How Does Your Credit Card's Extended Warranty Work?

Extended warranty features on credit cards allow consumers to extend an original manufacturer’s warranty on items. This means that shoppers can save money by foregoing a particular store’s extended warranty offer and stay protected under their credit card’s extended warranty feature. Despite this feature being common among credit cards, the policies differ with major credit card networks, like American Express and Visa, for example. Consumers can file extended warranty claims for most credit cards online or by phone.

Extended Warranty by Major Credit Card Network

Extended warranty policies differ when it comes to how long the extended warranty is, how long the manufacturer’s warranty is matched, claim limits, reimbursement timing, the time consumers are given to file a claim, etc. While American Express has the shortest limit on the amount of days to make a claim, it offers the longest manufacturer’s warranty match among the major credit card networks. All major credit card networks have a $10,000 limit per claim. We outline major differences across extended warranty programs by major credit card network below.

American ExpressMastercardVisa
Credit Cards Covered by Extended WarrantyAllPreferred and World Elite CardsSignature and Infinite Cards
How Long is the Extended Warranty?1 year1 year1 year
Up to How Long Will They Match the Manufacturer’s Warranty?5 years1 year3 years
Maximum Payout Per Claim$10,000$10,000$10,000
Maximum Payout Per Year$50,000Not listed in terms and conditions$50,000
How Long Does it Take to Get Reimbursed?Within 30 days upon receipt and review of claimNot listed in terms and conditionsWithin 5 business days upon receipt and approval of all claim materials
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?30 days60 days60 days

Some credit card issuers, like Citi or Bank of America, offer their own extended warranties. The policy of a credit card issuer may be more favorable than the policy of the network. For example, Citi offers some of their customers a two year extended warranty, which is one year more than the length most major credit card networks allow. Consumers should ask their credit card issuer about their extended warranty policies before filing a claim with their credit card network.

What is and isn’t Covered Under a Credit Card’s Extended Warranty?

A credit card’s extended warranty typically covers everything included under a manufacturer’s warranty. For example, if your phone’s screen won’t turn on because the battery is malfunctioning then you can file a claim under your credit card network’s extended warranty. Extended warranties cover a manufacturer’s defects, but not any physical damage brought on by the user. For instance, you cannot use your extended warranty to cover a cracked screen on your phone. For this type of coverage, credit card users will want to rely on purchase protection.

All major credit card networks exclude motorized vehicles and used items from extended warranty coverage. There are dozens of excluded items depending on which credit card is used to make the purchase, below we provide a table of notable exclusions by major credit card network.

General ExclusionsProduct Exclusions
American ExpressNormal wear and tear; Mechanical failure covered under a product recall.Perishable items.
MastercardMechanical failure covered under a product recall; Normal wear and tear; Anything not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.Floor models; Services; Computer Software; Shipping and delivery costs.
VisaAnything not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.Leased items; Computer software; Medical equipment.

The item that the credit card user is seeking extended warranty coverage for must be purchased using the credit card with the feature. Coverage is only available to valid cardholders, which means that, if the credit card is not under the customer’s name, then they will not be able to utilize the card’s extended warranty feature. Furthermore, major credit card networks can deny an extended warranty claim if the customer cancels, or has their account canceled, before filing a claim. Credit card networks reserve the right to repair, replace, or refund the customer under extended warranty guidelines.

Filing a Claim: Credit Card Extended Warranty

The best practice when filing a claim under a credit card’s extended warranty is to make the claim as soon as you know that the item is defective. Typically, consumers will need to provide an original receipt from the store of purchase, a credit card statement showing the record of purchase, and the original manufacturer’s warranty on the item. Customers will want to hold on to the item they're seeking to make an extended warranty claim for as they might be asked to return it as part of the claims process. Below we list contact information for different major credit card networks.

American ExpressMastercardVisa
Phone Number1-800-225-37501-800-627-83721-800-551-8472
Make an Online ClaimFile a ClaimFile a ClaimFile a Claim

Credit Card Extended Warranties Provide Value

Considering that there are dozens of no annual fee credit cards that offer an extended warranty feature, credit card users can save money by utilizing the feature when compared to purchasing a store offered extended warranty. Extended warranties serve as a major source of revenue for stores as they can keep more than 50% of the listed warranty price. A recent poll by Experian showed that by 16% of in-store shoppers and 12% of online shoppers purchasing electronics report buying an extended warranty offered by a store. The median price paid for the extended warranties was $81 for brick-and-mortar shoppers and $82 for online shoppers.

Typically, store offered extended warranties become effective immediately, which means a product is covered by both a manufacturer’s warranty and a store offered extended warranty simultaneously. This results in consumers paying for extended warranties when a manufacturer’s warranty may be sufficient. Specific policies of store offered extended warranties vary by provider. Consumers should ensure that a store’s extended warranty provides more coverage than their credit card, otherwise they're better off relying on a credit card’s extended warranty.

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