Cards with warranties and protections can save you lots of time, energy, and money this holiday season. They can also earn you points and miles towards your next vacation or business trip. However, warranties and protections are some of the least-known travel card perks. This post is a guide to warranties and protections, including different issuers’ and networks’ rules.
Special thanks to reader Shawn who commented on my post about the Best Cards for Non-Bonus Spend. He asked me to “ensure you’re telling your readers about purchase protection and extended warranties”. This post aims to do just that.
One caveat is that you might earn fewer points and miles than normal when you use a card that comes with warranties and protections. But earning fewer points might be worth the opportunity cost because you have the protections.
Shawn specifically mentioned using the Chase Sapphire Reserve for a laptop purchase in his comment. Using that card to buy the laptop was a wise decision. That’s because the Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Business Preferred all come with a one-year Extended Warranty for all purchases.
The two Sapphire cards also come with Purchase Protection, making them great for major breakable purchases. Purchase Protection covers new purchases up to 120 days against damage or theft. There is a maximum of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year. The Ink Business Preferred does not come with Purchase Protection.
No Annual Fee Cards
Unfortunately, Chase’s personal and business no annual fee cards do not come with any warranties and protections. That makes them terrible choices for major purchases, despite their categories and their potential to earn points.
American Express devalued many of their shopping perks in January 2020. But Amex’s devaluation was not widespread like Citi’s was. There are still some nice shopping perks on certain Amex cards.
Most American Express cards come with a one-year Extended Warranty for all purchases. However, Extended Warranty was discontinued on select no annual fee cards (including the Everyday Card and the Blue Cash Everyday Card) in January 2020.
Furthermore, all Amex cards come with Purchase Protection. The window for returning your products is 90 days. This is nice because you can receive both optimal rewards and purchase protection.
Some Amex cards also come with Return Protection, a benefit that was discontinued by Chase for its entire lineup in 2018. Only purchases made with the following cards have Return Protection:
- Blue Cash Preferred
- Delta Reserve (Personal and Business)
- Everyday Preferred
- Hilton Aspire
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
- Platinum (Personal, Business, Corporate, and all flavors thereof)
Outside of Chase and American Express, the perks you receive will depend on your card’s network and whether your card’s issuer offers them. Citi cards, for example, do not offer such benefits as of September 2019.
According to Doctor of Credit (H/T), Discover removed all warranties and protections from their cards in February 2018. Therefore, the Discover It is not a great option for purchases that might require protection.
Furthermore, the Discover It operates under its own network, the Discover Network. This means that Discover cardholders will not receive any Visa or MasterCard network benefits if they use their Discover card.
According to Doctor of Credit (H/T), MasterCard discontinued extended warranties on their cards. This was part of their network-related benefits overhaul from the spring of 2019. MasterCard also does not offer purchase protection.
However, MasterCard does offer Return Protection. To file a claim, all you have to do is call 1-800-MasterCard. Just know that there are a plethora of terms and conditions for this benefit:
- There is a maximum of $250 per claim for all cards
- All claims are valid for 90 days
- There is a maximum of four claims per cardholder per 12-month period
- Items must be purchased from a store that provides a return or exchange policy of at least 10 days
- Items must be returned undamaged, in good working condition, and in original and complete packaging
- Claims must be filed within 60 days of purchase
- Coverage is limited to the actual cost of the item (excluding taxes, storage, shipping, and handling costs)
- Cardholders are responsible for all mailing costs
Banks that issue Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cards provide Extended Warranty and Return Protection. But they do not provide Purchase Protection.
According to Doctor of Credit (H/T), the Visa Signature Extended Warranty benefit doubles the manufacturer’s warranty up to one year. However, no Extended Warranty if offered if the manufacturer’s warranty is more than three years. This benefit comes with any Visa Signature or Infinite card regardless of the issuing bank.
Visa Signature and Infinite cards also offer Return Protection. There is a maximum of $250 per claim for Visa Signature cards and $300 for Visa Infinite cards. All claims are good for 90 days. And items must be received in either new or good / working condition for claims to be approved. All you have to do to file a claim is call 1-888-221-3289 within 90 days of purchase.
Knowing about your credit card’s warranties and protections can be huge if something goes wrong with a major purchase. This is especially true during the holidays including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
The opportunity cost of a few extra points and miles might be worth taking if you use a card with warranties and protections. Taking advantage of shopping perks is one of the few times when you should not use a card that earns an optimal amount of points. In this case, earning something is better than nothing. But having a working and functioning product is even more important, especially if it is expensive.
Your mileage may vary as different cards have different policies.