Peace of mind can be a good thing when you’re making a purchase. Having peace of mind when you make a purchase without paying extra for an extended warranty is even better.
You may not realize it, but many of the best credit cards actually provide built-in warranty extensions whenever you make purchases using your card. However, not all extended warranties offer the same perks.
Which cards have your back when it comes to making sure you won’t lose out if a product is damaged or defective? Here are the three merchants we’ve found with the best credit card extended warranty programs.
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American Express is the top name in the credit card industry when it comes to extended warranties.
All American Express cards offer some form of extended warranty for up to a year on qualifying purchases. Some cards actually offer five-year purchase warranties.
American Express will always match the length of the original warranty, if it is less than a year. What’s more, American Express will actually provide an additional year if the original warranty is between one year and five years. American Express offers a maximum of $50,000 in extended warranty coverage.
American Express does have one big requirement for cardholders filing an extended warranty claim: you’ll need to alert them within 30 days of the item becoming defective. If all checks out, American Express will credit the reimbursement amount back to your account within 14 business days of your claim.
One bright spot in the fine print of the company’s warranty guidelines is that American Express will cover wear and tear. However, you may be required to send the damaged item to the warranty department at American Express before you can receive a reimbursement.
American Express Warranty summary —
- Cards carrying extended warranty: All cards in the American Express line carry some form of extra coverage
- Warranty maximum: Reaches a maximum of $50,000, depending on the card product
- Warranty length: Original warranty length matched if less than one year; Up to an additional year of coverage if original warranty was between 1-5 years
- Time limit to file claims: 30 days
- Wear and tear covered? Yes
Discover definitely gives American Express a run for its money when it comes to providing comprehensive warranty extensions.
For starters, all cards on Discover’s roster are eligible for extended warranties on qualifying products. The maximum warranty amounts on specific cards range from $10,000 to $50,000.
Discover will provide up to an additional year of coverage once a manufacturer’s warranty expires on a product. The extension will apply to warranties of 36 months or less on eligible items.
The one downside to the generous warranty extensions offered by the company is that wear and tear won’t be covered.
Discover gives customers 45 days to report an issue when trying to collect warranty reimbursements. It will take the company up to 60 days to credit your account after paperwork has been filed and the warranty coverage approved.
Discover Warranty summary —
- Cards carrying extended warranty: All cards in the Discover line carry some form of extra coverage
- Warranty maximum: Ranges from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the card product
- Warranty length: Up to an additional year of coverage
- Time limit to file claims: 45 days
- Wear and tear covered? No
MasterCard earns the coveted third slot on the list because of the fact that it also offers extended warranty coverage for every card on its roster.
While some cards come with a cap of $10,000 on the amount of reimbursement you can receive, cards in higher tiers actually don’t come with any warranty caps. This makes a premier card from MasterCard a great option if you routinely make pricey purchases and you’re looking for some extra coverage.
Your extended warranty amount will be double the original manufacturer’s warranty for up to a maximum of 12 months on most purchases you make.
The one area where MasterCard falls short when compared to options like American Express is when it comes to wear and tear. Wear and tear won’t be covered for cardholders when they file warranty claims.
MasterCard does come out ahead when it comes to giving cardholders more time to file warranty claims. Compared with Amex and Discover above, MasterCard customers will be pleased to hear that they have a full 60 days to file a claim.
Smaller claims are typically reimbursed within a few days. Larger claims could take as much as a few months. This may be a source of frustration if you’re not a fan of waiting around to have a warranty fulfilled. However, most customers will see it as a small price to pay for such a generous warranty policy.
MasterCard Warranty summary —
- Cards carrying extended warranty: All cards in the MasterCard line carry some form of extra coverage
- Warranty maximum: Ranges from $10,000 to no limit (higher tiered cards)
- Warranty length: Double the manufacturer’s original warranty, to a maximum of 12 extra months
- Time limit to file claims: 60 days
- Wear and tear covered? No