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Is the American Express Extended Warranty just a gimmick? There has to be some major fine print associated with this program…right?
Many credit cards include an extended warranty program, although the program through American Express is probably the most well known.
It’s offered on every card through AmEx issued in the United States and can really protect you if a purchased item breaks after the warranty ends. Still, there are some very important details to understand about this coverage, including purchases that are excluded.
Warranty Program Fine Print
For a purchase to qualify for coverage under the extended warranty program, the following must apply:
- The entire purchase amount MUST be paid for with your American Express card, and must not be in one of the excluded categories below.
- If the item has an extended warranty that’s 5 years or less, the duration coverage will be doubled up to an additional year.
- Extended warranty coverage through AmEx DOES NOT APPLY until the original warranty through the manufacturer expires.
Also Remember – Coverage is limited to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per policy year for each cardmember.
There are also quite a few items not covered under the extended warranty program, although most are pretty obvious like food and cars. Here’s the listed exclusions for the program through American Express:
- Consumable and perishable items
- Animals and living plants
- Buildings and land
- Purchases under an installment billing
- Motorized vehicles
- Motorized devices and parts that are permanent fixtures to a building
- Motorized devices and parts used for landscaping, demolition, construction and agriculture. This includes power tools.
- Business fixtures such as heaters and air conditioners
- Items intended for resale, commercial or professional use
- Items covered by a satisfaction guarantee
- Items purchased as a part of a set. These items will have limited coverage that won’t exceed that value of any particular part, although this does not apply if the items are unusable except as a set, or they cannot be replaced individually.
- Extra extended warranty coverage or service contract for computers, components or parts if they include an original US manufacturer’s warranty, unless this coverage is administered by the original manufacturer of the computer or parts.
Two of the most common questions regarding exclusions for the extended warranty program relate to the iPhone and computers.
For the iPhone, this can be tricky. If you purchased your iPhone through AT&T, which does not offer any coverage, you can probably be covered under the extended warranty program through American Express. Just keep in mind you may run into problems if you didn’t pay full price, but a subsidized price through your cell phone company.
As for computers, assuming the purchase meets qualifications under the program, you will be covered if the computer gives out after the original manufacturer’s warranty expires, as long as the computer didn’t have an extended warranty in place.
Starting an Claim With American Express
If your item breaks, starting a claim is relatively easy, although you must have all of the documentation ready.
Start by contacting AmEx at the number on the back of your credit card to begin the process and learn more about the next steps.
Important Note: Be prepared to provide the copy of the manufacturer’s warranty, the original store receipt, a copy of your billing statement showing the charge, a repair estimate and a service contract, although all of this may not be necessary.
What’s The Difference Between American Express Return Protection and Extended Warranty?
Curious about the difference between these two programs from American Express?
The Extended Warranty Program, explained above, is designed to protect you when your item breaks or malfunctions after the original manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Return Protection, on the other hand, guarantees product satisfaction when the item is purchased entirely with an AmEx card. If you attempt to return a product within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express will refund you the purchase price.
Return Protection covers you up to $300 per eligible item and up to $1,000 annually, although this excludes the shipping and handling costs.