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American Express Purchase Protection Perk

Did 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 [3] 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 [4].

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 [5] 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 [6] 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?