Don’t Pay for Expensive Electronic Extended Warranties | Use a Credit Card Free Coverage

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I’ve often wondered if I should be buying an extended electronic warranty when purchasing a new electronic item while shopping.

Long ago, I decided that it didn’t make financial sense to pay extra for a warranty.  That’s because I was doing some research and wrote a post about the American Express Extended Warranty benefit.

I just had a great experience with American Express’s extended warranty this week that I want to tell you about.

My American Express Extended Warranty Experience

Back in July 2011, I purchased a Nook Color.

All was well until a few months ago when the Nook started to act up.  Specifically, the bottom left hand corner of the touch screen stopped responding.  Of course, I was massively annoyed that I was only a few months past the manufacture’s warrantee.  Nook wasn’t going to do anything to help resolve my problem.

Basically, I just let the Nook sit collecting dust.  Instead, I’ve been using my iPhone to read my Kindle books.  Don’t get me wrong, reading on the iPhone isn’t that bad, but I’ve got several international trips coming up in 2013, and I really wanted to have a better reading device.

I took advantage of a one day Kindle sale and purchase a Kindle Fire to replace my decrepit Nook.

Then I had a thought.  I remembered that a few years ago I learned that American Express has a fantastic extended warranty included when you purchase something using one of their cards.  At that time, I had decided I’d buy all my electronic items with an American Express card since they give you, at no extra charge, an extra year of warranty coverage.

The only problem was that I no longer had the card that I used to purchase the Nook.

I decided it was worth a call to see what would happen.  I called the 1-800 number for American Express and explained my situation.  The Nook isn’t working.  I bought it on an American Express card.  Now I no longer have that specific card.  I was given another 1-800 number to call.

I called the department that handles extended warranties, and they asked if I had another American Express card that has the same benefits.  I said that I did.  As a result, that told me it would be no problem to file a claim.  As a long as you have a valid American Express card, you can still make the claim.

Less than 10 minutes later (the computer was down so she kept apologizing it was taking so long), I had given her the purchase date, purchase location, price, item purchase amount, and serial number.  With my reference number in hand, I was told to wait 24-72 hours for a decision. Two days later, I logged into my American Express account, and the full Nook purchase price was credited back on my account.

I was amazed that they didn’t ask me to send in the Nook to try and fix it.  They flat out just refunded the money I spent (less taxes and shipping).

If you’re in a habit of buying extended warranties, I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the American Express Extended Warranty Benefit.

American Express Extended Warranty Benefits

  • When you purchase an item that has a five year or less warranty with your American Express card, the American Express extended Warranty will give you an additional year of coverage at no charge.

As an example, if you were to buy a computer that has a two year manufacturers coverage, then you’d get 3 years of coverage (2 by the manufacturer and 1 by American Express).  I’m sure some other cards may have similar benefits, but from what I’ve researched and experienced, American Express has the best.

Needless to say, I was thrilled at how simple the process was.  As a result, I’m even more committed to my decision to only buy electronic items with an American Express card.


  1. says

    Wow that’s a great tip! I didn’t realize that American Express offered that extended warranty. I just got my first AMEX card in August (The Delta SkyMiles card)…so I’ll have to take this into consideration!

    • says

      Glad you found the information helpful. Only one question – why the Delta SkyMiles card? Sorry, I got sidetracked. That’s another question for another time.

      • says

        Craig, I’ve never had an AMEX and never really cared to have one before. But I fly a lot and the people at Delta were offering 40,000 SkyMiles (I think) if you signed up for the card. And the first year was free, so I had nothing to lose – I just had to spend $500 in the first 3 months in order to get the bonus miles.

        But what pushed me off the fence to make the decision was the fact that your companions get a free bag when they fly with a cardholder. I travel a lot and bring one or two kids with me from time to time, so I thought this would be a nice bonus.

        In September, I brought my family of 7 with me on a trip to Arizona (we were going to dedicate a new home we had helped raise money for for a Navajo pastor and his family)…and when I added up how much it would cost for all of them to check a suitcase, I realized the card was worth it just for the free bags!

        • says

          Thanks for the explanation. I usually only recommend the Delta card in situations that are exactly as you detailed. It’s a good card for the baggage benefits. The think I don’t like about Delta is that their SkyMiles are notoriously hard to redeem for low level flights.

          • says

            Craig, do you mean that you’ve had a hard time getting the flights you’ve wanted at the points you could afford?

            I always redeem my tickets at the 25,000 point level and have had pretty good success for the flights I’ve wanted. But those have been to Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC so far.

            What has been a real pain for me is to attempt buy a paid ticket and a reward ticket online for the same flight at the same time. I typically have to call Delta and pay $25 to have them do it for me.

            That’s what I did for the September trip to Phoenix, because I wanted to buy one ticket for myself which my work was paying for, and then redeem my SkyMiles for 6 tickets for my wife and kids. I just couldn’t do it easily online.

  2. says

    Hi Craig, This is a great story. We have the same card, but didn’t know that. Hay I am counseling someone to pay off their credit cards. They are doing great staying on budget, reducing debt, tithing- all the right things. I don’t fear they will fall back into credit card vortex, but wonder if it would be a good idea to transfer the balance to a 0% card for a year, by then it will be paid off, but will save them several thousands of dollars in interest in the meantime. Do you recommend they do this? And do you recommend any certain card, and one that might give points etc?

    • says

      I always tread cautiously when dealing with people who have a history with poor credit card management. The benefit is the interest savings. The risk is getting sucked back into a credit card trap. They seem to be doing well so …
      I’m not sure about any credit cards with 0% transfer offers. Those usually just come in the mail :). For credit card points I definitely have my favorite cards :).

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