Many credit cards offer extended warranty programs. I have never used them and I suspect most consumers do not use them out of ignorance and laziness. Let’s discuss how these programs work, what actions we need to take as intelligent consumers to maximize them, and real life experiences in using them.
A few points to start:
Which credit cards offer the best extended warranties?
Do you need to submit any paperwork to the CC company in advance of using the warranty to activate it, perhaps sending in a copy of the paper receipt within 90 days of purchase?
Are there any exclusions to be aware of?
Real life experiences filing claims that were denied or approved - what was required to submit for the claim form and what was the timeline in receiving compensation? Was compensation in the form of paying to repair the item or replace it and was the payment prorated?
All Citi cards extend the manufacturer’s warranty by 24 months, regardless of the original warranty. They are the best in this regard. I believe the limit is $10K per item, but this may be specific to the card product or the mastercard or visa service level.
Most others either extend or double the manufacturer’s warranty by up to 1 year on warranties of 3 years or less.
I used AMEX HHonors card when I bought my iPhone. The AMEX warranty doubled the 1 year from Apple. With about 6 months left in the AMEX extended warranty the earpiece speaker died. I called AMEX and they said just take to Apple to get fixed and email/fax in the paperwork. I sent in receipt for $105 and copy of receipt and Apple warranty and had a check within a few weeks for full amount. Extremely simple and easy and no hoops to jump through.
Used Amex Blue (not Preferred, the free one) when I bought a glass patio table. Wind picked it up and smashed it not a week after I bought it.
It was a little more hassle than I expected from Amex, but nothing too onerous. I had to fill out a form, and then get an estimate for glass repair showing that the cost of the repair far exceeded the (el cheapo) table I had bought.
After that, a few pictures and a couple phone calls, I received my check for a couple hundred bucks. And yes, it was a check and not a credit for some reason.
Bought a Nexus 7 from Staples with a Amex Blue Cash Everyday with an Amex Offer.
Tablet died after 15 months and the manufacturer (ASUS) didn’t want to to attempt fix it. (Google was no help after I told them I bought from Staples) Submitted a claim and received a credit for the full purchase price after 10 days, no additional paperwork required.
On a serious note: AMEX is fantastic! A power surge in Cancun killed my trusty laptop. One phone call to AMEX and I had a statement credit for the whole price of the computer. They didn’t even ask me to send it in.
I’m seeing a lot of anecdotal experience without specifics.
Do some cards have better extended warranty than others? If so, which? How do I find out what the terms are, if I opened the account a while ago and have long since discarded the paperwork that came with it?
Do business cards offer the same extended warranty or do they generally not offer any?
Does anyone make a purchase on a card with reduced rewards in order to benefit from the extended warranty?
I also used the service for an iPhone a couple years ago. I filed a claim through Visa Signature which extends the manufacturer warranty by a year.
2013: Bought refurbished iPhone
2014: Issue with power button. Apple replaced phone under warranty (which I got extended to my purchase date since it was a refurb)
2015: Replacement phone experiences charging issue. I bring it to an Apple store and get a written quote for the “solution” (i.e. replacing the phone) and uploaded the quote to Visa. Got a check in a couple weeks. They never even asked for the phone back.
Yes, absolutely. Just Google the card name and it should come up. Citi’s is the longest with them adding 2 years. Most other Visa and AMEX cards double up to a year? I think AMEX only covers new goods while Visa will work with refurbished stuff. Don’t quote me on any of this.
Yes, generally they do.
Absolutely. I bought $2,500 in appliances on a Citi double cash card rather than buying discounted gift cards specifically for the extra warranty. I’m wagering something will break and they’ll write it off as a total loss sometime during the next three years.
When just about every card issuer offered double manufacturer warranty up to a year, I did not.
But now I look at using Citi cards in terms of value proposition vs. purchasing a year of extended warranty from Squaretrade. If the cashback I potentially lose is less than what it’d cost to buy one additional year of warranty from Squaretrade (guestimate), then I use that card.
To give a concrete example, Discover offers 5% cashback on amazon purchases. Citi Double Cash only offers 2% cashback but has an extra year of extended warranty. So is the extra year of extended warranty worth 3% of the item’s price?
Usually it is. Extended warranty from Squaretrade costs 5-10% of the item’s cost per year of protection. That varies depending on the nature of the product but that makes the extra warranty worth the cashback loss in most cases.
The major caveat is that this only works if you’re meticulous about keeping good records of all purchases. We keep digital copies of receipts, invoices, etc. with backups for virtually every little item. I used extended warranty protection on a $15 network adapter earlier this year. My threshold is $10. Under that, the hassle of submitting a claim does not pass my “is this activity paying me enough for my time?” test.
May be of interest to people - just recently bought a coffee maker for $45 - and accidentally broke the carafe within the 1st day. I thought i bought it with my bofa travel reward card - called them, and they do not provide accidental coverage if you broke it (they do cover certain other type like damage due to electrical surge etc etc). So i thought i was out of luck. Then reviewing my Amazon receipt - i noticed that i mixed up my cards and accidentally charged it to Chase Reserve card. So back to phone and called them, and they do cover it - and told me to submit it through online.
Wasn’t sure what they’ll cover - as the carafe could be replace for like $20 or so … and entire unit is $45. Submitted my doc - basically original receipt, and photo of broke carafe - thought it’ll take few weeks. To my surprise - only after maybe 5 business days, status says case closed and they mailed me the check for full amount!!
Could be because Chase Reserve is premium card - they do it promptly and don’t ask for too many questions. They didn’t even ask if I have a repair estimate or not (probably due to only $45).