How Free Extended Warranties Work on Credit Cards

When you purchase appliances or electronics, the cashier will often ask if you would also like to purchase an extended warranty. This can be a tempting offer, since no one likes the thought of an expensive purchase breaking soon after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. Thankfully, many credit cards include some form of extended warranty coverage that you can use instead of purchasing an additional policy. (See also: Why You Should Always Pay With a Credit Card)

How Your Credit Card Extended Warranty Works

When you make a purchase with a card that offers an extended warranty policy, it will stretch the manufacturer’s warranty for eligible products. Typically, these policies will double the manufacturer’s warranty up to one year for warranties of up to three years. Some American Express cards will allow additional coverage on warranties of up to five years, and select Citi cards will extend the warranty by a full 24 months. These policies don’t actually make the manufacturer extend its standard warranty for you; rather they offer additional coverage provided by a third party that will repair or replace the item at its discretion.

How to File a Claim

Each issuer will have a different process, but you will need to be sure to keep your original receipt and a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty (which you can probably search for online). When you file the claim, you’ll most likely be asked for specific details about the product, such as its serial number, model number, et cetera. Have that information handy. Photos are always helpful.

Policy Details

As with any credit card benefit, there are exclusions and limitations. For example, these policies typically exclude motor vehicles and parts, malfunctions due to normal wear and tear, as well as used goods and services. There is also a cap on the coverage per claim, as well as per year. Typically repairs and losses are covered up to $10,000 per claim, with a $50,000 maximum per calendar year. (See also: The Secret Credit Card Perk That Saved Me $300)