Maximizing Amex Post 9: Purchase and Return Protection and Extended Warranty

by on May 18, 2011 · 28 comments

in American Express

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This is another installment in my Maximizing Amex series where I examine the benefits of American Express cards and Amex’s Membership Rewards Program. The articles include; Post 1: Understanding the Card Offering. Post 2: Understanding Membership Rewards. Post 3: Understanding Transfer Bonuses. Post 4: Platinum Card Review. Post 5: SkyTeam Transfer Partners. Post 6: Oneworld Transfer Partners. Post 7: Star Alliance Transfer Partners. Post 8:Understanding Emergency Travel Assistance and Travel Accident Insurance. Post 9: Purchase and Return Protection and Extended Warranty. Post 10: Car Rental Benefits. Post 11: Gold and Premier Rewards Gold Card Comparison.

Purchase Protection: Provides coverage for your purchases for 90 days from the date of purchase when you charge any portion of the price of the purchase to your American Express card, up to $10,000 for any one incident and up to $50,000 during a calendar year. Benefit does not include shipping, installation, profesional advice, maintenace or other service charges.

To file a claim within 30 days of loss call 1-800-322-1277 or if overseas call collect 1-303-273-6498

Limitations: war or any act of 1) war, 2) any activity related to military force or any nation state recognized by the UN, 3) participation in a riot, civil disturbance or protest 4) violation of criminal law 5) natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes 6) fraud or abuse or illegal activity 7) confiscation by a government/customs 8)negligent failure of a duty to care by any third party in whose possession the item was placed 9) not being reasonably safeguarded by you 10) theft from baggage not carried by hand and under supervision by you 11) damage through alteration 12) normal wear and tear, product defect 13) damage or theft while under the care and control of a common carrier 14) food spoilage 15) leaving property at an unoccupied construction site 16) purchases lost or misplaced.

Items not eligible: travelers checks, giftcards, tickets, animals or living plants, rare stamps and coins, consumable or perishable items with limited life spans (perfume, lightbulbs), antiques or previously owned items, motorized vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, lost or stolen property, permanent household fixtures like carpeting and flooring, buiness fixtures, hospital or medical equipment.

Return Protection: Offers you guaranteed product satisfaction on designated items purchased entirely with an eligible American Express Card. If you try to take it back to the merchant and they won’t take it, American Express will refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling up to a maximum of $1,000 per year.

To process a return, call 1-800-297-8019 within 90 days of purchase date.

Limitations: Purchases must be made in the United States and charged in full on your card. Refunds will not be paid if your account is past due or you cancel your card. The item must be “like new” (not visibly used or worn). The maximum you will be reimbursed will not exceed suggested retail price and any rebates/coupons will be taken out of the payment.

Items not eligible: animals and living plants, one-of-a-kind items (like antiques, furs), limited edition items, going-out-of-business sale items, consumable or perishable items with limited life spans (such as perfume, light bulbs), jewelry, watches, precious coins, used/refurbished/rebuilt itens, maps, books, software, cellular phones, CDs, health care items, formal wear, tickets, motorized vehicles, land/buildings, firearms, cash and its equivalent and items permanently affixed to your home like garage door openers and car alarms).

Extended Warranty: Charge your covered purchases that have a valid U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less to the Card Extend Your Warranty.  Extended Warranty will extend the terms of the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year on eligible purchases with warranties of 5 years or less, when the purchase is charged to the Card.

How to file a claim: 1-800-225-3750

What you need: original receipt, original warranty information, Amex statement and the damaged product. (Though many people report not having to provide any of this information or even send in the broken product).

Limits: Coverage is available for eligible items up to the amount charged to the Card, up to $10,000 (not to exceed $50,000 per Cardmember account per policy year).
Eligibility: The basic Cardmember and any Additional Cardmembers on the account are eligible as long as they are U.S. Resident Cardmembers, that is, the American Express Card has been issued to them in their name, and they maintain a permanent residence within the 50 United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Do you have to send back the damaged item? “Please keep all items. After we have determined your item is eligible under the Extended Warranty we may ask you to return the item to American Express before we replace the item. If upon receipt a decision is made to reimburse you instead, you will then receive a refund for the item.”

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • PJ Irwin

    This is actually a great benefit available with most AMEX cards. Last year I bought a netbook to take travelling, and while in Italy I dropped it – rendering it useless. On my return I was delighted to find I had made the purchase on my Amex card. Called them, emailed a copy of the receipt and a photo of the smashed screen. In a week I had a full refund – actually they mailed a cheque so I even got to keep my Aeroplan points. Definitely better benefits with Amex than Visa.

  • tivoboy

    this is actually a pretty common benefit across any and all cards today, visa & mastercard included. some are even better than others.

    Most people will totally overlook this benefit (or simply forget about it) Keep it in mind when making any purchases.

  • pt

    tivoboy, while this is a common benefit to many, it is not common to ALL.

    -in fact, even many AMEX *CREDIT* cards do not have this feature, e.g. trueearnings (costco).

    -the differentiator is also the $ cap on the benefit, across different amex cards (spg, green, gold, platinum, etc…)

    -on visa and mc, it is available on the higher tiered cards (e.g. visa signature, mastercard world elite). the more “basic” v/mc cards like standard or gold may not have them… and again there are cap differences

    fwiw, ive used the benefits from both mc and amex. theyre all quite easy and seamless, but prefer amex due to ability to file claims ONLINE, and quicker/instant chargebacks

  • tivoboy

    Of course it isn’t any and all, I really can’t believe I put a polar statement in there.

    Most visa today are signature, for the “lesser” than cards, they may not offer it, but also someone who is only getting a lesser than card is probably not going to qualify for ANY amex today.

    It is a great benefit and one which continues because from my direct knowledge of the industry (and management in AMEX) the amount of money paid out for this program within their cards is less than “1/10 or 1% or LESS”

    So, many people (myself included having used it easily and often) will consider it a perk for ANY card which offers it, the majority will never use it. But, the card companies will continue to profess the value (which is of course there) to cardholders and prospects.

  • william

    Question — If I bought an electronic device like an Ipod and Apple refused to let me return it because after the 30 day return period will American Express take it back (within the specified $$ limits of course)?


  • ilimas

    AMEX is awesome! I emailed an extended warranty claim yesterday for my watch that just broke. I was a little nervous because it is on the edge of even the extended 1-year warranty period. Provided the amount, date of purchase, model & serial number, and original warranty period. Just received an email reply today that I have been credited the entire purchase amount. That was all I needed to do; so quick and simple. What customer service!

  • p t

    wiliam – yes, absolutely. thats the point of the program. and i should say, for the couple of items ive reuturned previously, the cc company didnt even ask me to send the product back. o

  • rohanfly

    Called Amex to try to get more mr points so I can sign up for platinum card and told me on 7/13 they will run 50k sign up bonus instead of current 25k — live the site newbie

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  • § Warranty

    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.

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  • M Wesley

    I want to be clear on “Return Protection”. Here is my scenario. I electronically purchased approximately $650 of tablecloths and linens from a an Austin Texas retailer and paid in full with my AMEX. Their return policy is within 5 days which has passed. Tablecloths were individually wrapped, on inspection, the numbers were accurate and the top one did not have holes or faulty seams. However, now that I have opened three packages, I find numerous holes and open seams and these are not satisfactory. The retailer “might” accept unopened packages but with a 20% restocking fee. Should I file a calim with AMEX. There was no indication that these linens would be rejects. Suggestions appreciated

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  • Tao

    TPG, for the purchase protection, it’s $1,000 for any one covered incident, not $10,000. That’s for most of the AMEX cards, but Platinum cards do offer $10,000 for one incident and $50,000 in a year.

  • oranges

    when you read the fine legal print in the benefits for the Platinum card it actually says for the Purchase Protection that it is only an “excess” coverage if you already have home/renter’s insurance, and you technically have to submit your home/renter’s insurance declaration form, which in turn means your home/renter’s insurance may raise your premiums on the long run every time you file a claim. Would have been too good to be true if Amex would assume primary coverage for loss/theft/damage. They cleverly never mention this though in any of their application pages or benefit overviews.

  • oranges
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