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Credit card extended warranties and electronics: How a little extra hassle can save lots of money

Jared Newman | Feb. 10, 2016
Why pay for an extended device warranty when your credit card has extra protection built in?

Over the years, I’ve made several manufacturer’s warranty claims on electronics within the standard year that most purchases include for free. In those cases, the process is simple: Tell them what’s wrong, bring the device into a store or ship it out, and get a repaired, refurbished, or new device in exchange.

By comparison, device makers and retailers may not have a clear procedure for dealing with credit card warranty claims. For a product as complicated as a phone, tablet, or PC, diagnosing the problem may require jumping through hoops. Patience is required as you satisfy the demands of the insurance company dealing with the claim.

None of this has changed my personal feeling that in most cases, extended warranties aren’t worth paying for. Even before my Surface started acting up, the amount I’ve saved over the years by not purchasing warranty coverage far outweighs any repair or replacement costs I’ve had to make. The existence of additional credit card coverage makes it even easier to come out ahead.

My story, however, does ends with a twist: Once my card’s benefit provider issued the check, that was the end of our transaction, and I’m under no pressure to get the actual repair done. Now $342.20 richer, the yellow discoloration on my Surface Pro 3 doesn’t seem so intolerable.


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