American Express Purchase Protection Perk

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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressDid you know that if you buy something with an American Express card and it’s lost, damaged, or stolen within the first 90 days, American Express may replace the item or reimburse you up to the amount of the purchase price? My friend Michelle just came back from a skiing trip with her family in which she managed to get an oil stain on her brand new ski jacket. She had no idea how it got there but she took it to the cleaners and they were unable to remove the stain.

Her husband remembered that their Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offered Purchase Protection and decided to give them a call. Why not right? As it turns out, they’re protected by a consumer protection most people forget about – American Express Purchase Protection.

How does it work? Use your AMEX card when you pay and you get 90 days of protection against accidental damage or theft. You file a claim and the protection replaces the item or reimburses you up to the amount of the purchase price. There’s a limit of $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per year. You can file an American Express claim online or call 1-800-322-1277 and you’ll be asked to provide proof of theft, accidental damage, or vandalism.

They were sent a claim form to fill out and needed to provide additional documentation such as receipt of purchase, AMEX statement with the purchase, and description of the damage. Had the jacket been stolen, instead of damaged, they would’ve had to include a police report as well.

American Express has a reputation, among merchants, of having the highest processing fees out of any of the issues. Not coincidentally, they offer some of the best consumer protections like return protection and purchase protection.

Her husband told me that they make most of their major purchases using their American Express card because of these types of protections. Between the 90 day product insurance and the doubling of the manufacturer’s warranty up to a year (which many issuers offer), there are two excellent reasons why I can see an AMEX beating out a comparable cash back card.

Every American Express card I looked at on their site included this Purchase Protection insurance policy and I totally forgot it existed. Have you ever used it? Heard of a friend who used it?

{ 80 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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80 Responses to “American Express Purchase Protection Perk”

  1. erik_m says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this! Didn’t know AMEX offered this service. Will likely be switching to them in the near future.

  2. Pop says:

    A lot of Visa cards (the Visa Signature seems to be the most common one) also offer purchase protection.

  3. I really want to get an American express card because this perk plus the fact that I go to Costco so much.

  4. Chris says:

    I wonder how much fraud they see from this offerring.

  5. Yes, I have friends who have used it. One of my friends got a VCR. Long story short it got broken and they replaced it. A little paperwork and they had a new one. Great benefit and thanks for the reminder.

  6. jsbrendog says:

    i’ve been considering getting an amex. if i am not mistaken the card pictured above is a no fee card, is it not?

  7. Jim says:

    There is no fee…

    we just used it to replace a damaged ipod and a camera which was in it’s second year of warranty.

    No hassle, no paperwork, no problem.

    Net savings was ~$400 recovered.

    We also got $400 cash back last year…

    I highly recommend it, particularly if you have kids…

    • Soccer9040 says:

      What happened to your iPod and camera?

      • Jim says:

        We are selling them on e-bays. There are is an e-bay refurbishment market for both these items.
        The next question is of course how does AMEX manage fraud? I would they’d start investigating the claims of chronic or repeat offenders.

    • Shirley says:

      “We also got $400 cash back last year…”

      From AmEx? Is this card then also a cash-back card?

      • tbork84 says:

        Amex does have some cash-back card offers as well. They have come a long way from being only a charge card.

      • Jim says:

        Yes, the cash back % is tiered. We get 5% on groceries and gas after getting past $6,500 minimum. And 1% or 2% on everything else! Good when you have four kids!!!

  8. javi says:

    Thanks for the info! I have been an Amex cardmember and never knew of this service.

  9. eric says:

    I’m definitely aware of my CC benefits (because I’m a PF nerd like that lol) but I haven’t had to use this one. It’s a nice peace of mind for sure.

  10. Soccer9040 says:

    CC Protections like this are great, but I’ve noticed something new going on lately. Every grocery store seems to sell gift cards and you earn fuel perks. People are going to best buy and determining that they need $1,000 in gift cards to purchase a TV so they march down to Giant Eagle in my case to purchase the cards. $1000 of gift cards is $120 in free fuel (there is a very real benefit, thats why people bother with it) Then they go back to Best Buy to buy the TV and they are done. The disconnect is in the fact that you used your credit card to buy gift cards, and then the gift cards to buy the TV. You are no longer eligible for any purchase protections. Is that something you would trade in for $120 dollars in free gas??

    • Mike says:

      Would you pay $120 for an extended warranty if offered?

      Just curious…

      • Jim says:

        Depends on the warranty and for what it was on, though usually no. How is this related?

        • Chris says:

          You could theoreticlly apply the $120 in gas savings towards purchasing an extended warranty instead of applying the savings to gasoline.

          • Soccer9040 says:

            I still think I wouldnt bother with the extended warranty. I’d rather have the $120 in gas, my tv and the manufacturer’s warranty. I’ll take my chances.

      • Soccer9040 says:

        I never buy the extended warranties. By not doing so, I’m basically self insuring. All that money I have not paid for those could easily pay for a few broken things now and then. But really if you have a problem there is always the normal warranty.

      • Mike says:

        I just don’t see much of a difference between these scenarios:

        Scenario A: choosing to receive $120 (in gas that you are going to consume anyway) and losing the CC protections that you would likely not use.

        Scenario B: saving $120 by not paying for a warranty that you would likely not use.

        In either case, wouldn’t you just choose the one that equated to $120 more in your pocket as part of your self-insurance plan?

        • Soccer9040 says:

          Maybe I’m missing something….Which side are your advocating?

          • Mike says:

            I would take the cash (free gas) over the CC protections and I never buy extended warranties.

            In your original comment, it seemed like you were advocating to use the CC and get the protections over taking the gas. I was making a comparison to buying a warranty versus self-insuring. I must have misunderstood your original point. Mea culpa.

    • Jim says:

      We had exactly this issue with the Ipod which was purchased partially w/ a Visa gift card balance. AMEX only refunded the amount which was put on the AMEX card. If we had known then, we would have just used the AMEX. Live and learn.

      • Soccer9040 says:

        That answered the question I had. What happens if you split the purchase. I guess gift cards do have their downsides to them. I just dont think the 12% in gas rewards will ever make me stop using them.

  11. Shirley says:

    I will definitely consider this CC for computer peripherals!

  12. Kate says:

    I have never applied for an AMEX, but this seriously makes me want to reconsider.

  13. Soccer9040 says:

    I had a Corp AMEX card when I worked in public accounting and I actually did run across a few places that didnt accept AMEX. Very rare, but it does happen.

    • Chris says:

      Yes but nothing tops how Sams Club wouldn’t take any cards other than Discover…WTF

      • Strebkr says:

        While I do like Sams club, that policy is the worst. For someone like me who carries less then $20 in cash at any given point (I just checked and I have $4) and who never carries checks (the 80s called, they want their check books back) my credit card is how I pay for everything. Luckly the take ALL debit cards. They might not advertise that, but they do.

        • Jim says:

          They do this to help keep costs low, debit transactions are mere cents compared to around 3% for a credit card. If you want cheap prices, you have to play the game… I think it’s a fair policy. I don’t shop at Sam’s Club, I’m a Costco person myself, but they have similar policies.

  14. I never had a product replaced, but I did have them go to bat for me when I first started my business. I was shopping around at graphic design sites, and on one I was going through the motions to see what the final price would be on a particular package. Well, before I knew it, I arrived at a screen that said “thank you for your purchase”. Funny thing was, there was never a page to confirm and process the order. I sent a couple e-mails, as well as a phone call to the vendor but to no avail. I finally called Amex, and explained the situation and within 3 days, I had my charge reversed. And, I never had any negative experiences.

  15. I’ve had the Amex Blue card for years and didn’t even know about this policy. I can’t believe they allow $50,000 a year per card!

  16. Mike says:

    I will put in a plug for the service. My nearly new bike was stolen from my home. Only cost to me was time and about $14 for a copy of the police report. (TIP – REPORT STOLEN ITEM ASAP, EVEN IF THE CHANCE OF RECOVERY IS LOW AS THIS DOCUMENTATION WAS REQUIRED.) They even covered the other lost/damaged items which were purchased the same day (broken) lock, seat cushion, hand pump, storage hooks. Whole process took about 6 weeks but my account was credited back in full. Very happy with the process.

  17. Guy in San Antonio says:

    I used my AMEX card that is a part of my CostCo membership to buy my new plasma TV. Just for using the card they added another year to the existing two year warranty at no extra charge

  18. zapeta says:

    I didn’t know about this perk, thank you for sharing. Sounds like a hassle free replacement!

  19. Daniel says:

    I have yet to use this perk with my Amex blue card but it is nice to know that I bought my iPhone over a year ago and still have a second year of warranty on it. 🙂

  20. Chris says:

    I have carried the Platinum AMEX for years. Some tell me that it is status, but I consider it insurance with perks. The company has replaced my daughter’s lost ipods, damaged cellphones, my dog chewing a $600 pair of ostrich boots, to name but a few. My biggest was a $4000 tool i bought for $1000 but with no warranty. It most certainly pays off, and does not show up on your CLUE report.

  21. Cheap Bastard says:

    The extended warranty from a VISA trumps both Amex and M/C.

    Unlike Amex, VISA covers refurbished goods.

    VISA also offers buyers the chance to buy an extra extension when the free included extension runs out. And the decision to buy additional coverage can be made just days before the free extension runs out.

    That’s just warranty terms though.. I think the lost / stolen cover doesn’t exist w/ visa cards.

    • ziglet19 says:

      Guess I am going to have to check out my Visa, I didn’t realize it offered something like this.

  22. I’ve never used their purchase protection program, but have never had a problem with my Blue card and Amex service. Love the cash back.

  23. Daniel says:

    I went for dinner with my wife in October of last year. The merchant never charged for it and suddenly in January I got the charges. I filled a report with Amex why the charges didn’t happen in a more timely manner. 4 weeks later I get a credit for this dinner expense in my account with a letter from Amex saying that the merchant decided to withdraw the charges because they were so late in doing it.

  24. Gretchen says:

    That’s cheap Daniel. Way to screw the restaurant owner. It shouldn’t have taken so long but it was a valid charge. You should have paid.

    • Anonymous says:

      The thing is unless Daniel still has the receipt(not the credit card receipt obviously but the separate restaurant bill showing the charges), then he wouldn’t know if what the merchant was submitting was correct.

      It could be the merchant who is trying to pull something. Figuring that the customer won’t still have the restaurant receipt, he might bill the cc for more then the bill was and if the customer still does have the receipt…oops I made a mistake again.

  25. Daniel says:

    Well Gretchen, I respect your opinion but I’d rather be billed when I the expense occur. Have you heard of the term “accrual accounting” in finance? Yep, that is what I mean for my own finances too.

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