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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Olivier, whose credit card benefits salvaged a recent purchase:
I bought the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro for $1,299 when it was released in November. It has a gorgeous screen and I use it all the time, including in bed, and that’s where the drama happened. One morning, I stepped on the power cord while it was plugged in, and the iPad fell from the bed and landed on its corner. I don’t like using cases (silly me), so the iPad had no protection and the screen shattered. I contacted Apple, who told me it would cost $649 plus tax (about $704 total) to fix it.
I was furious with myself, but then I remembered that I was wise enough to follow your recommendation regarding the best cards to use for purchase protection. Since I had used my Platinum Card® from American Express and it was less than 90 days after purchase, even though the damage was entirely my fault, I knew it should be covered. I called Amex and a polite agent guided me through the claim process. I provided all the information she needed (serial number, cost, what happened, date of purchase, date of the incident), and she told me I should receive an email from the claims adjuster in two days.
The following day, I received a request to upload documents, including a quote from a authorized repair center. I went to the nearest Best Buy and Apple Store, but neither would provide a written estimate, so I asked the Apple Store to proceed with the repair (in the end, they actually gave me a brand new iPad with the same specs). Back home, I uploaded the repair invoice to Amex, and two days later I received confirmation that my claim was approved, no questions asked. It was a fantastic experience, and the $550 annual fee on my Platinum card has already paid for itself! (See Rates & Fees)
Benefits like purchase protection, price protection and extended warranty coverage should factor into which card you use for larger purchases. Those built-in benefits clearly paid off in Olivier’s case, but you can get similar protections without paying a high annual fee for a premium credit card. For example, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase offers purchase protection with the same coverage per incident and per year (as well as the same 120-day coverage period for most cardholders) but with no annual fee. Each policy has its own set of stipulations, however, so review the rules that apply to your card before you buy.
Olivier’s experience with Amex was frictionless, but filing claims (and getting them approved) isn’t always so easy — see the comments in this post for some anecdotal evidence. Benefit administrators can be rigid about seemingly insignificant details and may deny claims over the slightest infraction, so Olivier was fortunate that moving ahead with the repair (without prior approval) didn’t create any problems. Navigating the paperwork and other bureaucracy involved in filing a claim can be tedious, but staying patient and following instructions to the letter will improve your odds of success.
I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Olivier a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to email@example.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes, or to contribute to our new award redemption series. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually, but we’ll be in touch if yours is selected.
Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Featured photo by David MAREUIL/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
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