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At some point in your life, you’ve probably dropped your smartphone. If it happened to be on the ground, you may have even shattered the glass. If you didn’t have insurance through your carrier, you probably thought you were out of luck. But if you purchased that phone with a credit card, you could have taken advantage of an underused benefit: purchase protection.
What Is Purchase Protection?
Purchase protection is a benefit that comes with select credit cards. It will protect your purchases against accidental damage or theft for a select amount of time. Some cards also include a benefit called extended warranty protection. This is different from purchase protection. Extended Warranty protection extends the life of the manufacturer’s warranty on your items.
Be aware that purchase protection isn’t an indefinite benefit. It typically only lasts for the first 90 to 120 days of owning an item. The exact length of time depends on the card itself. But if you purchase a new smartphone and break it before you can get a protective case, you can rest easy knowing that you’re protected.
So what makes a great purchase protection policy? One of the biggest things to look at is the amount of coverage you have. What if you purchased something much more expensive and it was damaged soon after? You’ll want to make sure you’re covered for that. Some policies actually cover up to $10,000 per claim.
Something else to be mindful of is the length of the benefit. As we mentioned before, most last for 90 to 120 days. You will also want to pay special attention to the items excluded from each card’s policy.
Let’s take a look at five cards that offer purchase protection policies for cardholders.
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve (we’ve got a full review here) made a big splash last year when it was released. It quickly became one of the best available cards for travelers. However, it also has some great shopping benefits. With this card, you will receive purchase protection, up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year. It will cover theft or accidental damage for the first 120 days.
When you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you will receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You will then receive three points on restaurants and travel expenses. Any other purchase will receive one point. This card has a $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $300 travel credit each year. You will also receive up to $100 to cover Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check.
The card carries a variable purchase annual percentage rate between 16.49% and 23.49%, based on creditworthiness. (You can get an idea of yours by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.)
2. Platinum Card From American Express
The Platinum Card from American Express offers its cardholders purchase protection on items for the first 90 days. The benefit limits are $10,000 per claim, at a maximum of $50,000 per year. When you sign up for this card, you will receive 40,000 Membership Reward points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You will also receive five points for flights booked directly through airlines or with American Express Travel. All other purchases will earn one point. This card comes with an annual fee of $550, but it offers a $200 airline fee credit. There are no interest charges since it is a charge card, meaning you’ll have to pay your balance in full each month or face a steep penalty APR.
3. Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers purchase protection benefits for the first 120 days (90 days for New York residents). You’re covered for up to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year, a spokesperson from Citi said. To get the coverage, you must pay at least partially for the item with your Citi credit card. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
You will receive 50,000 AAdvantage miles after signing up for this card and spending $5,000 within the first three months. You will then receive two miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases. Plus, you will receive one mile for every dollar spent on everything else. If you spend $40,000 in a calendar year, you will receive 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles. This card has a $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check. You will also receive complimentary Admirals Club membership. The card carries a variable purchase APR of 15.99%.
4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card
If big annual fees aren’t something you can comfortably afford, you might want to consider the United MileagePlus Explorer card. Not only does it have a lower annual fee of $95, it offers a purchase protection benefit of $10,000 per claim and is valid for 120 days.
When you sign up for this card, you will receive 50,000 United miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. In addition, you will receive two miles on all United purchases and one mile for every dollar spent on everything else. Each calendar year you spend $25,000, you will be awarded a 10,000-mile bonus. As a cardholder, you will also receive two free United Club one-time passes each year, a free first checked bag and priority boarding. The card carries a variable purchase APR of 16.49% to 23.49%, depending on creditworthiness.
The Citi Prestige is another premium credit card that offers stellar purchase protection. With this card, you will have protection for 120 days and the limits are $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.
With the Citi Prestige, you will earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You will receive three points on airfare and hotel purchases, two points on dining and entertainment, and one point on everything else. The card comes with a $450 annual fee, but it includes a $250 air travel credit and access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select. The card carries a variable purchase APR of 15.99%
Purchase protection isn’t the only extra premium plastic has to offer. Here are eight other major credit card perks you probably aren’t taking advantage of.
At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express, Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard and Citi Prestige card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuers. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.