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Guide to Credit Card Purchase Protections

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By: Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

Here at 10xTravel we love showing you how to use miles and points to travel the world without going broke. We do that by sharing tips and tricks to maximize the rewards you get from travel rewards credit cards.

Travel isn’t the only benefit you get from using credit cards. Most credit cards offer consumer protections for the things you buy using your cards. Today, let’s shift our attention away from travel and focus on the purchase protections that could help you save money on your day-to-day purchases.

Before we get into the benefits of purchase protections, I have some bad news…

Chase is dropping price and return protection across all of its cards. Yes, this includes the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Additionally, Chase is reducing the trip cancellation/interruption insurance on its United co-branded credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred (learn more)

Chase Sapphire Reserve (learn more)

These changes will go into effect on June 1, 2018. It’s currently unclear as to the amount the trip cancellation/interruption benefit will be decreased. If there are any other updates before then, we’ll make sure to update you.

Unfortunately, Chase isn’t alone in decreasing the value of these benefits to its users. Citi is changing its price protection benefit, known as Price Rewind as well. Citi will now offer a maximum of $200 per claim, and only $1,000 maximum per year. This is significantly decreased from the previous $500 per claim and $2,500 per year.

With these changes in mind, let’s take a look at the purchase protections you can get via credit cards.

Price Protection

We all like saving money, and that’s what price protection is here to do. Price protection allows you to receive a refund on a purchase you made if the price drops after your purchase.

You are likely familiar with stores offering price matching, and this is the same idea but often with fewer restrictions. Let’s look at an example to see why price protection from a credit card can beat price matching at a store.

I was recently in the market for a new television. Many major retailers offer price matching, but they limit what stores they will match. Credit cards don’t have store restrictions and will match any price so long as the model number matches.

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Finding a great deal doesn’t require you to purchase through an unfamiliar website

While shopping, I found the TV I wanted for under $1,300. However, it was from a store I didn’t know, so I was a little uncertain I would ever receive the TV if I ordered it from them. Since it wasn’t from a store that major retailers would price match, I was out of luck under their policies.

I used the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card since it offers price protection as a benefit. I was able purchase the TV from a store I knew well then file a price protection claim with Citi. I was issued a refund for the price difference in within a month of filing.

Please note, in this example I used my Citi AAdvantage credit card before the benefit was decreased.

Price protection varies amongst different banks, and there are a LOT of credit cards out there with price protection.

Claim MaximumYearly Maximum
Barclaycard$250$1,000
Capital One$250$1,000
Citi$200$1,000
Discover$500$2,500

Price Protection Breakdown by Bank

Let’s break down what this means. The claim maximum is the maximum refund you can receive per claim. So, if you are buying a new home theater system and find it $1,000 cheaper, you won’t be able to get the full $1,000 through price match.

The yearly maximum is the maximum amount you can claim in per calendar year. Although, most readers will have multiple credit cards that offer price protection benefits, so you can make purchases accordingly.

Be sure to read the terms and conditions for each credit card you have, as different banks have different terms regarding sales and how to file a claim. One term that you’ll find across the board is that price matching only applies to the price of the item. You can’t use price protection for shipping and taxes.

Banks Offering Price Protection

  • Barclays – Arrival Plus and Premier
  • Citi – All personal cards (called Price Rewind)
  • Discover – All Cards
  • U.S. Bank – Cash 365 American Express Card (called Best Value Guaranteed)

Best Cards for Price Protection

Citi used to be the go-to for price protection, but not any longer. The new king is Discover which is now the only credit card issuer with a $2,500 annual limit, and maximum $500 out of pocket per claim. For large price differences, Discover is the way to go.

Discover currently offers the best price protections 

Citi is still a good option – the ease of Citi’s automatic Price Rewind program makes it nearly foolproof to use. It’s still a good option, but it no longer reigns supreme as the go-to card to have for price protection.

10xTravel Tip: Use price protection with Black Friday sales to purchase your Christmas gifts in advance to 10x your savings and your family time during the holiday season.

Purchase Protection

It can be easy to get the two confused, but don’t mix up purchase protection with price protection. Purchase protection is like insurance – it protects your purchased goods from damage or theft for a limited time after purchase.

The levels of protection vary depending on what card you have, so be sure to check your benefits guide for a full explanation of this coverage.

While there are certain exclusions, such as motor vehicles—sorry, your wrecked car isn’t getting replaced. You’re also not covered if damage occurs due to a war. However, most of your purchases will be included.

And yes, coverage does extend to electronics in many cases. So, if you accidentally damage your new computer within the covered time frame (typically 90 to 120 days) you can file a claim.

Credit card purchase protection can help fix or replace electronics

Claims won’t necessarily pay out for a replacement. They may sometimes ask you to get the item repaired instead, but it still beats paying out of pocket!

Benefit Per Provider

Credit ProviderMaximum Claim ValueAnnual Maximum BenefitClaim Window
American Express$1,000-$10,000 (varies by card)$50,00090 days
CitiUp to $10,000 per item$50,000120 days (90 in NY)
Chase$500-$10,000 (varies by card)$50,000120 days
BarclaysUp to $1,000 per item$50,00090 days
Capital One (Visa Signature Cards Only)Up to $500 per item$50,00090 days
U.S. Bank (Visa Signature Cards Only)Up to $500 per item$50,00090 days

Different providers call the purchase protection different things, so be sure to read your benefits guide to find the exact benefit on your specific card.

The two best options are Citi and American Express cards. Citi doesn’t publish the benefit clearly online, so it is difficult to see what you’re getting, but from what we have been able to put together, it applies across their personal credit cards.

American Express is in a very close second – only because not all of their charge and credit cards offer a maximum $10,000 maximum per claim. If you’re purchasing luxury items, be sure you have the right American Express card. The following cards offer a maximum claim of $10,000:

  • The Business Platinum Card from American Express (Learn More)
  • The Platinum Card from American Express (Learn More)
  • Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express  (Learn More)
  • Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express  (Learn More)
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express

Note: Discover used to have this benefit, but discontinued it at the end of February 2018.

Extended Warranties

Next time you’re purchasing a high-ticket item and the cashier asks if you would like the extended warranty, you can confidently say “no.” You might know that many of your credit cards offer extended warranties when used to purchase an item, so why would you pay more for something you’re already getting?

Extended warranty coverage on credit cards will extend the manufacturer’s warranty by at least a year, and in some instances 5 years. Be sure to safely store a copy of your receipt and the original warranty in case you need to file a claim.

Many credit cards offer extended warranty protections when you use the card to purchase an item

There are limitations, of course. Extended warranties from cards won’t create a warranty on an item that didn’t previously have one, and some electronic goods may not be covered. However, most household appliances and other electronics are covered.

You’ll find extended warranty offered on most major credit cards. The one notable exception is Discover cards, which discontinued extended warranties as of February 2018.

Best Credit Cards for Extended Warranties

  • AmEx Everyday Card by American Express (learn more) – No annual fee, up to 1 additional year of warranty
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (learn more) – $95 annual fee waived first year, up to 1 additional year of warranty
  • Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Credit Card – $95 annual fee, up to 24 months of additional warranty

Return Protection

Have you ever tried returning an item to the store only to find you didn’t meet all of the requirements the store places on returns? Return protection let’s you return an item that the store won’t accept.

With most credit cards, you can use this benefit to return an item up to 90-days after purchase. Like other protections, there is a maximum benefit per claim and maximum yearly benefit that you can receive.

With many credit cards, you can use the return protection benefit to return an item up to 90-days after purchase

There are also exclusions that generally don’t show up in other protections. The biggest excluded items from return protection are jewelry, cosmetics, and video games.

Return protection is a great benefit to use when purchasing items that can’t easily be returned. Did you go to a concert and get a t-shirt that was a size too big? With return protection you can get a refund that may be otherwise difficult or impossible to receive.

Best Credit Cards for Return Protection

With Chase cutting return protection, there are only two issuers who offer it across the board: American Express and Citi.

American Express offers Return Protection on all of its credit cards, up to $300 per item (excluding shipping and handling), and up to $1,000 per year. Claims must be made within 90 days of purchase. To make a claim, call the American Express Return Protection Department at 1-800-297-8019.

Citi offers Return Protection for 90 days after purchase. The limits are higher than American Express offers at $500 per item, and $2,500 per year. You can file a claim with Citi by calling 1-866-918-4670.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure most of you are getting a lot of value from your credit cards by using miles and points to travel. By using the different purchase protections, you can truly maximize the benefits you’re getting and save you money.

Now, you can easily say “no thanks” to the extended warranty and you don’t have to worry that you’re getting the best deal on every purchase. You KNOW you will have extra coverage and that if a better deal comes by, you can get the difference refunded.

You can use these tips and tricks on your next shopping trip so you can make purchases with a solid piece of mind.

Travel In Style,

Travis

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