Posted by Chuck on January 23, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on January 23rd, 2019 | by Chuck

61

Credit Card Benefits: Extended Warranty Protection Review

Overview

Most credit cards offer a free Extended Warranty benefit. If your new laptop, phone, or refrigerator malfunctions, and you’re past the 90-day manufacturer warranty, the credit card might kick in where the manufacturer does not. People will often pay for a warranty extension when purchasing electronics and appliances, they probably don’t realize that such coverage comes free on many credit cards!

Many popular credit cards will give an extra one or two years of warranty protection, with up to $10,000 of coverage. The extended warranty benefit is offered by most banks including Amex, Chase, and Citi. Details will vary by issuer and card.

You don’t need to register the purchase for this benefit. When something goes wrong and needs repair or replacement, simply file a claim, send in all documentation requested, and the bank will either pay for a repair, send you a new one, or reimburse you for the original purchase price.

Credit card coverage only kicks in if there’s a manufacturer’s warranty to begin with. An item with no manufacturer’s warranty will get no warranty at all from the card issuers.

General Details

Here are some additional details which are typically true across all cards and issuers:

  • Max $10,000 per claim. There’s often a $50,000 cap per year or for the lifetime of the card account.
  • Coverage applies even if only part of the purchase was paid for with your card; however, coverage will not exceed the amount charged to the card (e.g. if you paid $50 with a gift card and the remaining $200 with a credit card, you’ll be covered up to $200, not the full $250).
  • Only applies to items purchased in USA and territories.
  • Sales tax is refunded; shipping, handling, or installation costs of the purchase will not be refunded.
  • Purchases paid for with points are eligible as well (Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Citi ThankYou points).
  • Must have itemized receipt of purchase and copy of original manufacturer’s warranty.

Common Exclusions

Here are some common exclusions from the benefit: animals, live plants, consumables/perishables like food, perfume, light bulbs, batteries, cars, boats, items purchased for resale or commercial use, services, cash equivalents like gift cards, tickets, books, magazines, jewelry, seasonal items, used items, medical equipment, and computer software.

These exclusions are just a sampling, and even these may vary by bank. For example, not all banks have the medical equipment exclusion. Normal wear and tear is almost always excluded, though Amex and Chase apparently don’t have that exclusion.

Refurbished Items

Used items are not covered, even when sold by the manufacturer, with a warranty. Manufacturer  refurbished items will probably be covered if they come with a manufacturer warranty.

Extended Service Contract

Where things start getting confusing is if you purchase an extended service contract either from the manufacturer itself or a third-party provider. Citi, Amex, and Visa signature are clear that their warranty benefit will simply begin after the purchased contract expires. Chase’s terms are a bit vague, but it sounds like you’ll lose out on the Chase warranty when buying any sort of contract (“this benefit is secondary to any service contract or Extended Warranty you have purchased or received”).

A similar question arises with someone who has homeowners insurance but prefers to file with the bank instead of their insurer: Citi is clear that the benefit is primary (everywhere with the exception of New York state); Chase also states clearly that you can file with them even if you have insurance (but not if you have any sort of service contract on the item itself); Amex is ambiguous on this issue.

What if the manufacturer offered no warranty at all? Amex and Visa Signature clearly will not cover such a scenario; Chase and Citi probably won’t cover this scenario either.

Visa Signature and Mastercard World seem to allow your store-purchased warranty to count and trigger the extended warranty benefit, while all the other banks seem to require a manufacturer’s warranty to trigger the benefit.

American Express

Amex Terms Link

All Amex credit and charge card have an Extended Warranty Protection benefit, personal card and small business cards alike, which doubles the manufacturers warranty up to 24-months.

Keep in mind the limitations of Amex’s warranty. (1) They’re only doubling the manufacturer’s warranty, it’s not always a full two year’s of extra coverage. Most manufacturer’s warranties are 90 days or 1 year, and Amex will only match that, not more. (2) They only double the manufacturer warranty (whether free or purchased), but not secondary/supplementary warranty purchased from an outside company.

Sample Coverage:

  • Manufacturer offers 90-day warranty – get an extra 90 days from Amex
  • Manufacturer offers 1-year warranty – get an extra year from Amex
  • Manufacturer offers 18 month warranty – get an extra 18 months from Amex
  • Manufacturer offers 2 year warranty – get an extra two years from Amex
  • Manufacturer offers 5-year warranty – get an extra two years from Amex
  • Manufacturer offers 6-year warranty – no benefit
  • Manufacturer offers 90 day warranty and you bought an extra year on a service plan from a third-party provider – get an extra 90 days of protection from Amex

[The Centurion/Black card gets 3 years of extended warranty, from what I understand.]

How to File a Claim

To file a claim, go to this link and click Enter Claims Center Now to file. Or call 1-800-225-3750 to file a claim with a human. File a claim within 30 days or as soon as reasonably possible.

Chase

Chase Terms Link

Most Chase cards come with one year extended warranty protection. This is better than Amex’s offering since Chase will always add a year onto the manufacturer’s warranty on all warranties of 3 years or less while Amex only matches warranties of less than two years.

  • Manufacturer offers 90-day warranty – get an extra year from Chase
  • Manufacturer offers 3-year warranty – get an extra year from Chase
  • Manufacturer offers 4-year warranty – no benefit

How to File a Claim

To file a claim, go to this link to file a claim. Or call 1-888-320-9961 to file a claim with a human. File a claim within 90 days.

Citi

Citi Terms Link

Most Citi cards come with 24 month extended warranty protection. Citi has by far the best Extended Warranty protection since they offer 24-months of extra protection regardless of how long the manufacturer’s warranty is.

Sample Coverage:

  • Manufacturer offers 90-day warranty – get an extra 2-years from Citi
  • Manufacturer offers 2-year warranty – get an extra 2-years from Citi
  • Manufacturer offers 5-year warranty – get an extra 2-years from Citi
  • Manufacturer offers 6-year warranty – get 1-year from Citi (coverage never goes past 84 months)
  • Manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty and you bought an extra 1-year service plan from a third-party provider – get an extra two years from Citi (year 3 and 4)

Here’s a nice graphic from Citi to explain it all:

How to File a Claim

To file a claim go to Citi Benefits Center or call 1-866-918-4670 to file a claim with a human. All requested documentation must be completed within 180 days.

Discover

Discover no longer offers this benefit as of February.

Mastercard Benefits

Mastercard terms

Mastercard has removed their Extended Warranty benefit.

Visa Signature

Visa Signature terms

Visa Signature cards (irrespective of issuing bank) offers a Extended Warranty benefit to double the manufacturer’s warranty up to 1 year. If the manufacturer’s warranty is more than 3 years, no extended warranty is offered.

A nice thing about the Visa Signature benefit is that they seem to count a store-purchased dealer warranty or assembler warranty as well. For example, if the manufacturer does not have any warranty and you purchase a 1-year store warranty, you’ll get the second year covered by Visa.

Sample Coverage:

  • Manufacturer offers 90-day warranty – get an extra 90 days from Visa Signature
  • Manufacturer offers 1-year warranty – get an extra 1-year from Visa Signature
  • Manufacturer offers 2-year warranty – get an extra 1-years from Visa Signature
  • Manufacturer offers 4-year warranty – no benefit
  • Manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty and you bought an extra 1-year service plan from a third-party provider – get an extra year from Visa Signature (year 3)

Basic Visa cards do not have any Extended Warranty benefit, unless the bank decides to offer it on their own.

How to File a Claim

To file a claim, go to the dedicated website or call 1-800-551-8472. File a claim within 60 days. Many individual banks may have alternative methods

Other Banks

Bank of America

Bank of America extended warranty runs with standard Visa and Mastercard benefits with 1 year additional assuming a manufacturer warranty of 3 years or less. As noted, these depend on the card, and some cards may not have the benefit at all.

Barclay’s

Barclay’s extended warranty runs with standard Visa and Mastercard benefits with 1 year additional assuming a manufacturer warranty of 3 years or less. As noted, these depend on the card, and some cards may not have the benefit at all.

Capital One

Capital One extended warranty runs with standard Visa and Mastercard benefits with 1 year additional assuming a manufacturer warranty of 3 years or less. As noted, these depend on the card, and some cards may not have the benefit at all.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank extended warranty runs with standard Visa and Mastercard benefits with 1 year additional assuming a manufacturer warranty of 3 years or less. As noted, these depend on the card, and some cards may not have the benefit at all.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo extended warranty runs with standard Visa and Mastercard benefits with 1 year additional assuming a manufacturer warranty of 3 years or less. As noted, these depend on the card, and some cards may not have the benefit at all.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it boils down to the following five options: Amex, Citi, Chase, and Visa Signature.

Citi is the clear winner for best the Extended Warranty benefit since they’ll always give you an extra 2 years, even on a 90-day or 1-year manufacturer warranty. While Amex recently enhanced their benefit to two years, it only helps on a 2-year warranty, not on a one-year warranty (though it might help for Apple products with AppleCare).

For your typical 90-day or 1-year warranty offering, you’ll do best with Citi. If the product comes with a 2-year warranty, Amex is as good as Citi. Amex seems to have the least exclusions, and may even cover some things which are excluded from other warranty benefits, such as normal wear and tear.

Remember to consider all other factors before deciding which card to make a purchase on, such as points earning, fraud protection, Purchase Protection, Return Protection, and more. Ironically, it’s usually worth putting important purchases on no-fee cards since most people don’t know how long they’ll be keeping a premium card (remember: you may be filing a claim years later), and the warranty benefit typically won’t cover if the card is cancelled.



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Sam
Sam

It’s my understanding that certain states get excluded from Amex’s newly extended protection. My state is one of them.

Dylan
Dylan

I wonder why?

Duke I.

AMEX is the only credit card warranty that I trust since they do underwriting in house.

Justin
Justin

One thing that might be nice to add is how the warranties pay out. Citi for example for me has either offered statement credit or a check for the purchase price of the item which is better than Visa which offered I can’t remember the type of payment but I know it was for the lesser of the purchase price of the original or new item. This is inferior if you buy something cheaper to replace or if you wouldn’t have repurchased at all otherwise.

cytraveler
cytraveler

Will the warranty cover if you product change a card? I’m planning to PC my Citi Prestige to the Rewards+ card. I’d like to get the points on a planned purchase, but it’s not worth it if the warranty won’t hold.

Snorlax
Snorlax

Dunno about Citi, but for AMEX all you have to do is have ANY AMEX card open when you make the claim.

VL
VL

I confirm that statement… just need to be active Amex customer. Any card would do. Learned that when Costco moved away from Amex, and I had a few big items (no surprise) on Costco card.

Snorlax
Snorlax

I don’t have the TOS in front of me, but they say you have to be a “cardmember” to be eligible to make the claim, and they define “cardmember” elsewhere as “having an open American Express card in the United States in good standing” or something like that.

blue9
blue9

Chuck This post is just one example of why you guys are the best!

Yoni
Yoni

Chase Purchase protection positive experience

Bought Note 9 last August from Costco purchased outright with Chase Ink Ultimate dropped phone and it landed on a small rock on sidewalk even with case screen spiderwebed.

Followed directions in benefits guide, insurance company wanted a diagnostic and estimate for repair (found a small local shop had to try a few since phone was just released -repair quote was $369 submitted, adjuster approved -check arrived about a week later – Ubreakifix was on otherside of town -made a an appointment about a month after getting check. Ubreakifix reapir cost was considerably cheaper -but difference in quote covered my time.

Phone would have been covered by Ink Preferred as billing cycle was a few days after the Note was purchased, but CIP has a $100 deductible and $600 cap ($500 net)..

I’ve since deicided that CIC 5X is a worth more than CIP 3X and so-so cell phone coverage after you count $95 AF and $100 deductible -CIP coverage would have only saved me about $49 versus paying for repair out of pocket (if iI didn’t have the 90 days purchase protection).

Also paying Cell bill with CIP and if phone was stolen I would still be out $550. ($600 cap -$95 AF -$100 deductible and $950 price of Note 9.

Zalmy

Don’t forget Amex will cover you as long as you have ANY card open with them, not just the card you made the purchase on. You might want to add that to your last paragraph.

Brian C
Brian C

Where did you see this? My experience with Amex is they treat each individual cars (even AU) as a “separate account” when it comes to Amex Assurance claims

Nick
Nick

I have not seen this either. That said, I would be curious to see what happened if you were on an installment plan (i.e. an iPhone purchase plan) and switched the payment from one AMEX card to another (and closing the original one).

Mark Ostermann

Great guide Chuck – thanks for putting in the work!

Emma
Emma

Very helpful list! Thanks! Would never have thought of it had it not been for your gentle reminder. Last year got a Citizen Eco drive watch for hubby but after couple of uses at formal events, it stopped working. Does this warranty apply here? I’ve been thinking whether to pursue Kohls for the defective watch or Citi for its extended warranty. Kind folks, please advise!

Pete
Pete

Do you keep it in a box between the couple of uses? It might just need to be exposed to light to recharge. Direct sunlight is probably best, but read the manual.

Emma
Emma

Yes, the watch goes in the box while not in use. However, the watch wouldn’t show the accurate time despite putting it in the sun for a long time when we got it out to use it over the holidays.

Pete
Pete

Not to beat a dead horse, but keep charging daily in the sun or near a light. Your “long time” may not have been enough, plus if the formal events were at night or his watch was covered by a sleeve, it would just drain all the power. On some movements the second hand starts moving 2s or 5s at a time to show low power. Different movements have different power requirements so yours may just need more oomph. Usually the manual describes it all.

I only suggest looking into this because it’s a lot simpler to make sure you’re following recommended procedure than to deal with warranty repair or claim.

aubergine
aubergine

Why not contact Citizen for warranty work on the watch? I thought they themselves give 2-5 years?

sloebrake
sloebrake

As part of my claims with Citi I had to provide proof of manufacturers warranty. So you may not really be able to choose which route.

One time they’ve required me to mail in the item at my own expense. Other times they just credited the money. I imagine a nice watch will need to be mailed in.

IMO – Do whichever route you haven’t done before as a learning experience.

Yoni
Yoni

Citi Costco cards both personal and Biz cards -extends warranty on Computers, appliances and I think TVs to a total of four years (as well as special promos from time to time on purchases and 4% back with Executive Membership.) Last month Note 9 had $750 trade-in + 15% CB (on $949) with Citi Costco card. Similar deals on a few TVs.

Jacob

From what I’ve read, that’s not unique to the Citi Costco Visa. Costco always adds an extra year of warranty coverage to their products, and ANY Citi card will extend that another two years, achieving the four-year warranty period you’re promoting.

Therefore, the Citi Double Cash offers the best ROI at 2% cash back, because unlike the Citi Costco Visa, the rewards are liquid and not tied to Costco membership.

aenews
aenews

Exactly! Jacob has it right, Chuck.

ADistinguishedFella
ADistinguishedFella

But Citi Double Cash card is not accepted at Costco, right? Only Visa cards.

Pete
Pete

Issues in the last sentence could be fleshed out. I’ve been wondering what happens when you expect a warranty four or five years down the line, but the card issuer changed your card/product, changed the warranty benefits (for the worse), sold your account to a different issuer, closed your account, or did any number of other things. Presumably your warranty goes poof…

sloebrake
sloebrake

I’ve been able to use Citi’s warranty on a card that had the number changed without issue.

York
York

Does the coverage applied only for partial amount? I had Discover card before and used some gift card for the Galaxy Tab before paying with Discover. When the tablet broke down I called Discover. They made me go to Samsung store 100 miles away to get inspection, get the repair price form, and then deny my claim telling my purchase was not in full. I was so mad since I already told them it was partial payment the first time I called, they made me went through all the trouble just to deny me. After that I cancelled the card and never use Discover again.

aenews
aenews

For Citi, you’d be reimbursed the lesser of the maximum benefit or the amount paid for the item. They also reserve the right to determine whether a covered defect will be repaired or replaced or reimbursed. The same applies for purchase protection. So if you bought a laptop for $1800 with $800 paid through Citi and had to do an out-of-warranty repair for a reason covered by manufacturer warranty that costed $800, then you’d have no issue.

desey
desey

Two years ago while vacationing in Florida my wife and I went on a dinner cruise which collided with another vessel while attempting to avoid a much smaller, disabled boat filled with occupants awaiting help. For anyone standing near the side railings, it was sudden and completely unexpected as we were neither focused on nor could we see what was in front of us. If you were outside near the railings taking in the views, you either fell overboard, were saved but injured by smashing into the railings, or –if you were VERY lucky– you only had your phone, hat, and anything else in your hands violently knocked overboard. The day before the accident, I went to a BestBuy near our hotel and purchased a GoPro (in part because of our upcoming cruise). The GoPro was discounted by over $100 b/c it was close to Black Friday, and I put the entire purchase on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. The GoPro and mount were lost instantly in the collision. We both lost our cellphones and she lost her purse (and, thus, her sanity for the following month). Some passengers had items recovered (incl. a spongebob inflatable), but the vast majority including us did not. Fast forward to the next week. Called to submit a claim for the GoPro (15 year customer w/ pristine payment history and high spending, and have never availed myself of any card protections in my life prior to this–yes, I’m older and learning thanks to all of you). So here’s the kicker: Chase rep exclaimed how sorry she felt, insisted I needn’t worry as she’s been doing this for awhile and knows with certainty that this is a qualifying incident and thus triggers the coverage benefits. Fantastic. All I need to do now, she then explains, is go purchase another GoPro and mount, scan and send her the receipt, and wait 4-6 weeks for a check in the mail. ONE Problem: Despite corporate America’s best efforts, Black Friday has not yet grown to include every single day of the year — yet. So the same GoPro I bought a week earlier while on sale is now $125 more expensive. That’s also part of the reason I even bought it to begin with. Getting into a boat accident was not part of my decision process at the time, I’m sure. Yet Chase insisted. Police reports, news coverage —… Read more »

Pete
Pete

This does not sound like an extended warranty situation.

Snorlax
Snorlax

It’s certainly not, it would fall under purchase protection.

Ike
Ike

Why didn’t you just buy the items and then return them after you received a credit from Chaae?

VL
VL

I do not see the problem buying it for the higher price. Would Chase reimburse you that higher amount? You would just ended up with the same devise and the same price (lower) paid in the first place.
If they just wanted to see you buying the item again, then you could return it back in 30 days..
Am I missing something?

Jab
Jab

Can’t remember the source, with citi you can claim extended warranty even if card is closed. So in writing citi warranty looks the best for average item with 1yr warranty or less. But from experience dealing with their benefit center they will try to make the claim process as hard as possible.
On contrary Amex claim process is a breeze, but ext warranty period not the longest.

Deke
Deke

Do we have to keep the credit card open for the extended warranty to apply?

MM Dallas
MM Dallas

Am also interested to know. how does the extended warranty gets impacted in case the card used to purchase:
1) is closed
2) product changed to another variant of card.

I think it is a safe assumption that the customer will have at least 1 card open with the bank in both cases.

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