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If you have a big purchase on the horizon, maybe a new TV, camera, or refrigerator? The credit card earning the most points or miles may not be the best card to swipe at the checkout. It’s important to think past the points you'll earn, and look into other benefits a card may provide when you’re splashing out on new gear.
The majority of rewards cards provide a host of ancillary benefits, outside of points and miles, that can have a significant impact on which card you use for each purchase. Today, we’re shining a light on extended warranty policies offered by major credit providers and highlighting the best rewards cards to use when making a purchase.
How Do Extended Warranty Policies Work?
You may be familiar with extended warranties offered by a cashier or salesperson. An extended warranty typically adds between 12 and 24 months to the manufacturer's warranty.
For example, you purchase the new iPhone X with Apple's Limited Warranty of just 12 months, and the salesperson asks if you want to purchase AppleCare+, Apple's extended warranty plan which costs a colossal $199 for two years. However, if you swipe the right credit card when buying your iPhone X, you can receive similar extended warranty coverage to Apple’s pricey AppleCare+ without the $199 out of pocket expense.
The extended warranty coverage offered by your credit card mirrors the manufacturer’s warranty, and will only cover you for the same defects and faults listed in the product’s original warranty documentation.
So what's the process?
Just charge the full purchase price of the item to your credit card, and retain copies of the manufacturer’s warranty and merchant/credit card receipts. If there is a covered fault after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, your credit provider could pick up the bill for the item's repair or replacement, or for reimbursement of the purchase price.
Policies differ widely between credit card providers, and even between different versions of the same credit card (i.e. Platinum vs. Signature), so it’s crucial you read the T&C’s specific to your credit card to determine your level of coverage.
Credit Card Providers Offering Extended Warranty Protection
Mirroring the results for the best purchase protection policies, Citi claims the top spot, but not without some competition from Amex (only cards that feature an annual fee). Citi’s extended warranty policy provides 24 months on top of the manufacturer warranty, and will even extend past a customer purchased warranty by a further 24 months, up to a total 84 months (7 years!) from the date of purchase.
UPDATE: From January 1, 2020, Amex is reducing its coverage from 2 years on cards with an annual fee down to 1 year, and cutting the benefit entirely from no-annual-fee cards.
The policy from Citi also allows for a long initial warranty duration, providing extra warranty on items with a manufacturer warranty of up to five years. The example we’ve presented in the table is the guide to benefits for the Citi Premier® Card, but the same policy applies across most Citi cards including the premium Citi Prestige® Card. Due to Citi recently cutting benefits across its entire range of rewards cards, extended warranty cover is no longer offered on the Citi® Double Cash Card.
|Credit Provider||Card Specific or Universal Extended Warranty Cover||Max Claim Value||Duration of Original Warranty||Extra Time Warranty is Extended||Example of Policy|
|Citi||24 months extended warranty protection||$10,000 per item, no annual cap||5 years or less||24 months, extending warranty to a maximum 84 months from date of purchase (7 years)||ThankYou Premier Guide to Benefits|
|American Express||Up to 12 months extended warranty protection - Applies only to Amex cards charging an annual fee.||$10,000 per item, $50,000 per calendar year||5 years or less||Match the length of a manufacturer’s warranty of fewer than 1 year. For a warranty of 1-5 years warranty is extended 1 year.||American Express Extended Warranty Benefits|
|Chase||12 month extended warranty protection||$10,000 per item, $50,000 per account||3 years or less||12 months||Sapphire Reserve Guide to Benefits|
|U.S. Bank||12 month extended warranty protection||$10,000 per item, $50,000 per cardholder||3 years or less||12 months||U.S. Bank Extended Warranty Policy|
|Capital One||12 month extended warranty protection||$10,000 per item, $50,000 per cardholder||Between 1 and 3 years depending on the card you hold - check your guide to benefits for details||12 months||Capital One Visa and Mastercard Benefits|
The coverage from American Express is another great option if you don’t carry a Citi card in your wallet. Purchasing items on cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card allow for the same five-year initial warranty duration. Amex also enables you to purchase extended warranty packages from the manufacturer or retailer, and will still add the additional 12 months coverage, provided the manufacturer warranty and the purchased warranty combined do not exceed five years.
Scanning the Amex policies, they do not explicitly exclude general wear and tear, which should be covered if you purchase with your Amex card (Citi excludes explicitly wear and tear). The policy matched up across every Amex card we researched, but check your card T&C’s before purchasing to ensure your card offers the same protection.
If you hold a Visa from Chase or U.S. Bank, the extended warranty covers items with a manufacturer warranty of three years or less, and extends coverage by up to 12 months.
Discover recently announced that extended warranty cover will be removed as a benefit of its cards from February 28, 2018, along with other ancillary benefits, which is why it didn’t make the list.
What Purchases Are Excluded from Extended Warranty Coverage?
The list of exclusions differs for each provider, but common exclusions include:
- Animals, plants, perishables, and consumables
- Used, antiques, collectibles or pre-owned items
- Boats, cars, aircraft, or any other motorized vehicles (motorbike, truck, tractor, etc.)
- Computer software
- Medical equipment
- Land, buildings, or housing
- Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use
- Exclusions listed in the original manufacturer warranty
- Items without a manufacturer’s warranty
While coverage is similar between providers, each publishes a list of exclusions which you should consult before making a purchase. It’s essential to read the guide to benefits for your specific credit card to confirm if it offers extended warranty coverage, and what items it covers. If you’re unfamiliar with your card benefits, we’ve compiled a handy list of guides to benefits from major credit providers.
How to File a Claim
To make an extended warranty claim, you need to keep the credit card receipt, shop receipt, original manufacturer warranty, and the details of any customer purchased extended warranty policy, plus you’ll be asked to provide the original credit card statement recording the purchase. To initiate a claim, contact the relevant phone number below, or visit the listed website for your provider.
- Citi – Go to https://www.cardbenefits.citi.com/ or call 1-866-918-4670 for instructions on how to submit a Citi Purchase Protection claim.
- American Express – Go to https://www295.americanexpress.com/onlineclaim/, call 1-800-225-3750, or mail claim details into – Extended Warranty, PO Box 981553, El Paso TX 79998-9920.
- Barclaycard – Visit MyCardBenefits.com or call 1-800-Mastercard to open a
- Chase – Call the Benefit Administrator at 1-888-675-1461 for information or to file a claim.
- U.S. Bank – Call the Benefit Administrator at 1-800-551-8472 for information or to file a claim.
- Capital One – Call the Benefit Administrator at 1-800-397-9010 for information or to file a claim.
With extended warranty policies covering up to $10,000 per claim, the value derived from this benefit could comfortably eclipse the value of rewards earned over the time you hold the card, something to factor in before making a purchase. Citi again provides the standout policy for extended warranty coverage, offering 24 months extra protection on top of the combined manufacturer and purchased warranties of five years or less, and no cap on annual claims. Delivering up to 7 years warranty in total for items purchased with your Citi card. Amex also offers a top policy, which covers wear and tear in addition to the typical cover associated with rewards cards.
In thinking about how to maximize a policy, you could, in theory, purchase a short extended warranty and then piggyback the additional warranty on a credit card. Adding a year or two of warranty direct from a retailer could be relatively inexpensive, and when those more expensive 3 or 4-year policies would be desired, you could skip them and leverage the coverage on your credit card.
If you’ve used the extended warranty protection on your credit card, we’d love to hear from you. Share your experience below in the comments.
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