Warranties are big selling points for manufacturers, but they often offer little protection for consumers. Most warranties are a year or two, and so many products break at the two and three year mark so the basic, free warranty doesn’t apply. So, should you buy an extended warranty? There may be a better, free option.
Consumer Reports typically does not recommend extended warranties, and I agree with them with the exception of newer televisions. I’ve done too many stories on slick new TVs that break or don’t function properly in just a few years. Do your research before you buy a TV. Understand the new technology is not as good as the old technology. My tube TV is still going strong 12 years after I bought it, and it survived a plunge to the ground. Yet, I’ve done plenty of stories with owners of plasma, LCD, etc. that have problems within a year of purchase. With a TV, consider the extended warranty. Plus, consider another FREE option.
Extend your warranty for free
With most credit cards, you can get extend your manufacturer’s warranty up to one year if you make that purchase on your qualified credit card. American Express offers protection on eligible purchases that come with a valid U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less. The warranty is extended for the same length of time as the original warranty up to one year. To qualify, just charge the product to your card.
Make sure you keep all your original receipts in case you need to file a claim. With American Express, you’ll need original store receipts, AMEX receipt, original manufacturer warranty, and the product requiring repair. AMEX will decide if the item will be repaired, replaced, or if the original cost will be refunded. The service does not pay shipping and handling fees, installation, assembly, or other service charges. It’s still better than nothing. To file a claim, call 1-800-225-3750.
Visa Extended Warranty Options
Visa Signature offers warranty registration and extended warranty protection. The extended warranty is doubled up to one year on eligible purchases that come with an original manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less. Visa makes it easy to file a claim, because the company offers to keep track of the important information for you.
There are exceptions to what’s covered including boats, automobiles, aircraft, and any other motorized vehicle and their motor, equipment, or accessories, resale items, items for professional or commercial use, real estate and items like garage doors or ceiling fans that become part of real estate, computer software, rented or leased items, medical equipment, and used or pre-owned equipment.
When you buy a product, send Visa your sales receipts and warranty information and register your product. Then, when you have a problem you don’t need to search for your paperwork. Just call 1-800-882-8057. You don’t have to register your product, but it’s a good second layer of protection. I’d still keep your own documentation just in case it gets lost at the credit card company.
Visa Signature cardholders have up to sixty days after the product fails to notify the card company of a claim.
Visa also offers an extended warranty you can buy
Visa also offers its own extended warranty called Visa Performance Guarantee. It allows you to extend your warranty up to five years from the date of purchase. Just understand that you are not buying a five year extended warranty, but probably just a three year extension because you automatically get the standard one year warranty and the one year credit card warranty. It doesn’t appear to be five years on top of the built-in warranties. This is a common practice in the warranty business. Just understand what you are buying.
The price of the extended Visa warranty depends on the price you paid for the item. For an extra three years, you’ll pay $40.99 for a $150-250.99 purchase and $58.99 for a five year extension. You’ll pay slightly more for computer equipment.
MasterCard also doubles warranty coverage up to a year on eligible purchases, but you need to call for details of the plan.
Make sure your credit card is covered by these FREE extended warranties before you make your next big purchase.
Related links you may like:
Could warranty paperwork be a thing of the past?
Fake invoice for consumer advocate used to sell warranty?