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“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week — Mondays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

One of the great features of credit cards in general is the extra protection benefits many of them provide, such as covering the items you buy against damage, loss or theft. But TPG reader Gabrielle wanted to clarify exactly when the clock on that purchase protection period starts…

Does Amex’s 90-day purchase-protection coverage period begin on the date you place the order or does it begin when the item is charged to your credit card?

TPG Reader Gabrielle

What Gabrielle’s specifically asking here is whether purchase protection kicks in on the date you place your order, at which point your credit card is authorized for the full amount, the date the item is delivered or the date that the transaction posts, which can be several days after your order ships. The answer to this question depends on which bank and card you use to make your purchase, and it’s important to dig into the terms and conditions to find out exactly what the rules are. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

When it comes to American Express, each card has a different set of purchase protection terms and conditions (almost all of which you can find online here). As an example, for The Platinum Card from American Express — which provides up to $10,000 in coverage per claim — the terms and conditions state that

Purchase Protection provides benefits, for ninety (90) days from the date of purchase, if a Covered Incident occurs with respect to the item You purchased and charged to Your Account. [emphasis added]

Now, the words “date of purchase” might be a bit nebulous, but it seems likely Amex will look for the date you were physically in the store buying the item or placing the order online, rather than the date the item was delivered or posted to your statement. There might be some wiggle room if the two dates were far apart, but you should assume Amex will check the original receipt — which you normally have to submit when filing any claim — for the date the purchase was made.

You only have a few more days to sign-up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve with a 100,000 point sign-up bonus.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve also provides up to $10,000 for each purchase protection claim.

Chase cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer purchase protection from $500 to $10,000 per claim, depending on which card you have. A look at the terms and conditions for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card tells us

If you buy an eligible item in the United States using your Account or rewards points earned on your Account and experience theft, damage, or involuntary and accidental parting with property within one hundred and twenty (120) days from the date of your purchase, Purchase Protection will replace, repair, or reimburse you up to a maximum of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars for each claim and up to fifty thousand ($50,000.00) dollars for each year.

So Chase’s rules are essentially the same as Amex’s — you can expect to be held to the date of purchase as shown on your original receipt.

However, the verbiage for Citi ThankYou cards, such as the Citi Prestige Card which also offers up to $10,000 in coverage for each claim, is a little different…

If an item is purchased with your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points and is damaged, lost, or stolen within 120 days (90 days for New York residents) of purchase or delivery of the item, whichever is first, we may repair it or reimburse you up to the amount paid with your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points. [emphasis added]

So in this case, you’ll be on the clock at the earlier of either the date you buy the item or the date it’s delivered. Meaning if your receipt shows a delivery date ahead of any other date, expect to be held to the earlier date, not the later one.

Finally, remember that any time you’re filing a claim for coverage under any credit card benefit, the more documentation you have demonstrating both the purchase and the loss, the better off you’ll be. Thanks for the question, Gabrielle, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by Michael Heim/EyeEm/Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.