script into an online chat with Amazon. If you’re curious, this script reads, “My order #XXXX arrived later than promised. Could you please fix the issue through your shipping promise? Thank you very much.”

The Paribus mobile app

In addition to their desktop site, Paribus also offers a mobile app. However it’s fairly limited in its functionality, mostly just showing past purchases and whether they arrive one time/offer price protection. The only other tab is Settings, where you can view linked accounts, adjust notification preferences, and scroll through FAQs.

Personally, I prefer the desktop experience — but I suppose this mobile version could come in handy to some users.

My Experience with Paribus

To be completely honest, this section should really be called “My Experience with Paribus (or lack thereof).” Despite signing up for the service nearly a year ago, I’ve never been able to use it to file for a refund. That’s mostly because I’ve only purchased from one non-Amazon retailer they offer tracking for. Still, I have had the chance to explore some functions of the site.

One thing I should note is that my first efforts to add my Amazon account to Paribus didn’t go as planned. After each attempt, it would be pending for some time, only to eventually change to “Try Again” or “Wrong Credentials” (even though I confirmed everything was correct). To their credit, after I dropped an email to Paribus, the issue was quickly fixed. Since then the Amazon functionality has worked just fine — it’s just that all of my deliveries have been on time.

Something else I wanted to mention is that, when logging into Paribus, is seems that Capital One has been pushing another one of their acquired services: WikiBuy. I’ve heard about this browser extension thanks to their incessant YouTube ads but wasn’t aware it was owned by Capital One until recently. In any case, the connection made me interested in finally giving the plug a try. That’s because the ad for WikiBuy on Paribus is actually kind of clever, showing that there’s more to unlock by joining the sister service:

Don't Overpay Again

Going back to Paribus itself, I will give them props for the design of the site. Typically past purchases are accompanied by images, making it easy to scroll through and find the item you’re looking for. Therefore I could definitely see the service holding value for those who do shop at multiple retailers and want to see their purchases in one place.

Paribus logo

Final Thoughts on Paribus

From what I can tell, the idea behind Paribus is solid. However this seems like a case where forces beyond the company’s control have negatively impacted their service. As a result, I have yet to fully put Paribus to the test despite signing up for it nearly a year ago. Therefore it seems like a lot of access you’re granting for not much payoff.

At the same time I acknowledge that part of the problem is on my end, seeing as I just don’t shop at many of the available online retailers all that often. This is seemingly confirmed by the many positive reviews I’ve read of the service over the years. Then again, that “over the years” part may be key as the loss of Amazon price protection seems to have really stung the service.

Overall I have nothing against Paribus, can see the value it offers others,  and honestly wish I could put it to use. Instead, I think I’ll be trying their sister app Wikibuy and seeing how that works out for me — so stay tuned for that review down the road.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Money@30's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

snowed in house

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Surviving Our First Winter

One major difference between Springfield, Missouri and my previous city of residence (Glendale, California) is that, here, we have these things called "seasons." Furthermore, unlike a California winter where you might have to put on a sweater when it dips into the 40s, we do see snow, ice, and occasional sub-zero temperatures here in the Midwest. In turn, when we bought our home in whirlwind fashion, I knew we'd immediately...
loading luggage

American Airlines Announces Checked Baggage Fee Hikes

A major domestic airline recently announced increased baggage fees for customers. About AA's new baggage policies: American Airlines is increasing its checked bag fees in a few ways. Now, customers on domestic flights (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rice, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) will need to pay $35 for their first checked bag when booked online or $40 if purchased at the airport. A second checked bag for these flights...
relaxing at a pool watching a streaming app

How to Maximize All of the American Express Platinum Card Credits

Whenever I tell people that I pay $695 a year for a credit card, I get kind of a weird look. Said looks grows even stranger when I then explain how I even save/make money with that same card. The product in question is the American Express Platinum card, which I've held since 2019. The truth is that, despite that fee, the numerous credits and perks that the card offers...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...
H-E-B and Central Market  credit cards

Imprint Launches Credit Cards from H-E-B and Central Market 

The FinTech Imprint is partnering with the popular Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B for a pair of new rewards credit cards. This week saw the launch of the H-E-B Visa Signature Credit Card as well as the Central Market Visa Signature Credit Card. With these two (nearly identical) options, customers will be able to earn rewards on groceries and beyond. First, both versions of the card earn up to 5% back on select...
Summer app

Student Loan Benefit FinTech Summer Raises $6 Million

For years, student debt has been one of the most talked about financial topics. What's more, while the debt itself has become a major part of many Americans' lives, discussion of student loans has become political due to efforts to forgive certain loan repayments. However, while we wait for resolution on that front, a FinTech that brings student debt benefit solutions to employers and consumers has raised a new round...
Choice Privileges Select Card

Choice Hotels, Wells Fargo Debut Choice Privileges Select Card

With spring well underway and the summer travel season now just around the corner, Choice Hotels and Wells Fargo have unveiled their latest co-branded credit card offering. Today, the two companies announced the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard. Carrying an annual fee of $95, this card will serve as the premium option in the hotel brand's new lineup. Looking at the Choice Privileges Select, it offers a mix of rewards categories....
Melissa Urban holding a Ness card

Health and Wellness Rewards Card Ness Partners with Whole30

In recent years, several unique rewards cards have come to market. These include offerings from FinTech startups as well as brands looking to do something special for their loyal fans. On that note, a recently-announced rewards credit card offering is now working with a popular brand to introduce new benefits for customers. This week, the Ness Card (which is issued by The Bank of Missouri) unveiled a new partnership with...