I normally wouldn’t recommend paying for a third-party extended warranty. They’re overpriced and typically cost even more than the repairs they’re supposed to cover, rendering them kinda pointless.
But if your credit card company is offering to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for free, well that’s another story.
And believe it or not, that’s what many credit card companies are doing these days. If your fancy Samsung TV doesn’t turn on six months after the Samsung warranty runs out, there’s a darn good chance that Chase will actually buy you a new one.
So let’s investigate credit card extended warranty protection. What is it? How does it work? What does it cover? And how do you know if you already have it?
What is credit card extended warranty protection?
When you buy a product with your credit card that has a manufacturer warranty attached, your credit card’s extended warranty protection will automatically extend that warranty by one year (in rare cases, two years).
So if you buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner with a two-year manufacturer warranty, your credit card adds another year for a total of three.
If it’s something like a refurbished Amazon Fire Tablet with a short 90-day warranty, your credit card will still extend it by a year for a total of 15 months.
It’s worth noting that most credit card extended warranty protection only applies to warranties under three years. So your IKEA “UTESPELARE” desk that came with a 10-year warranty doesn’t get the bonus year. (But were you really gonna keep it for 11 years?)
Anyways, if the product then fails during the extended warranty protection period — not the manufacturer’s original warranty period — you’ll file a claim with your credit card company. They’re the ones who will reimburse you for the repair/replacement.
How does extended warranty protection work?
Let’s say you buy a PlayStation 5 with your Chase Freedom FlexSM card. Sony’s manufacturer warranty guarantees your PS5 to be free from defects for one year. Great.
Then, on month 15, your PS5 fails to boot up. You call Sony customer support and they say that since your PS5 is now out of warranty, you’ll have to pay $300 for repairs.
Then you remember that your Chase Freedom FlexSM card includes extended warranty protection. So you gather the necessary paperwork (the original store receipt, a copy of Sony’s warranty, and the repair quote from Sony) and file a claim with Chase.
Then Chase’s third-party insurance company, Indemnity Insurance of North America, approves the claim and Chase gives you a statement credit for $300 to cover the repair.
How do I file a claim?
Your card’s guide to benefits will have instructions for how and where to file a claim.
To continue using Chase as an example, you’ll create an account with Card Benefit Services and will need to provide the following within 90 days of the break:
- A scan of the original store receipt.
- A copy/PDF of the manufacturer’s local warranty.
- The broken item’s serial number.
- A screenshot of your account statement showing the original purchase.
- In some cases, you may also need to provide a copy of a diagnostic/repair quote from a service center so your credit card company can reimburse you for the proper amount.
- Lastly, if you already have a third-party warranty, you’ll need to include that also, since the extended warranty protection kicks in secondary to any extra warranty protection you bought (further highlighting why you shouldn’t buy it).
Then, you’ll hear back from a benefits administrator within a week or two whether your claim was approved or denied.
In the former case, you’ll get a statement credit to cover the repair or replacement.
If denied, they may just ask for more paperwork. Or, you may just be out of luck because your purchase wasn’t eligible in the first place.
So, to save you some time, what kind of stuff is and isn’t eligible for credit card extended warranty protection?
What’s covered by extended warranty protection (and what isn’t)?
What it covers
Credit card extended warranty protection generally covers any appliance, electronic, console, piece of furniture, tool, or other product that includes a manufacturer warranty. Surprisingly, it even applies to purchases made internationally.
The list of covered categories and products is broad, so it actually makes more sense to narrow it down based on what’s not covered.
What it doesn’t cover
Credit card extended warranty protection generally does not cover:
- Items with a manufacturer warranty of three or more years.
- Cars, boats, aircraft, and other forms of personal transport.
- Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use (i.e., video equipment for your small business).
- Used or pre-owned items (certified/refurbished items are actually covered, as long as they came with a warranty of under three years).
- Rented or leased items.
- Medical equipment.
- Damage caused by modification.
- One-of-a-kind items.
- Anything living (plants, seeds, etc.).
- Costs that aren’t covered under the original manufacturer warranty (shipping both ways, deductibles, etc.).
- Permanent fixtures (i.e., ceiling fans).
Now, extended warranty protection does cover your smartphone, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s only ever an extension of the original manufacturer’s warranty. It won’t cover cracks, breaks, or theft — only manufacturer defects.
That being said, your credit card may include Cell Phone Protection as a perk, which does cover theft and breaks, so check your guide to benefits.
Best credit cards for extended warranty protection
Overall: Chase Freedom FlexSM
The Chase Freedom FlexSM is my top pick for a credit card to get for extended warranty protection for a couple of reasons:
- Its $200 welcome bonus can help to offset whatever big purchase you’re looking to get extended warranty protection for.
- 15 months of 0% APR can help you finance that big purchase.
For a big purchase: Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a superb card for extended warranty protection because although it doesn’t offer 0% APR, it comes with a monster of a sign-up bonus: 60k points worth $600 when redeemed for cash or $750 when redeemed for travel. You do have to spend $4,000 in three months to trigger it, though.
That’s why the popular “CSP” is perfect for making a big cash purchase like a TV or an appliance — you’ll get $600 off and generous extended warranty protection to cover it.
For travel: Capital One Venture X
If you’re a frequent traveler looking to extend the manufacturer warranty of your luggage, cameras, etc., you might like the Capital One Venture X.
In addition to one year of extended warranty protection, you can keep your options open with 90-day Return Protection, which helps you for returns on qualifying purchases that the store won’t take back. Extended warranty protection also covers damage or theft within 90 days of purchase. This card does come with a $395 annual fee.
For saving on essentials: American Express Blue Cash Preferred
If you’re not looking to make a big Amazon purchase and just want a card with extended warranty protection that can help you save on essentials, look no further than the Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
Right now the card offers 6% cash back on groceries and streaming, 3% back on transit and gas, 0% APR for 12 months, and a $300 sign-up bonus.
To learn more about the quirks of American Express cards, be sure to read “Are Amex cards worth it?”
What to look for in an extended warranty protection
Most extended warranty protection benefits look and act the same, but it pays to keep an eye on certain key terms like:
Does the extended warranty protection add a year? Two years? Something else?
Also, how long can the OEM warranty be for the extended protection to apply? Some cards stop at three years, some at five.
A typical limit is $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per cardholder — but coverage can vary.
Is your big upcoming purchase covered under this specific card’s plan? Try calling them up to make 100% sure before you apply for a card under the wrong pretenses.
Finally, how much paperwork will you need to appease the insurance adjuster? Most of it you can probably find online (statements, warranty info, etc.) but you’ll want to save and scan that in-store receipt!
Extended warranty protection is one of the best hidden perks of modern rewards cards. Sure, there’s some patience and paperwork involved, but if you can get Chase to comp you for a new dishwasher, that’s a helluva lot better than a $200 sign-up bonus!
For more on our top rewards cards, check out our picks for the best credit cards of the year.
Featured image: Toey Andante/Shutterstock.com