Affinity Consulting Blog

Consumer advocates advise buyers to skip extended warranties. These extra-cost items tend to be good deals for the merchant, but not for the buyer. However, buying a tech device on a credit card can give you a free extended warranty - if you use the right card.

The always interesting How-To Geek blog recently provided the details on getting an extended warranty on tech items when you buy them using certain credit cards.

As stated in the post, here is how it works:

Your credit card agreement may provide an “extended warranty” benefit alongside its other bonuses. This will be clearly mentioned in your credit card agreement or list of benefits.

You must purchase the item entirely with your credit card to receive the warranty. Let’s say you want extended warranty for the laptop — you must pay in full with the credit card that offers the extended warranty protection.

The manufacturer’s warranty is valid for the standard period of time. For example, if you buy a laptop and it has a one-year warranty, you’d need to bug the manufacturer and use their RMA process if your laptop fails in the first year.

After the manufacturer’s warranty expires, your credit card company will often provide “double the warranty” up to one year of additional coverage. So, if the warranty is for six months, you’ll get another six months. If the warranty is for one year, you’ll get another year. If the warranty is for two years, you’ll just get an additional year. The limit is often five years, so you probably can’t get a sixth year of warranty.

The manufacturer’s warranty terms will usually still apply. So, if the warranty says water damage isn’t covered, the credit card company probably won’t pay for a phone that stopped working after you dropped it in the toilet.

The manufacturer knows nothing about this credit-card-provided warranty. If a device fails, you’ll have to file a claim with the credit card company. They’ll have you provide details about the problem and either send your device in to be fixed, or — more likely — tell you to have it repaired and then mail you a check for the cost of the repairs.

For all of the details on how to use the warranty, see the full blog post.

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