Summary of Credit Card Extended Warranty Benefits

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It is easily being forgotten that credit cards have extended warranty which can bring you generous added value once you used it. Generally, you’ll get extended warranty for your products if you pay the whole bill with a credit card. When they’re repaired the credit card company will pay it under some conditions. Then lets talk in detail about how to take advantage of extended warranty provided by the credit card.

What is extended warranty?

Extended warranty is a kind of added-value coming with most credit cards. Generally speaking, it is provided for those cardholders who purchase the guaranteed commodities with full payment through credit card. When the warranty supplied by the manufacturers is expired, banks or card issuers will extend it as long as the former warranty (usually within a year) and charge required repair costs during the period of extended warranty.

A concept that might be confusing is another credit card perk: purchase protection. Generally speaking, purchase protection means when you just bought something and it is accidentally damaged or stolen, you can get some reimbursement by the credit card issuer; while extended warranty means after the default warranty expired, you can get an extra warranty provided by the credit card issuer. About the comparison and summaries for purchase protection, please see Credit Card Perks Summaries: Purchase Protection.

The questions the cardholders care most would be: What should be done before buying it? What should be done while you are going to pay for it? What should be done after the item has been damaged? What kind of damage does the warranty allow? And which credit card is considered the best to extend warranty? we’d like to fully explain them to you one by one.

What should I do before purchasing?

Nothing! No matter what credit card it is, extended warranty is a part of its perks, there’s no need of activation or registration. The only thing you’re expected to do is to make sure extended warranty is included and pay for it with that credit card. As to the question that which credit card has a longer extended warranty, please see the last part of this post. However, you’re suggested to make the purchase with a credit card that you want to keep forever. After all, once the card was canceled, you would lose extended warranty automatically.

What should I do during purchasing?

Pay for it after you’ve decided which card you’re going to use, and you have to keep the following proofs:

  • Receipt from the store;
  • Receipt of the credit card (you can use the credit card statement of that month);
  • Warranty certificate from the manufacturer;
  • Other warranty certificate that you’ve purchased.

All in all, don’t throw receipts away. The more you paid for the commodity, the more you should care for its proofs. Thus, keep all the proofs.

What should I do if the item was damaged?

To extend the warranty for the damaged item, it is required to take the following steps in chronological order:

  1. File a claim as soon as possible, which means that you inform the bank in the hope of activating the extended warranty of your credit card for the damaged item. You can, usually, get in touch with the related banker by dialing the the phone number at the back of the credit card and then file a claim to the bank. The methods to file claims to the four banks are listed below:
    • AmEx: filing online within 30 days after the item was damaged;
    • Chase: filing through dialing the number at the back of the credit card within 90 days after the item was damaged;
    • Citi: filing through dialing the number at the back of the credit card within 30 days after the item was damaged;
    • Discover:filing through dialing the number at the back of the credit card within 45 days after the item was damaged.
  2. After you’ve filed the claim, the bank will ask the proof of loss. Except for the receipts, certificates I mentioned above and the product information of the damaged item (such as model number and serial number), it also requires a valuation certificate of the repaired item signed by the repairer. In addition to the deadline (usually one month later than the claim filing deadline) provided by the bank, two details should also be kept in mind:
    • The term in Discover states clearly that repair bill is also acceptable, which means one can file the claim after the item has been repaired. While that of the rest three banks don’t tell whether or not it is allowed. For the sake of security, we suggest you file a claim and give the bank your proofs to examine before you have the item repaired, or consult the bank while file the claim.
    • It’s better to get a valuation certificate from the original factory. Consult the bank first if you want to have another repairer fix it.
  3. After receiving your proof of loss, the bank will verify the claim. If it was approved and you followed its descriptions to repair it, the bank would return the repair cost to you. Different banks may require different way of repair: the term of Chase reads that Chase will pay you no matter it is you or we to fix the item. The term of Citi goes that “Please keep the broken item because we may ask you to send it to us”. For the specific steps, you’d better follow the requirements of the banks.

The conditions and restrictions to extend warranty

There are conditions and restrictions to take advantage of credit card’s extended warranty. We’d like to explain them to you in following respects.

A. Length of the extended warranty

Here is a list of the extended warranty of the four major banks:

  • AmEx: factory warranty less than 1 year, the same warranty extended; more than 1 year but less than 5 years, 1 year extended; general warranty more than 5 years, no extension.
  • Chase: warranty less than 1 year, the same warranty extended; more than 1 year but less than 3 years, 1 year extended; more than 3 years, no extension.
  • Citi: warranty less than 1 year, the same warranty extended; more than 1 year but less than 5 years, 1 year extended; more than 5 years, no extension.
  • Discover: general warranty less than 1 year, the same warranty extended; more than 1 year but less than 3 years, 1 year extended; more than 3 years, no extension.

Pay attention to the differences between AmEx’s factory warranty and Discover’s total warranty: general warranty=factory warranty + paid additional warranty. Both terms of AmEx and Discover tell the the difference between factory warranty and general warranty. The major difference is Discover doubles both factory warranty and additional warranty (the extended warranty is no more than one year) while AmEx doubles factory warranty only. Extended warranty starts as factory warranty and additional warranty end. Because the terms in Chase and Citi haven’t explained the difference and few words can be found online too, we are unable to give you a conclusion. Fortunately, to most degree, their difference has a little impact and will be apparent only when factory warranty is short while additional warranty is long.

Due to the hard digestion towards factory warranty and general warranty, few examples are listed blow, taking AmEx as an example:

  • If a customer bought a iPhone with a factory warranty of one year, AmEx would pay him another one year warranty.
  • If a customer bought a iPhone and AppleCare (which doubles the warranty length of iPhone), the warranty would be 3 years in total. Warranty of the first two years is supplied by Apple while the third year by AmEx.
  • A customer purchased item A with a factory warranty of one month, then AmEx will last the warranty to two months.
  • A customer purchased item A as well as an additional warranty of 11 months, so 1 year in total, and AmEx will help extend only one month for the warranty, for the paid additional warranty is not a part of factory warranty.

B. Reimbursement restrictions on amount

It has amount restrictions on extended warranty:

  1. Different banks have set different upper limits on the amount to extended warranty for each item and each person. The upper limits of the four banks are listed blow:
    • AmEx: no more than $10,000 per time and $50,000 per year;
    • Chase:
      • Visa Platinum:no more than $10,000 per time and $50,000 per account;
      • Visa Signature: no more than $10,000 per time and $50,000 per year;
    • Citi: no more than $10,000 per time and $10,000 per year, and Citi Prestige allows $50,000 per year;
    • Discover: no more than $10,000 per time and $50,000 per year.
  2. The upper limits on extended warranty will be less than the money you paid, which is a significant term for a contact machine. For example, if you paid $99 + tax for a contact machine, the upper limits would be no more than $99 + tax though repairing cost might be more expensive than that.
  3. Freight and assembly cost are not in the list of reimbursement.

C. Requirements of extended warranty

A number of requirements should be met to get warranty extended:

  1. AmEx, Citi and Discover require full payment with the credit card (gift cards are not allowed) while Chase only requires partly payment. However, in order to avoid unnecessary troubles, we suggest full payment.
  2. Extended warranty needs a active credit card rather than a canceled one.
  3. Extended warranty is to extend the factory warranty. If it doesn’t have a factory warranty, it won’t get an extended warranty.
  4. If part of the payment was made by other methods, extended warranty would also be paid partly by the bank.
  5. The item is not necessarily purchased in the US, as long as the warranty is still valid it the US.
  6. It can be a gift that you sent as long as it meets all the requirements.
  7. Items of divided payments don’t have extended warranty (like AT&T Next Plan).
  8. Some items such as car, ship, airplane and software have no extended warranty.
  9. As for personal credit card, items that are for resale and professional or commercial use are exceptions from extended warranty.
  10. AmEx, Citi and Discover (but not Chase) claim that the recalled items by the manufacturer are not qualified for extended warranty.
  11. Chase and Citi ( but not AmEx or Discover) exclude medical equipment from the list of extended warranty.
  12. Chase, Citi and Discover (but not AmEx) exclude second-handed items from extended warranty.
  13. AmEx, Citi and Discover (but not Chase) explain that losses caused by an act of God are excluded from extended warranty.
  14. Citi and Discover (but not AmEx or Chase) declare that items that have experienced normal wear and tear are not included in extended warranty.

Which credit card comes with the best extended warranty?

Comparing with the requirements of extended warranty of the four major banks (AmEx, Chase, Citi, Discover), we can see that AmEx has the least restrictions. It provides not only the highest amount of money to extend warranty and the longest extension of warranty but the least requirements to enjoy extended warranty. To most of the people, it is the bank that determines whether we’ll successfully and rapidly enjoy the benefits brought by extended warranty, which should draw lessons from the experiences of the experienced. Spending some time to search around in the major forums and communities, you may find AmEx, which is commented as the best service-supplier and the most generous reimbursement-provider, overwhelmingly defeats the other three counterparts. Therefore, after taking every aspects into consideration, we recommend you to buy items that need extended warranty with credit cards of AmEx (including charge card), and hope you make full advantage of the benefits brought by its extended warranty.

Conclusion

From above clues we conclude that AmEx benefits us the most with its credit card extended warranty though sometimes it cannot bring us the highest return when we buy expensive items with its credit cards. Comparing with repair cost, cash back is considered nothing, so we don’t suggest you give up warranty for cash back and recommend all of you to apply for a credit card issued by AmEx. You, at least, can use it to purchase the items that need warranty extended. If you hadn’t a AmEx credit card, you can read the post “How to Get the Best AmEx Sigh-up Bonuses” before applying for. There may have surprises for you~

Besides, about extended warranty, the most authentic introduction would be the brochure attached with the credit card in which lies two or three pages about that. The conclusion of this post will inevitably not be out of omissions and errors and each credit card would has different requirements for extended warranty. We strongly recommend you to read that brochure carefully before you buy expensive items with credit card and see whether there are something that should be paid close attention.


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