I recently purchased the 50″ Philips Plasma TV from Buy.com and for the first time in my life I chose which credit card I’d use to make the purchase based on their customer protections – in this case, I used my American Express TrueEarnings Costco  card because, like many other AMEX cards, it offers a Buyer’s Assurance Plan. (The TrueEarnings Costco card has an annual fee that’s waived with a Costco membership, if you want this protection but from an AMEX without an annual fee, consider the AMEX Blue card )
The Buyer’s Assurance Plan will double the manufacturer’s warranty on a product up to an additional year (so if it only has a six month warranty, you get another six; if it’s a two year warranty, you get only an additional year) if the original manufacturer’s warranty covers the product for fewer than five years. All you need to do is charge the purchase to your eligible American Express card. There are two limits to be aware of. The first is that the product must cost less than $10,000 and the second is that there is a $50,000 per card account limit per year. There are also some other rules like how you must be a card holder in good standing (paying on time, still have the card, etc.) at the time of the claim as well as a list of product types not covered by the plan.
The television itself comes with a supplier 1-Year Parts & Labor, 2-Years Plasma Panel warranty, less than the limit of 5 years, and it cost less than $10,000 (it was “only” $1,500, thanks to Miller for making my wallet lighter by pointing out this deal) so it’s eligible for the Buyer’s Assurance Plan. This marks the first time ever that I’ve purchased a television that wasn’t: 1) used, or 2) less than $100.