YOUR CREDIT CARD MAY INCLUDE BOTH ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE PROTECTION AND AN EXTENDED WARRANTY BENEFIT
If you bought your computer or almost any other product using your credit card and the device is broken, you may be able to get a free repair or a free replacement in the year AFTER the manufacturer's warranty ended or within the first 90 days of buying the item if it was accidentally damaged.
MANY credit cards include this feature, and MOST people do not know about it and never take advantage of this benefit.
What is the coverage period?
Typically, most computers come with a one year warranty and the credit card extended warranty covers one addional year, so the coverage period is after the first 12 months and before the end of 24 months from when you bought your computer.
Which Credit Cards include an extended warranty benefit?
Surprisingly, most credit cards do include an extended warranty benefit. It is one of those features that is provided in good faith, but very few people remember they have the feature or try to use it, so it actually costs the Credit Card Companies almost nothing to offer the extended warranty benefit. Also, in the opinion of the author, many more computers have problems between 12 and 24 months of use than previous generations of computers.
What is the process for getting my device repaired?
Many times you just need to bring your device to our retail shop and get a written price quote, then submit the paperwork and wait for the claim to be processed.
What paperwork do I need?
To use your credit card extended warranty, you generally need to supply a few documents to the Credit Card Company:
- REPAIR CENTER DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATAION
- REPAIR CENTER PRICE QUOTE
- Store Receipt, Amazon.com Order Printout, or other receipt
(Best Buy and other stores can usually reprint the receipt)
Once you submit the forms, the examiner will approve or deny your claim. The examiner may request more documents - for example, repair quotes - if you are filing a large claim. Generally, claims under $1,000 are processed more quickly.
Can you help me over the phone, or do I need to bring in my computer?
You absolutely must physically bring your computer to our retail shop in order for us to evaluate the item. We will not provide a price quote for a repair based on your explanation over the phone because when we provide a written document to the examiner, we are testifying that we actually saw this item first hand and evaluated the condition to the best of our professional ability. If we were to provide diagnostics and a price quote without seeing the device first hand, that would be a fraudulent testimony.
Are all repairs always covered?
Unfortunately, not all repairs are covered, but many repairs are covered and we can usually help you figure out if the repair is covered in about 15 minutes. We suggest that you come to our location first, before you call the number on the back of the credit card.
What are examples of repairs that are usually covered by the credit card extended warranty?
Components that need to be replaced in the second year because they failed under normal use are usually covered, and these components include: Hard Drives, Motherboards, Fans, Screens, Hinges, Keyboards and more.
What are examples of repairs that are usually NOT covered by the credit card extended warranty?
Problems that occurred due to accidental damage after the first 90 days are usually not covered in the extended warranty. For example, if you dropped your laptop, spilled a drink in your laptop, ran your laptop over with a car, or just generally did something to your computer that was outside of normal use, it is probably not going to be covered by the credit card extended warranty.
Is accidental damage ever covered by my credit card?
Actually, yes. Many VISA, MC, AMEX and Discover cards will pay for repairs if you purchase a computer and accidentally damaged it in the first 90 days.
Should I just buy a new one?
If the device is over $200 and it takes you about a half hour to make a phone call and file a claim, it is hard to justify not getting it fixed for free.
What if I can not remember which card I used?
You will probably be able to figure that out by calling your various credit cards and asking if the transaction amount on the date of the receipt is in the Credit Card Companies Records.
What if after making that purchase, I closed that credit card account?
That is probably not good. You can contact the credit card company to ask if the extended warranty benefit is still in effect, but often times it is not.
Is this computer repair really free?
The computer repairs covered by Credit Card Extended Warranty Benefits often end up costing the customer nothing. However, this does not mean we actually do the repair for free, it just means that you may not have to pay for the repair out of your own pocket or you may be reimbursed. Ultimately, as long as it is a repair that is covered, the repair is paid for by a third party.
Where can I learn more?
Here are some links to get you started:
VISA CREDIT CARD WARRANTY MANAGER
AMEX CREDIT CARD WARRANTY
DISCOVER CARD EXTENDED WARRANTY
NERD WALLET ARTICLE