What Is an Extended Warranty?

Though they seldom take the spotlight, credit card shopping protections can prove exceptionally useful.

The extended warranty is an excellent example.

In the world of credit cards, an extended warranty is a common shopping benefit that extends an eligible item’s manufacturer warranty by a preset period of time. The terms of an extended warranty — how long it lasts, the coverage amount, etc. — can vary by card and by financial institution.

Extended warranty coverage doesn’t usually encompass things like accidental damage or normal wear and tear (these things may be covered by purchase protection, however). It’s mainly used to cover workmanship-related issues that shouldn’t ordinarily occur, reflecting the terms of most manufacturer’s warranties.

So, an example: If you drop your smartphone and crack the screen, that’s on you. Your extended warranty won’t (usually) help. But if your smartphone camera stops working out of the blue despite the phone’s otherwise good condition, you’re probably covered, as long as you’re still within the coverage period.

Extended warranties are often provided by a credit card’s network (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) rather than its issuer, although the issuer ultimately decides which benefits to include on each card.

How Do You Know if Your Credit Card Offers an Extended Warranty?

To find out whether your credit card has an extended warranty, check your credit card’s Guide to Benefits. A physical copy should’ve come with your card when you received it in the mail, but you may be able to access a digital copy or similar information by logging in to the issuer’s online portal or mobile app, too, depending on the issuer.

If you’d prefer to check by phone, you could always call the number on the back of your card to ask (browse issuer contact information here if your card’s not handy).

Curious about a card you don’t already have? You may be able find its Guide to Benefits by Googling the card name followed by “Guide to Benefits,” or by simply exploring the credit card company’s website.

How Do You Use a Credit Card’s Extended Warranty?

First, an important point: In order to qualify for a credit card’s warranty coverage, the item must have been purchased with that card. Beyond that, the key to filing an extended warranty claim is paperwork. You’ll typically need three things, though more documentation may be requested:

  • A copy of the original receipt for the item you bought
  • The item’s manufacturer warranty information
  • The credit card statement for the period during which you purchased the item

Depending on the provider, you might be able to register your purchase on the benefit administrator’s website right when you purchase it. Doing so would be wise — that way, you can send over the above information while it’s still on hand, and you won’t be left scrambling to find it if something goes wrong with the product down the line.

If you didn’t already register your product, then consult your card’s Guide to Benefits for further instruction (more about how credit card benefits work here), and to ensure whether the situation in question is actually covered. You’ll usually start by contacting your benefit administrator, and they’ll provide you with forms to fill out. You’ll then have to submit the requested information, likely alongside the above documentation.

Once everything’s been submitted, the benefit administrator will determine whether your product qualifies for reimbursement. Assuming it does, it’ll typically be replaced or repaired by an authorized service provider.

Insider tip

Extended warranty perks can typically be used by both the primary cardholder and any authorized users.

What’s Covered By a Credit Card Extended Warranty?

Extended warranties tend to encompass the same coverages (more or less) as the item’s manufacturer’s warranty, with occasional variations depending on the card and/or the benefit provider. That’s really the point — the benefit takes the existing warranty and makes it last longer.

So, in general, defects in workmanship are covered, but things like accidental damage and normal wear and tear are not.

As for the types of products that qualify for coverage, the list includes basically anything that’s not outright excluded. Most credit card issuers and networks who provide these warranties make exclusions clear, so the details for your particular card shouldn’t be hard to find.

Common exclusions include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Items that don’t come with manufacturer’s warranties
  • Motorized vehicles, including cars, boats, and aircraft
  • Land and buildings
  • Computer software
  • Used and pre-owned items
  • Products purchased for commercial use or resale

What Makes a Good Extended Warranty?

With extended warranties, you’ll seldom see much variation between policies. Most simply extend manufacturer warranties; nothing more, nothing less. But there are at least a few key traits you should consider:

  • Coverage amount: Extended warranty benefits typically set a clear per-product coverage limit. For the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review) and Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review), for example, cardholders can get up to $10,000 in coverage per item, and up to $50,000 per account. That’s about normal; anything more would be excellent.
  • Coverage length: Most extended warranties provide one extra year, but you may find others that provide more.
  • Manufacturer warranty limit: With some issuers, like Chase, your product will usually only qualify for extended warranty coverage if the manufacturer’s warranty offered coverage for three years or less. Any longer than that and you’re out of luck. Other issuers, like American Express, allow initial warranties that last up to five years.

Quick Guide

Extended Warranty vs. Purchase Protection vs. Return Protection vs. Cell Phone Protection

Because they’re all somewhat related in terms of function and terminology, it’s easy to get extended warranty coverage mixed up with other credit card shopping benefits — particularly purchase protection, price protection, and cell phone protection.

It’s important to know the differences between these four perks if you think you’ll get a lot out of them:

  • Extended warranty: Extends the existing manufacturer’s warranty; doesn’t usually cover accidental damage.
  • Purchase protection: Offers protection from accidental damage, theft, and/or loss (depending on the card), usually for around 90–120 days after the date of purchase.
  • Return protection: Allows you to get reimbursement for products in situations where you may not ordinarily be able to, like if you want to make a return a few days past the retailer’s typical return window.
  • Cell phone protection: Provides insurance-like damage and theft protection when you pay the applicable device’s phone bill with your eligible credit card.

Extended Warranty Policies By Network and Issuer

Issuers and networks often have different policies with respect to the benefits they provide. Extended warranty coverage is no exception.

We’ve outlined typical policies by card network and issuer below. Just remember that using a credit card from one of the providers listed doesn’t necessarily mean you have an extended warranty — availability can still vary by card.

Company Coverage Policy Claim Limit Phone Website
American Express Covers up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less Up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year 1-800-228-6855 American Express Online Claim Form
Bank of America Varies by card See Guide to Benefits See Guide to Benefits See Guide to Benefits
Capital One Varies by card See Guide to Benefits See Guide to Benefits See Guide to Benefits
Chase Covers up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less Up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year 1-800-874-7702 Chase Online Claim Form
Citi No longer available N/A N/A N/A
Discover No longer available N/A N/A N/A
Mastercard Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty of up to a maximum of 24 months Up to $10,000 per covered purchase 1-800-627-8372 Mastercard Online Claim Form
Visa Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty for warranties under a year; adds another year for manufacturer warranties up to three years Up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year 1-800-551-8472 Visa Online Claim Form
Wells Fargo Varies by card See Guide to Benefits See Guide to Benefits See Guide to Benefits

What Are the Best Credit Cards With Extended Warranties?

Extended warranty protection is one of the more common credit card shopping benefits. You’ll find it packaged with everything from fairly basic flat-rate cash back cards to premium airline cards.

We’ve listed some of our favorites below. Notably, you’ll see a lot of American Express, since its extended warranty benefit typically applies to manufacturer warranties of up to five years. That’s quite a bit longer than the usual three.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Key Features

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Key Features

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Key Features

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Key Features

American Express® Gold Card

Key Features

  • Extended warranty terms: Covers up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less; up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year
  • Annual fee: $250
  • Introductory bonus: 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
  • Rewards: 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1X) and restaurants; 3X points on flights booked directly through airlines or American Express Travel; 1X point on everything else
  • Other benefits: $100 annual airline fee credit (through 2021), $120 annual dining credit, The Hotel Collection, purchase protection, various travel protections

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Key Features

  • Extended warranty terms: Varies based on benefits tier
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Introductory bonus: $500 cash bonus for spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 2% cash back for every purchase
  • Other benefits: Quarterly and year-end summaries, downloadable purchase records, unlimited free employee cards, various shopping and travel protections

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Key Features

  • Extended warranty terms: Covers up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less; up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible account per calendar year
  • Annual fee: $595
  • Introductory bonus: 75,000 bonus points for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 5X points on flights booked directly through airlines, and on both flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel; 2X points on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel; 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million extra points per calendar year; 1X point on everything else
  • Other benefits: Airport lounge access via the Global Lounge Collection, up to $200 annually in airline fee statement credits, various elite hotel statuses, various shopping and travel protections

Other Great Credit Cards With Extended Warranties

As mentioned earlier, extended warranties are common among mainstream credit cards. This is merely an abridged selection, but all the cards you see below are solid offers all around, with extended warranties to boot.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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