How to Take Advantage of Free Extended Warranty From Your Credit Card Issuer

By Xin Lu. Last updated 14 December 2012. 10 comments
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A couple weeks ago my husband and I were watching a movie on our Playstation 3, and suddenly the disc stopped spinning. After some investigating it seemed like the entire Blu-ray player stopped functioning. Since we purchased the Playstation more than a year ago it was no longer covered by the manufacturer's warranty, but luckily we purchased it with an American Express card, and the extended warranty program offered by AMEX was still in effect. To make a long story short, we are getting our Playstation fixed for free, and this is how you can also take advantage of free extended warranty offered by credit card companies.

First of all, your purchase has to be on a card that offers extended warranty as a benefit. All American Express cards currently offer the extended warranty benefit. Visa has the Visa Warranty Manager program for Visa Signature Cards, and MasterCard offers warranty extension to their Platinum, Gold, and World card holders. If you are not sure that your card qualifies you can always call the number on the back of the card and ask about your benefits. (See also: The "Secret" Credit Card Perk That Saved Me $300)

Each credit card company has a slightly different extended warranty program. American Express extends the warranty for one additional year on manufacturer warranties of 5 years or less. Visa extends warranties for up to one year on original warranties of 3 years of less and also allows consumers to purchase extended warranties that are generally cheaper than what is offered at retail stores. MasterCard currently doubles the manufacturer's warranty time period up to the maximum of 1 additional year, but if the original warranty is already more than a year, MasterCard will not extend the warranty. Also, if you purchase more than a year of extended warranty on your own, MasterCard will not extended any warranty beyond that. If you put these programs side by side, American Express's extended warranty program is the best because it has the least amount of limitations.

What type of credit card are you interested in?
How much do you spend per month?
Do you carry a balance?

If you want to use your credit card issuer's extended warranty you would need to keep a good set of documentation of your purchase for your claim. You should definitely keep the original receipt for your purchase because the credit card company would ask for this when you make a claim. You also need a copy of your original manufacturer's warranty and an estimate of any repair costs. It is best to get the repair costs from the original manufacturer of your product. If the repair costs exceed the cost of replacing the item then the claims department may just choose to give you enough money to purchase a replacement. You can file the claim by phone, or online, and documentation would need to be mailed, faxed, or emailed. It is probably best to speak to a live person by phone to make sure what you are submitting is correct.

Generally it takes a week or two to process a claim, and if your claim is approved then your credit card company would send you a check or issue an instant credit on your card for you to pay for the repair or replacement. In the case of our broken Playstation 3, American Express put a credit for the cost of the repair on our card and my husband used it to pay Sony to fix the product. The whole process was quite easy and I am very happy that it worked out. My husband and I never purchase extended warranty at retail stores, and in this situation AMEX's extended warranty saved us several hundred dollars. 

Finally, there is a chance that the extended warranty claim could be denied due to insufficient documentation, and if you cannot find the required documentation to send in then you might be out of luck.  In that case you could always try to see if your broken product is on a recall list, or perhaps search for a fix online

Have you ever used your credit card's extended warranty benefits?  What was your experience?
 

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Guest's picture
Guest

But beware, it's not a catch all! I was always aware of this warranty, btu first went to use it a month ago. It only covered the mechanical part of my washer, not the molded front lining.

Guest's picture
Carrie

i always wondered how this worked. i once looked into filing a claim for a lost or stolen item, but found out you had to have a police report which i hadn't done.

Guest's picture
Amy

Do you have to do anything to invoke the warranty at the time of purchase? I bought a laptop in 2006 with my american express card and just assumed that it would outlast the manufacturer's warranty. It's great to have a little extra padding.

Guest's picture
Jim

Probably the more important thing for me is remembering that the benefit exists in the first place. This is the kind of benefit that I always forget about. I bet many /most people are in the same boat as me as far as that goes.

Guest's picture

Most credit cards also have a benefit call purchase protection. Your card provider will replace the item if it has been lost or stolen within 90 day of purchase. The benefit will also refund you for the item if the store that you purchased the item will not take the item back. Check your card for eligibility. Use your credit card to receive the free extended warranty and purchase protection but try to pay off your credit card balance within one or two month so that you do not incur high interest rate charges.

Guest's picture
Guest

Mastercard extended warranty is the worst. Their people lose your claim and when you call them they jerk you around and sometimes the phone goes dead. Even after they find the claim you submitted, they do nothing to expedite the process.

Guest's picture
Guest

One very important detail that was left out. Make sure to file your claim AFTER the manufacturer's warranty, which is often 1 year, has expired. If you file your claim while the manufacturer's warranty is in effect, not only will the claim's handler deny your claim, but because your claim takes place before Mastercard's eligible claim period, you will effectively deny yourself from making any claim in the future! Mastercard's wording on their website can be very misleading, making one think you can make your claim the first 2 years because they "double" the warranty.

On Mastercard's site:

"Extended Warranty - Doubles the original manufacturer's or store brand warranty for up to one year when you pay with your eligible MasterCard card"

One more thing, as of July 2012 the claims handler is NOT Mastercard, but some shady 3rd party called Sedgwick, that will not predisclose this information, and will for any minor excuse to deny you out of a claim.

Guest's picture
Guest

Yes I have used Visa's extended warranty on a set of TV Headphones, similar to TV Ears, but with wireless headphones. I had all of the documentation and faxed it to Visa. In very short time I received a replacement set of headphones. They were classified as reconditioned but they appeared to be new, just without the original container. Very satisfied with the ease and the response from Visa

Guest's picture

From my experience submitting 4 Extended Warranty benefit claims over 2 years, AMEX is excellent. Their process is simple (everything can be done online) and in some cases I received a credit to my account in just a few days. I've tried to submit a claim with Chase Freedom and their process was much more difficult. For more details see my own post on this topic.

Guest's picture

With MasterCard a lot of stuff ISN'T included (e.g anything with stored media, which means most electronics are out).