Discover’s “Return Guarantee” Explained

In doing research for our Discover it review we came across the fact that Discover offers a return guarantee. This card benefit is underwritten and operated by Connexions Loyalty who specialize in this type of policy. At first glance this looks like an excellent policy. We decided to do a little more digging and here’s what we found out.

  • You can return any qualifying item that was purchased using a Discover card when the original store will not process a refund
  • You’ll receive a full refund for the price you paid for the item, less taxes and any shipping charges you’ve paid
  • Must be within 90 days of the item being purchased
  • Must have the original packaging
  • Item must be in “good” condition and full working order
  • Does not cover items that are not working properly (in which case the card holder must contact the manufacturer or original store the items were purchased from)
  • Maximum of $500 per item
  • Maximum of $2,500 per year
  • Eligible claims will be mailed to the cardholder within 15 days
  • You pay to ship the item to them

shop smart return guarantee


All of that doesn’t sound unreasonable, it’s not until you get to how to complete a claim that things become absurd. Here’s what you need to do to file a claim:

  1. Call 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET) and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (except holidays) and state you want to file a claim under their return guarantee
  2. Submit the following information:
    • Completed and signed claim form
    • The Discover card statement showing the entire original purchase price
    • The sales receipt indicating the date, the store, the item and the amount of purchase
    • Written documentation from the store manager or equivalent on store letterhead documenting the refusal to accept the returned item
    • The item must be returned to Claims Administration before any claim will be paid. You will be responsible for all mailing costs

We think it’s pretty unreasonable to expect consumers to get written documentation that a store is refusing to accept the returned item. If a store is unwilling to process a refund, chances are the store manager isn’t going to be willing to offer to write a letter on an official letterhead. This is one of those policies that looks great on paper, but if you ever actually wanted to use it it’d be an absolute nightmare.

They’ll also use the fine print to avoid paying out in the event you are able to get all of the appropiate paperwork. For example, the terms clearly state that this is only valid for items purchased in full. This means if you use a discount code or coupon you will not be eligible for this guarantee. There is also a massive list of 23 items not eligible for this type of protection.

Other card issuers also offer the same or better guarantees. For example, American Express offers the same 90 day terms whilst Chase offers 120 days instead. Have you ever used any of these return guarantee’s before? What were your thoughts on them? Was it possible to get a refund or was it just a waste of time?

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Jessica H
Jessica H

Now 3 years after this original post it is MUCH easier to file a claim. They are amzaing. I returned scuba diving fins. Process was easy.


What happens to the item? Do you have to send it to discover?


IT seems like that clause about “Written documentation from the store manager” has been removed.

Only the rest of the 4 clauses apply…in which case it seems (in theory at least) that it should be easy to obtain?


Unclear to me: you wrote, “Must have the original packaging”. Next you wrote, “Item must be in “good” condition and full working order”. ‘Original packaging’ sounds to me like we’re discussing a new, unopened item, just the seller won’t take it back, like if I buy something on amazon, and it’s after the 30 day return period. But ‘working order’ sounds to me that we’re discussing a used item, just not broken.

BOTTOM LINE: Do you know if these protections can help me if I buy, say, a pair of shoes, wore it for a week, and now I don’t like the style/fit. The store won’t take it back because it’s worn.
And would amex cover this?