Purchase protection saved us $1,700 — reader success story

Oct 21, 2019

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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Ethan, who remembered to check his card benefits when a recent purchase was damaged:

We bought new carpet for our basement from one of the big box home improvement stores. All was well until a water pipe ruptured and ruined a good portion of the carpet that had been installed less than four months before. My wife and I were beside ourselves, as we had spent over $2,500 on the purchase. Our homeowners insurance has a deductible fairly close to that amount, but for a variety of reasons we did not want to claim it.

Besides having to clean up the water and remediate the damage, we didn’t want to pay for something again after we had spent so much on it recently. Then I remembered that some of our credit cards carry purchase protection as a benefit, and hoped that we had used one of those cards to buy our carpet. Luckily, we had used our United Club Card, and after carefully reading the fine print, I figured we had a pretty good case to file a claim. One of the stipulations is that the damage must have occurred within 120 days of purchase, and the incident happened at 109 days … phew!

I filed a claim online with all the documents that were needed, including all receipts and estimates for repairs, as well as copies of our homeowners insurance declarations. One thing I learned is that the purchase protection is secondary to your primary insurance, but the claim may still be covered if the replacement cost is under the deductible amount, which held true in our situation.

After about six weeks and a couple further requests for documents, our claim was approved. They paid out about 70% of the total amount we spent, because the installation costs weren’t covered. Even though they didn’t pay out 100%, we were extremely happy with the outcome and felt it was worth the effort. The payout was approximately four times the annual fee for our card, so in addition to the other benefits we get (like United Club access, priority boarding, two free checked bags, etc.), we definitely got our value for this year and the next four years.

The information for the United Club card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

When you file a purchase protection claim, be prepared to offer ample supporting documentation. In addition to the claim form and a receipt or other proof of purchase, you will likely be asked to provide a police report (in the event an item is stolen or vandalized) or other incident report to substantiate your loss. You may also need to submit photographs, a repair estimate, insurance declaration forms (describing other applicable policies) and other documentation benefit administrators deem necessary. The takeaway is that if you anticipate filing a claim, gather as much evidence as you can. The process can be tedious, but as Ethan’s story shows, it can also be worthwhile.

I recommend getting familiar with all your credit card benefits, but this story is a good reminder that they still apply even if you don’t have them memorized. When you run into difficulties like damage to a recent purchase, a lengthy flight delay or a flat tire, check whether one of your credit cards can help remedy the situation before you shell out extra money from your own pocket. You may be covered by benefits like purchase protection, trip-delay reimbursement or roadside assistance; if not, all you’ll have lost is the time it takes to find out.

Related: How to maximize home improvement purchases

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 Ethan a 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 info@thepointsguy.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. 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 edelmar/Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.