Why is it that your expensive smartphone or fancy watch breaks the very day after the manufacturer's warranty expires? Maybe you're afraid of this happening to you, so you purchase a pricey extended warranty to give you peace of mind. But, is it really worth spending huge amounts on an extended warranty when access to a free extended warranty is sitting in your wallet? I'm going to let you in on something: Visa cards, MasterCard cards and many American Express cards offer warranty protection for items purchased with their credit cards - and it's free!
Retailers generally try to make you buy expensive extended warranties and service contracts. In most cases, these extended warranties have severe coverage restrictions and they're not cheap. They can cost from 10-50% of the original price of the product you purchased. Generally if you buy an extended warranty for under 20% of the cost of your purchase, it is considered a good deal. Let's say that you buy a plasma TV that costs $1,300, and you purchase an extended warranty which "only" costs 20% of the price you paid for the TV (which would be a considered a good deal). You would have to pay $260 - a hefty sum! In the future, try skipping that extra cost on your valuable purchases by simply paying with the right credit card.
What do credit card's extended warranties cover and which cards have the best deals? This varies by payment network, and each network has their own policy. Visa and MasterCard have one point in common: They both double the manufacturer's warranty or service contract, up to 12 months. That gives you one full year of free extended warranty on your purchases. I've compared each of the credit card extended warranties by payment network to give you a clear idea of their policies and find out which one has the best deal. Here are our best rated credit cards with free extended warranty:
VISA: the Visa extended protection program covers replacement and repairs up to $10,000. You can have a maximum annual benefit of $50,000. It doesn't cover normal wear and tear or items lost during delivery. It also fails to cover theft or damage from baggage handlers and losses due to natural disasters. It excludes the following products: used items, items purchased for resale, medical equipment, real estate or permanently installed items, cars, boats, consumables, software, antiques, perishables, pets, and plants.
Important note: this is only a portion of the list of items which are not covered, so make sure to read the fine print of your credit card's extended warranty to check the full description of coverage.
To file a claim, you must contact Visa within 60 days and have the following documents ready: credit card receipt, store receipt, manufacturer's warranty (and any other applicable warranty), item's serial number and description, and a repair order. This extended warranty is free of cost for Visa card members.
MasterCard: the MasterCard extended warranty program covers repairs or replacement up to $10,000. It does not cover normal wear and tear, shipping costs, losses due to natural disasters, mold damage, damage from power surges and failures covered by product recalls. It excludes the following products: refurbished or used items, perishables and consumables, pets, plants, software, cars and boats, data storage media, permanently installed items, and real estate.
To file a claim, you must contact MC asset within 30 days. You have to submit a signed claim form along with your credit card receipt and statement itemized purchase receipt, the manufacturer's warranty and an itemized repair estimate. This extended warranty is complimentary when using your MasterCard to make a purchase.
Important note: to see the full description of coverage, make sure to read the fine print of your credit card's extended warranty program.
Take a look at our best rated credit cards with the hottest features to discover which card suits your lifestyle needs.
Emma Fox is a staff writer at GET.com. Email: email@example.comEditorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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