What Is an Extended Warranty?
Credit card shopping protections can prove exceptionally useful, though they seldom take the spotlight.
The extended warranty is an excellent example.
In the world of credit cards, an extended warranty is a common shopping benefit that extends an eligible item’s manufacturer warranty by a preset period of time. The terms of an extended warranty — how long it lasts, the coverage amount, etc. — can vary by card and by financial institution.
Extended warranty coverage doesn’t usually encompass things like accidental damage or normal wear and tear. These things may be covered by purchase protection.
It’s mainly used to cover workmanship-related issues that shouldn’t ordinarily occur, reflecting the terms of most manufacturer’s warranties.
So, an example: If you drop your smartphone and crack the screen, that’s on you. Your extended warranty won’t (usually) help. But if your smartphone camera stops working out of the blue despite the phone’s otherwise good condition, you’re probably covered, as long as you’re still within the coverage period.
A credit card’s network (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) rather than its issuer often provides extended warranties. The issuer ultimately decides which benefits to include on each card.
How Do You Know if Your Credit Card Offers an Extended Warranty?
To find out whether your credit card has an extended warranty, check your credit card’s Guide to Benefits. A physical copy should’ve come with your card when you received it in the mail, but you may be able to access a digital copy or similar information by logging in to the issuer’s online portal or mobile app, too, depending on the issuer.
If you’d prefer to check by phone, you could always call the number on the back of your card to ask.
Curious about a card you don’t already have? You may be able to find its Guide to Benefits by Googling the card name followed by “Guide to Benefits,” or by simply exploring the credit card company’s website.
How Do You Use a Credit Card’s Extended Warranty?
First, an important point: To qualify for a credit card’s warranty coverage, the item must have been purchased with that card.
Beyond that, the key to filing an extended warranty claim is paperwork. You’ll typically need three things, though more documentation may be requested:
- A copy of the original receipt for the item you bought
- The item’s manufacturer warranty information
- The credit card statement for the period during which you purchased the item
Depending on the provider, you might be able to register your purchase on the benefit administrator’s website right when you purchase it. Doing so would be wise — that way, you can send over the above information while it’s still on hand, and you won’t be left scrambling to find it if something goes wrong with the product down the line.
If you didn’t already register your product, then consult your card’s Guide to Benefits for further instruction and to ensure whether the situation in question is actually covered. You’ll usually start by contacting your benefit administrator to get the forms you will need to fill out. You’ll then have to submit the requested information, likely alongside the above documentation.
Once everything’s been submitted, the benefit administrator will determine whether your product qualifies for reimbursement. Assuming it does, it’ll typically be replaced or repaired by an authorized service provider.
Both the primary cardholder and any authorized users can typically use the extended warranty perks.
What’s Covered By a Credit Card Extended Warranty?
Extended warranties tend to encompass about the same coverages as the item’s manufacturer’s warranty, with occasional variations depending on the card and/or the benefit provider. That’s really the point — the benefit takes the existing warranty and makes it last longer.
So, in general, defects in workmanship are covered, but things like accidental damage and normal wear and tear are not.
As for the types of products that qualify for coverage, the list includes basically anything that’s not outright excluded. Most credit card issuers and networks who provide these warranties make exclusions clear, so the details for your particular card shouldn’t be hard to find.
Common exclusions include (but aren’t limited to):
- Items that don’t come with manufacturer’s warranties
- Motorized vehicles, including cars, boats and aircraft
- Land and buildings
- Computer software
- Used and pre-owned items
- Products purchased for commercial use or resale
What Makes a Good Extended Warranty?
With extended warranties, you’ll seldom see much variation between policies. Most simply extend manufacturer warranties – nothing more, nothing less. But you should consider at least a few key traits:
- Coverage amount: Extended warranty benefits typically set a clear per-product coverage limit. For the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, for example, cardholders can get up to $10,000 in coverage per item and up to $50,000 per account. That’s about normal. Anything more would be excellent.
- Coverage length: Most extended warranties provide one extra year, but you may find others that provide more.
- Manufacturer warranty limit: With some issuers, like Chase, your product will usually only qualify for extended warranty coverage if the manufacturer’s warranty offered coverage for three years or less. Any longer than that and you’re out of luck. Other issuers, like American Express, allow initial warranties that last up to five years.
Extended Warranty vs. Purchase Protection vs. Return Protection vs. Cell Phone Protection
Because they’re all somewhat related in terms of function and terminology, it’s easy to get extended warranty coverage mixed up with other credit card shopping benefits — particularly purchase protection, price protection and cell phone protection.
It’s important to know the differences between these four perks if you think you’ll get a lot out of them:
- Extended warranty: Extends the existing manufacturer’s warranty. Doesn’t usually cover accidental damage.
- Purchase protection: Offers protection from accidental damage, theft and/or loss (depending on the card), usually for around 90 – 120 days after the date of purchase.
- Return protection: Allows you to be reimbursed for products in situations where you may not ordinarily be able to. For example, if you want to make a return a few days past the retailer’s typical return window.
- Cell phone protection: Provides insurance-like damage and theft protection when you pay the applicable device’s phone bill with your eligible credit card.
Extended Warranty Policies By Network and Issuer
Issuers and networks often have different policies with respect to the benefits they provide. Extended warranty coverage is no exception.
We’ve outlined typical policies by card network and issuer below. Just remember that using a credit card from one of the providers listed doesn’t necessarily mean you have an extended warranty — availability can still vary by card.
|Company||Coverage Policy||Claim Limit||Phone||Website|
|American Express||Covers up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less||Up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year||1-800-228-6855||American Express Online Claim Form|
|Bank of America||Varies by card||See Guide to Benefits||See Guide to Benefits||See Guide to Benefits|
|Capital One||Varies by card||See Guide to Benefits||See Guide to Benefits||See Guide to Benefits|
|Chase||Covers up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less||Up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year||1-800-874-7702||Chase Online Claim Form|
|Citi||No longer available||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Discover||No longer available||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Mastercard||Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty of up to a maximum of 24 months||Up to $10,000 per covered purchase||1-800-627-8372||Mastercard Online Claim Form|
|Visa||Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty for warranties under a year; adds another year for manufacturer warranties up to three years||Up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year||1-800-551-8472||Visa Online Claim Form|
|Wells Fargo||Varies by card||See Guide to Benefits||See Guide to Benefits||See Guide to Benefits|
What Are the Best Credit Cards With Extended Warranties?
Extended warranty protection is one of the more common credit card shopping benefits. You’ll find it packaged with everything from fairly basic flat-rate cash back cards to premium airline cards.
We’ve listed some of our favorites below. Notably, you’ll see a lot of American Express, since its extended warranty benefit typically applies to manufacturer warranties of up to five years. That’s quite a bit longer than the usual three years.
- No annual fee: Chase Freedom Flex℠
- General travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Premium travel: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Cash back: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Dining: American Express® Gold Card
- Business: Capital One Spark 2% Cash Plus
- Business travel: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Enrollment required for select benefits. Terms and limitations apply.
Other Great Credit Cards With Extended Warranties
As mentioned earlier, extended warranties are common among mainstream credit cards. This is an abridged selection, but all the cards you see below are solid offers all around, with extended warranties to boot.
- Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
- American Express® Green Card
- Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card
- Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
- Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card