Credit Card Extended Warranty Benefit: Everything You Need to Know

Chris Butsch

Writer

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The extended warranty protection attached to your credit card probably isn’t a benefit you think about every day. But if you ever have to use it, it could be worth more than all of the reward points you earn in a year. 

That’s because extended warranty benefits can fully cover the cost of repairing or replacing certain things you buy with the card, like laptops, TVs, furniture, fitness equipment, and more. And the individual claim limit is an eye-popping $10,000. 

But how does it all work? How do you “activate” the benefit? And will Chase replace my laptop or TV? 

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  • Extended warranty coverage is a free perk on many credit cards.
  • The credit card extends the manufacturer’s warranty of certain purchases by 12 to 24 months, depending on the card.
  • It typically includes things like electronics, appliances, and furniture, but excludes vehicles, software, or anything rented or leased.
  • The extended warranty is only as good as the original warranty. 
  • You might have to activate the original warranty to be covered by your credit card's extended warranty.

Best credit cards for extended warranty benefits

The Citi Premier® Card gives additional warranty protection for two years with a $10,000 limit per claim. The following cards all give an additional one year with a limit of $10,000 per claim and an account limit of $50,000.

What is a credit card extended warranty benefit? 

Some, but not all, credit cards include a benefit called extended warranty protection. In a nutshell, credit card extended warranties will extend the manufacturer’s warranty of qualifying items you purchase using the credit card. 

Let’s say you purchase a pricey new laptop using your credit card. The laptop itself only comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, which isn’t especially long (or comforting). 

Sure enough, on Day 366 the screen stops working. You reach out to the manufacturer for help, but they give you they say that your warranty period has expired and quote you $1,100 for a repair. 

Before losing your cool, you suddenly remember that you purchased the laptop using your Chase card, which extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one year. Huzzah! So you fill out an extended warranty claim form online, get approved, and, ideally, get a $1,100 statement credit within a few weeks. 

How does the credit card extended warranty benefit work? 

A credit card extended warranty benefit works by extending the original eligible manufacturer’s warranty on a qualifying product you purchased with the card. 

As mentioned, most Chase credit cards offer a one-year extended warranty benefit. So, if you purchase a TV with a card that includes a six-month manufacturer's warranty, Chase will extend the coverage for an additional full year, totaling 18 months.

If the TV breaks within the first six months you’ll file a claim with the TV company. But if it breaks between months six and 18, you’ll file a claim with Chase. 

Naturally, a credit card extended warranty benefit is only as good as the manufacturer's warranty it extends. So let’s take a look at how those work and what “limited warranty” really means. 

How manufacturer warranties work

When you purchase certain things like laptops, appliances, electronics, accessories, fitness equipment, furniture, and even vehicles, the manufacturer will typically include a warranty. 

A manufacturer's warranty is a legal agreement between the manufacturer and the consumer that says “Hey, we stand behind our products, so if it breaks within the first year, just let us know and we’ll repair or replace it free of charge.” 

One year is just an example. Manufacturers provide warranties ranging from 30 days to a “lifetime,” covering factory defects, excluding theft, loss, or damage.

So if your laptop suddenly stops turning on, Dell would probably repair or replace it under warranty. But if you spilled a gallon of Fanta Orange on it first, you’ll be out of luck. 

What “limited warranty” really means

Before a major purchase, grasp the “limited” in the warranty to avoid overestimating protection, whether factory or extended.

The term “limited warranty” traces back to a time when manufacturers could make any claim they wanted about their warranty. So for years, they’d say “Our warranty covers absolutely everything, buy our fridge with confidence.” 

But as soon as your fridge stopped working and you filed a claim, they’d say “Well, not everything…”

To put an end to these misleading shenanigans, in 1975 the FTC passed the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, which states “If you offer a warranty, you gotta stand by it.”

It also says, paraphrased, “If your warranty has tons of hoops and exclusions, it’s not a ‘full’ warranty’ – it’s a ‘limited’ warranty.” 

That’s why 99% of the manufacturer's warranty offers you’ll see today are “limited.” They have tons of terms and conditions attached that can make filing claims difficult, such as: 

  • Arbitrarily requiring you to “register” your warranty within 30 days of purchase
  • Requiring you to pay shipping costs
  • Covering some components longer than others (e.g. 6-month battery warranty)
  • Having exclusions for expected use cases, such as taking an off-road vehicle off-road

Why does this all matter? I can’t stress enough that a credit card extended warranty benefit is only as good as the factory warranty it extends, and if the factory warranty has more holes than a cheese grater, your extended warranty won’t be any better!

To give a real-life example, I recently faced a decision between an Alienware 34” monitor and an LG C2 as a gaming display. Both utilized OLED technology, known for causing a “burn-in” that damages the screen. Upon discovering that Alienware's warranty covered burn-in while LG's did not, the choice became easy. Additionally, I gained an extra year (for a total of four) by using the right credit card.

Man holding credit card and laptop. Guide to what is covered by your credit card extended warranty.

What is covered by your credit card’s extended warranty? 

A typical credit card's extended warranty will extend the manufacturer’s warranty coverage by at least one year. 

As mentioned, it’ll only apply to eligible purchases made using that specific card. Purchases made using rewards points are typically covered, too. 

Credit card companies generally limit individual claims to $10,000, so if you were looking to buy the world’s most expensive TV — FYI: it's the $233,000 C SEED — you should know that Chase probably won’t help you replace it if the screen burns out. 

Finally, as for what type of purchases qualify for extended warranty coverage (e.g. furniture, electronics), credit card companies don’t keep a running list of what does qualify. They do, however, keep a list of exclusions. 

Just keep in mind that your extended warranty coverage is only as good as the original manufacturer's warranty itself. So if you’re about to make a large investment in a laptop, fridge, or piece of furniture, make sure to read the fine print and see just how “limited” that warranty is. 

Related: What you need to know about credit card purchase protection

What isn’t covered by your credit card’s extended warranty benefit? 

Tons of products come with a manufacturer's warranty these days, and needless to say, your credit card won’t cover all of them. 

Some common exclusions to credit card extended warranties include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Vehicles (cars, boats, RVs, etc.)
  • Used, antique, or pre-owned items 
  • Software
  • Services (e.g. repairs, maintenance, diagnostics)
  • Items purchased for commercial use
  • Leased or rented items
  • Anything living (e.g. Aerogarden seed pods)
  • The original manufacturer's warranty does not cover anything that wasn't included in its coverage.

If you're uncertain about the coverage of something you're about to purchase, it's advisable to consult your specific card's guide to benefits or directly contact your benefits administrator (both accessible through a quick Google search).

Are refurbished items covered under the credit card extended warranty? 

Based on our findings on Reddit and various tech forums, there appears to be considerable confusion about whether this benefit covers refurbished items.

In brief, if the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) certifies the item as refurbished and provides a manufacturer's warranty, it is more likely to qualify for extended warranty coverage.

Yet, if a third party refurbishes or resells the item with a third-party warranty, the extended warranty is less likely to cover it.

Either way, if you're contemplating a large purchase, it's probably best to contact your benefits administrator and inquire about the coverage of your very specific purchase. If possible, secure their response in writing to have a fallback in case they attempt to deny your claim later.

Related: Credit card rental car insurance: What you need to know

How to use your credit card's extended warranty

Utilizing your credit card's extended warranty involves two distinct steps: registering the warranty and subsequently filing a claim when an issue arises.

How to register your credit card extended warranty benefit

As long as you use the right credit card (or points), most issuers will automatically apply the extended warranty benefit to eligible purchases. 

That said, filing a claim involves a ton of paperwork. Some issuers, like Chase, recommend you “pre-register” your extended warranty benefit, preemptively uploading your sales receipt, manufacturer’s warranty card, and serial number in case you lose them later. 

How to file an extended warranty claim

When it comes time to file a claim, get ready to jump through some hoops. Here’s the skinny on how it typically works: 

  1. Reach out to your credit card’s Benefits Administrator within 90 days of the product failure
  2. Fill out a claim form online. You may also need to include:
    • The original sales receipt
    • Your credit card statement showing the eligible purchase
    • A copy of the original manufacturer’s warranty
    • The item’s serial number
    • A repair estimate or repair bill
    • Any other documentation they can come up with
  3. Wait for an approval or denial. If approved, you’ll typically get a statement credit for the cost of the repair/replacement minus some fees

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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Author picture

I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.