Credit Card Extended Warranty Policies Compared: American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard

If you're looking to make a big purchase, which credit card should you use to get extended warranty coverage? Most credit cards offer different levels of extended warranty so you can skip the store warranty up-sell. 

What is extended warranty?

Extended warranty offered by credit cards typically add up to a year of additional coverage to eligible purchases. In most cases, the extended warranty will only cover what the original manufacturer warranty covers. If the original warranty of the product doesn't cover normal wear and tear, or accidental damage, then the extended warranty will not cover those cases as well. 

For example, if you spill water on a MacBook, water damage is not covered by Apple Care. Therefore, the extended warranty will also not cover water damage. 

Extended Warranty from Credit Cards Compared

American Express

All American Express credit cards are eligible for extended warranty protection. To qualify for the benefit, the maximum duration of the original warranty is five years. Any products that have a warranty over five years or a lifetime guarantee do not qualify.

Extended warranty from Amex doubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 12 months, and the maximum coverage amount is up to $10,000 per claim, with a maximum of $50,000 per year.

Damages from natural disasters, software, motorized devices and vehicles, water damage, and physical damage are not covered.

Drones are a grey area because some companies consider them a motorized device, and some categorize it as a camera. Be sure to call your benefit administrator to clarify before buying a drone if you want to use this benefit. 

Discover

Update: Discover will no longer offer extended warranty starting on 2/28/18.

All Discover cards provide up to an additional year of coverage after your original manufacturer's warranty expires. The original warranty must be three years or less to qualify for extended warranty.

Discover will offer a replacement up to $10,000 per claim, and a maximum of $50,000 per year. Damages not covered by extended warranty are repairs from an unauthorized facility, normal wear and tear, results of a power surge, shipping costs, and damages from contamination. 

Visa Signature Cards

Most Visa Signature Cards double the manufacturer's warranty up to 12 months. This applies to manufacturer warranties of 3 years or less. Benefits from different credit issuers vary, so be sure to check your credit card benefits guide to see if you're covered. 

Visa Signature cards will offer a replacement up to $10,000 per claim, with a maximum of $50,000 per year. Damage from normal wear and tear, items lost during delivery, natural disasters, theft, or damage from baggage handlers are not covered.

Mastercard

Mastercard offers the least amount of extended warranty out of the bunch. The original manufacturer warranty has to be one year or less in order to qualify. Mastercard will double the original manufacturer warranty up to 12 months. 

Damages from acts of god, recalls, wear and tear, lack of maintenance, and power surges are not covered. 

How to submit an extended warranty claim

  1. Contact the benefit administrator within the qualified claim timeframe (30-60 days, depending on the issuer).
  2. Submit relevant documents like the itemized store receipt, card statement, original manufacturer's warranty, and a repair estimate.