American Express Extended Warranty Review

Roomba VaccumIf you’re like me, you’re vaguely aware that you can get some sort of additional warranty coverage from your credit card, but not interested enough to carefully read those little brochures with the tiny print that come in the mail. Today a fellow named Joe sent me a story about his broken Roomba which describes his experience with American Express when his beloved vacuum broke after 18 months, which was 6 months past the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty. It’s a bit long-winded, but in the end AmEx did refund his original $300 purchase price. After reading it and doing some other hunting around, here’s a summary of the American Express Extended Warrant feature:

The Basics

All American Express (AMEX) cards (as well many versions of Visa and MasterCard) offer an automatic warranty extension if you buy the product using their card. Specifically for American Express, here is the fine print from the their FAQ page:

1. How does the Extended Warranty work?
When you charge the cost of a covered product with your American Express® Card, the Extended Warranty will extend the terms of the original manufacturer’s warranty for a period of time equal to the duration of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one additional year on warranties of five years or less that are eligible in the U.S.

In other words, in general they will double the original manufacturer’s warranty, but only up to one year. This is unless your product has a warranty of over 5 years as default. If you are still covered by the original warranty, you must go through the manufacturer. You do not need to sign-up or perform any kind of activation process to get this extended warranty.

Things You Need To Keep

American Express seems to advertise this service the most, and anecdotally is one of the best at actually coming through with their promise. However, you’ll still need to keep several pieces of information to support your claim. For all your big purchases, use an AmEx and keep these papers somewhere organized!

  • The original purchase receipt, which notes which product you bought, the date of purchase, and that it was bought entirely with an American Express card.
  • The product warranty card, which outlines the details of the original manufacturers warranty.
  • Your old AmEx credit card statement, which lists and matches the purchase receipt above.
  • The broken product. AmEx may choose to replace your item, repair it, or refund the purchase price. They choose, so keep what you have until they say so. If they replace it, they may ask you to send the broken item back to them.

Filing a Claim

To start a claim, the Extended Warranty department’s phone number is 1-800-225-3750. You can check the status of your claim online at www.americanexpress.com/onlineclaim. Be prepared to wait two weeks for the claim to process after submitting support materials.

Best American Express Credit Cards

Everyone has their favorites, but here are the two AMEX that I carry. One is a handy all-around card, and the other I use to accrue points and miles for all my travels.

True Earnings Card from Costco and American ExpressTrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express
Almost a must-have if you’re a Costco member since it replaces your membership card in your wallet anyway. 3% Cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. 2% cash back at US restaurants; 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco; 1% cash back on other purchases, including at Costco. No annual fee.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
My Swiss army knife of travel rewards cards. You get 1 point per $1 spent, and 20,000 Starwood points = 25,000 airline miles (free ticket). Essentially up to 1.25 miles per dollar spent, and you can convert to a variety of airlines or free hotel rooms. Top off an account, or convert a big lump sum.

Currently, the sign-up bonus is 10,000 points after first purchase. On top of that, you can also get an additional 15,000 points by spending $5,000 on the card within the first 6 months. Annual fee is waived for the first year, and is $65 the second year if you keep it.

American Express Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

Comments

  1. Jonathan – you may want to check out: Fidelity Rewards American Express® Card – it earns 2% cash back with no limits on everything. I stopped using my costco amex for this – pretty sweet. You do need a fidelity account to transfer the savings too – i have the mysmart checking account which is awesome too – no ATM fees anywhere, free checks, free postage/envelopes for deposits, etc.

  2. @TJ:

    I also have the mySmart Fidelity account, and I, too, love it. If you haven’t ordered deposit slips and envelopes in a while, though, you’ll be disappointed when you do. They recently discontinued the postage-paid envelopes. You now need to supply your own stamp.

    Regarding the Fidelity credit cards (apologies for going off topic), I actually use the VISA version, which is 1.5% up to $15,000 annual spending, then 2% on everything after that. The $75 I’m leaving on the table (0.5% on $15,000) is worth the simplification of putting EVERYTHING on my VISA, something I can’t do with the American Express. The other thing I like about the card (which is provided by FIA Card Services) is the immediately display of pending charges. As soon as I run my card somewhere, I can go online and see the merchant and amount charged.

  3. “the Extended Warranty will extend the terms of the original manufacturer’s warranty for a period of time equal to the duration of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one additional year on warranties of five years or less that are eligible in the U.S.”

    “If your product has a warranty of over 5 years as default, they won’t extend at all.”

    These statements do not match. If your product has a 5 year warranty, they will give you one additional year.

  4. Ian, it says they will give you an additional year when your warranty is “five years or less”. So if it’s more than 5 years, they won’t. Jonathan’s statement is correct.

  5. Colorado Techie says:

    WARNING(!) I just went through this process with a Hoover SteamVac and American Express and here’s everything in a nutshell:

    If the original company won’t honor the warranty, neither will American Express.

    What do I mean? Well, I purchased a Hoover SteamVac and the rear casing broke after a few months of normal usage. It was still under the 1 year warranty from Hoover so I called them.

    After a lot of back and forth, they absolutely refused to fix the rear casing (there was a crack in the plastic).

    I called the AMEX warranty department and they were nice, but they told me they couldn’t do anything because the product was still under the manufacturer’s warranty.

    However, I did explain my situation: “I know the steamvac is still under the original warranty but Hoover refuses to fix it. If the steamvac were no longer under warranty but under the AMEX extended warranty, would you be able to help me get it fixed?”

    The representative told me “No, since the manufacturer is refusing to fix it now for you then they will likely refuse to fix it during the time the product is covered under the extended warranty and there is nothing we can do.”

    I understand AMEX’s stance on this… in the end you should still be careful about what companies you buy products from… I will never buy from Hoover again.

  6. I too wanted to chime in on the Fidelity amex. It doesn’t get much better than 2% back on everything! While it’s true that you have to have a Fidelity account to link it to, you can also use the points towards their “World Points” program where you can use it for travel or shopping.

    Matt: You might look into the Schwab Visa. It gets 2% back on everything, and you’ll avoid that hated line, “We don’t take American Express.”

  7. I don’t use AmEx much, but I do use it when I buy pricey electronics.

    The hard drive on my Dell laptop died after about 14 months. I had the 1 year warranty. I called AmEx, told them what was wrong. They transferred me to their computer expert. I told him what the computer did and everything that I had done. He said,”Ok, you clearly know what you are doing and know what is wrong. Buy the replacement hard drive on your Amex, send this paperwork to here, we’ll credit your Amex for the purchase. The upgrade from a 60 GB (what i had) to an 80 GB hard drive was like 5 dollars. I asked about upgrading it, they said just buy it and they took care of the upgrade, too. Much easier I think than it would have been if I would have had to go through Dell under warranty.

  8. This is great information since I am considering buying a newer computer in the future. It’s good to know what options are available. Most importantly, I will definitely use my AMEX card for the purchase. Thanks.

  9. I had a laptop with a 3 year warranty. It broke after 3 and half years of use. Amex tried to get me to fix the laptop, but when it became clear that that would be difficult, they refunded me for the entire purchase price. This included several hundred dollars for the purchase of the extended warranty and accessories. Now I make sure I buy every thing with Amex and to keep the receipts.

  10. I tried googling more information about the amex extended warranty because my cell phone’s keyboard stopped working. I found this blog and was wondering why this person posted the same exact blog post as you? [scraper site link removed]

  11. I have the Costco AMEX card but also carry a American Airlines Mastercard. If you have both the Costco AMEX and the Starwood AMEX, how do you decide which to use?

  12. @cashcow:

    Yep, I know about the Schwab, and, a few years ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated about opening a new account and getting another credit card. Now, however, I’m paring back all my accounts: closing lots of unnecessary ones I opened just for a slightly better rate, canceling credit cards I never use, etc. I’m sticking with Fidelity because I already have the majority of my investments there and I’m very happy with the service and the (recently reduced) trading fees.

    The difference between the Fidelity and Schwab Visa cards is really only $75/yr, because after $15,000 in purchases, the Visa kicks up to 2%. $75 isn’t enough to make me change my main account (again).

  13. @ Matt – I have the Fidelity VIsa also – as a backup for places that don’t accept the Amex – they are both by FIA – so it’s only one website to log into, etc.

    thanks for the info on the postage.

  14. I bought a digital camera on my AmEx card that broke after I had it a little over a year. Since it was outside of the manufacturer’s warranty, I filed through AmEx. I didn’t have to provide any documentation (receipts, warranty cards, etc) and AmEx processed my claim and sent me a check almost immediately, I didn’t even have to send in the broken camera. Very satisfied with the process.

  15. If I paid for a purchase via paypal funded through my amex credit card, will the item be considered to be purchased using the amex card?

  16. I recently signed up for the AmEx Gold credit card for the bonus. The annual fee is waived for the first year. If I purchase an item now and cancel my credit card few months after the purchase (to avoid the annual fee), will AmEx still honour the extended warranty?

  17. I have personal experience with the AMEX Rental Car Coverage. I have a Hilton Hhonors AMEX and I rented from Avis in the Caribbean. I confirmed with AMEX in advance that they cover, without deductible, mostly anything that my auto insurance does not cover. Since I have not auto insurance coverage outside of the US, they would cover everything.

    Anyway, I had an accident, no one was hurt, not my fault, and Avis gave me another car immediately and after my trip I filled out a report with AMEX and that was that. Later I saw the bill for the repairs, but I never paid a cent.

    This was about 5 years ago, I hope the coverage is just as good now.

  18. Mike Panic says:

    I have a very similar story with Visa a few years ago. An expensive DSLR camera was 6 months out of warranty (18 months old) and a major part of the camera broke (the mirror inside). I called Visa, was transferred to the right person who told me to take it for a repair quote and then fax her the quote + my original repair receipt and they would then analyze the cost to repair vs. the cost to replace. A day after I faxed it I received a call to have my local repair shot go ahead with the repairs and a check would be in the mail, I should receive it in 7-10 days. 5 days later the check showed up to cover the repair.

    Now, the good part was I could choose my repair shop, the bad news was I still had to pay out of my pocket for the repair and then wait for the check.

  19. I see several mentions of the Fidelity AmEx. People need to understand that this card is NOT issued by American Express, but by FIA (a subsidiary of Bank of America). Similarly, the Citi Platinum AmEx card is issued by Citi.

    In both cases, the extended warranty protection available is administered by the same organizations that do it for other BofA and Citi cards (i.e. their Visa and MasterCard-branded cards). So, while the Fidelity AmEx card is a great deal, understand that you’ll be dealing with the BofA’s warranty group, not American Express’s.

  20. Does this work with any AmEx card? What if it is carried by another bank (e.g. Bank of America)? There seems to be differences between “pure” AmEx cards and those step-child AmEx cards offered by the banks.

  21. So does this mean that all PAPER statements must be kept? Or is it enough to go online and print out the charge?

  22. Hi Mike Panic
    You mentioned that Visa offers a similar program as well. So, if you have Visa and Amex, which one offers the better warranty benefit?

  23. Julie: You can use online statements for proof. You do not need to retain paper statements.

    AH: Visa does not offer their Warranty Manager service on all cards. You need to check with your bank. Some banks also limit Visa Warranty Manager, prohibiting refurbs and/or computers. Again, check with your specific bank and card offering.

    From my experience, AmEx Extended Warranty is superior to Visa Warranty Manager, but a good Visa card with full terms does close the gap. To be safe, I tend to buy all tech and refurb items on my AmEx where I know it’s safe.

  24. i just got $380 credited to my amex account for a cell phone that wasn’t working well and just came out of warranty. amex is awesome

  25. Here’s my AMEX extended warranty story:

    Panasonic plasma tv died June 1 (or so). Called Panasonic and was told that it was a month past warranty date and I was SOL. Then remembered I purchased using AMEX card (whew, saved).

    Called AMEX on June 4 and gave all information. They said to fax original invoice, proof paid with AMEX card, repair estimate and Panasonic warranty page. They show receipt of same on June 8. Website says all claims processed within two weeks.

    Last week, got an email from them that they hadn’t received my documentation. I called and they said it was a computer error and that they had my papers. Then they dropped the bombshell: it would be 30-45 days to process!

    I am a TV junkie. My wife and I are straining to watch Wimbleton on a 12″ crt. Even after I get the ok from AMEX, I still have to wait for the repair shop to order the part: add another week!

    99% of legit extended warranty policies resolve claims in a week or less.

    I will never depend on AMEX for my extended warranty again. The other programs they have, I love, but this one is awful and they should either get it right or drop it completely.

  26. WISH MY aMEX STORY WAS SO SIMPLE.
    LCD TY DIED 6 MONTHS OUT OF DATE ON MAY 1. SENT ALL NECESSARY PAPERWORK TO THE AMEX OFFICE, 2 WEEKS WENT BY, THEY TOLD ME PAPER HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED . TURNS OUT THEY HAD MOVED THE OFFICE FROM CO TO TX AND DIDN’T FORWARD ANYTHING.
    SENT new COPIES TO THE new ADDRESS AS WELL AS FAXED THEM.
    Time passed, as they say, Now it’s July so I called again. The polite young man says “We sent you an email on June 29, to send us the tv set!” I never got it, so had him read off my email address which some dyslexic had partly reversed.
    He gave me the claim handler’s name and phone, now I sit waiting for Yolanda to call me back. 2 months, no tv, out $25 for estimate so far, NO resolution on claim.
    I definitely am jealous of those who got quick claim resolution. From my viewpoint AMEX needs to improve A LOT!!

  27. ha, find it funny these last 2 comments complaining about going for so long without a TV! Stop whining! It’s a free warranty extension.

  28. I used American Express warranty for the 1st time. I purchased a Flip camcorder in June 2010. In Jan 2012 – the flip would drain out new batteries in 10 minutes. Did this three times. It took me a while to dig out the purchase receipt.

    I called AMEX customer service last week (May 2012) and they promptly transferred me to extended warranty dept. The lady took down the information and stated how the service works.

    Within 2 days, I see a refund of $140.71 in my account. In 2 days !!!
    Now I can go ahead and replace the broken camcorder.

    This extended warranty feature is really useful and AMEX has exceeded my expectations.

  29. Amex was really good to me when I had problem with button on top of iPhone. Full refund immediately. I was shocked. I will always use Amex whenever possible. And I use the Costco Amex.

  30. Chaitanya says:

    Hi,

    Just wondering to see if the Amex extended warranty is applicable to Telivisions purchased at Costco Store. By Default costco provides 2 Years warranty for all televisions. So if I use to buy telivision at costco using Amex, will I get an 1 year extended warranty i., total of 3 years?????

    Thanks,
    Chaitanya

  31. @Chaitanya – I’m pretty sure the AmEx warranty extension only applies to the manufacturer’s warranty.

  32. Chaitanya says:

    Update: Yes, what @Jonathan mentioned is true.

    But last year Amex extended 1 year warranty on top of costco’s 2year from January 2012 to October 2012.

    I donno why Amex have discontinued after Oct 2012. Currently if you purchase from costco using only advantage you get is 90 days accident and theft protection.

  33. My experience with AMEX Extended Warranty was horrendous. Broken Nikon lens, no autofocus and mount is faulty – that was the problem. Nikon covers part of the warranty but not the mount. Long story short, filed with AMEX, faxed/sent all the documents and it became a ritual calling them to ask the case status and receiving the reply, saying it would be posted next week. Last time, I talked to manager (after almost 20 days in processing) and she starts asking questions regarding the case specifically (when she definitely promised that it would be solved by next day). I was astounded about the process, the information was given weeks ago, they randomly promise to solve the case and no one seems to be responsible. At the end, I was asking for yes or no answer and they wouldn’t even give that (they are still processing, although they past every deadline they posted on web and told me on phone). I would go with Discover Extended Warranty, it was quite fast and knowledgeable (my claim was denied, but they were professional and answered all my inquires on time)

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  1. [...] entire cost of a laptop as part of their extended warranty. I’ve also written before on the AmEx warranty covering a Roomba vacuum. AmEx has some other additional features as well, but I’ll save those for [...]

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