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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that most credit cards offer extended product warranties when you purchase merchandise using that credit card. If you didn’t know this, check the “benefits” section of the “terms and regulations” paperwork for your particular credit card. If you have a major credit card like American Express, Discover, Visa or Mastercard (issued by any major banks, such as Citi, Chase, or CapitalOne) you are probably entitled to extended warranty protection. If you’re not sure if you get extended warranty protection, you can also call the number on the back of your card and find out, or use Live Chat offered online by many credit card companies.
Most credit cards extended the store’s or manufacturer’s original warranty by up to either 6 months or a year, but not more than double the original warranty. In other words, if you purchase an item with a 90-day manufacturer’s (or store) warranty and the credit card has a policy of extending warranties by up to one year, your warranty will only be extended 90 days.
If, on the other hand, you purchase a product with a manufacturer’s (or store) warranty of 5 years, but the credit card company extends warranties up to one year, you will get an extra year on your manufacturer’s warranty, for a total of six years.
What happens if you need to make a claim and your original manufacturer’s warranty has expired? How can you take advantage of the extended product warranty offered by your credit card company?
Making a warranty claim can be quite easy — if you keep all your paperwork organized and filed when you make a purchase. When you make an extended warranty claim, you’ll need:
- Your original purchase receipt
- The original manufacturer’s warranty, showing the date it ended and how long it was in effect
You may also need:
- A written estimate of the cost to repair the item
- Special warranty forms required by the credit card company
- Issue you a statement credit to repair the item
- Mail you a check to cover the repair costs of the item
Most credit card companies permit you to make a claim with your extended warranty by phone, fax, or over the Internet. You may want to call or check the company website for your credit card issuer to determine the fastest and easiest way to make a claim.
If you make a claim online or by phone, you will probably need to mail in the original manufacturer’s warranty, estimate for repair and your original purchase receipt. Make sure to make photocopies of these documents for your records.
Once the credit card company receives your paperwork, they will begin processing your claim. It can take from one to four weeks to process a claim, depending on the company, providing all the paperwork is in order.
If your claim is accepted, the credit card company may:
If the cost to repair the item is high — or more than it would cost to buy a new one — the company may simply contact the manufacturer and pay the costs to issue a replacement product to you. Or, the company might send you a check or issue a statement credit for the retail price of the item so you can buy a new one.
Keep in mind, if your paperwork is not in order, or you do not have your original sales receipt or store or manufacturer’s warranty, your request may be rejected.