Amex Purchase Protection, Return Protection, & Extended Warranty – $1000 Back in 6 Months | Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 67

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In this episode, Jamie and Spencer discuss how American Express cards offer many benefits including:

  • Purchase protection of up to 90 days on items that are lost, damaged, or stolen.
  • Return protection up to 90 days on unused items
  • Extended warranty extending your warranty up to 1 year from when the manufactures warranty ends

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 67 Links

Outline of Episode:

  • Available benefits
  • How to submit a claim 
  • Jamie’s personal experience submitting claims
  • Which cards to use for these benefits
  • Return protection
  • Extended Warranty

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 67 Transcript

[00:00:00] Jamie: The Amex purchase protection and return protection are great tools to maximize your benefits. I personally have used them and have gotten back over $955 in the last 6 months. Today we'll share more about these benefits and how you can maximize your benefits while shopping with top-tier credit cards that waive the annual fee for service members and their spouses.

[00:00:20] Spencer: Hey, podcast listeners. Welcome back to another episode of the Military Money Manual podcast. I'm your host, Spencer Reese. Cohost of the podcast with my good friend Jamie. I'm also the owner of and the author of The Military Money Manual book available on Amazon or on my website. Today, my cohost Jamie and I are talking about the Amex Purchase Protection, our American Express Purchase Protection, and Return Benefits on credit cards.

So the three main ideas in today's episode are to understand what the benefits are to understand what kind of benefits we've been able to use recently and how you can use the purchase protection and return policies to cover your purchases and earn more out of your already free annual fee waived military credit cards.

If you got a second and you can do it safely, especially if you're not driving, you are driving, pull over and then give us the review. Please leave us a five-star review on Spotify or a rating in review on Apple Podcast. You can mention how good Jamie sounds and how good I look on the podcast.

That helps us out a lot and it helps spread the word about the good things we're talking about on the podcast, and it'll get the podcast in front of more military service members, which is always a good thing. 

Okay, Jamie, let's start talking about purchase protection. You had a recent success story, actually, success stories, what happened?

[00:02:14] Jamie: Now I'm kind of a nerd on this one, Spencer, surprise. So I'm gonna share a couple of highlights of things that I personally have taken advantage of, these offers and the protection, and then we'll go into the specifics of each. Recently I had a MacBook Pro Adapter dongle. You know the thing that goes from USBC to HDMI and USB?

Well, my dear family lost it while they were traveling to visit friends in Seattle. Hello Taylor and Bobby, and that was a $68 credit. All I did was fill out the paperwork online. Just a claim. No, no paperwork, no returning into receipt, no details, no interviews, nothing like that. 

[00:02:51] Spencer: So, I have a question about that one.

You purchased the thing within the protection window. Is that how you were able to make the claim?

[00:02:59] Jamie: So the purchase protection window will get to the details, but basically what it is, is if you buy it on one of your cards that has it, like the American Express Platinum Card, and then inside the window, which is 90 days on most cards, if it's damaged, lost, or stolen, you can make the claim for the amount and there's a cap per year and per event on some of these higher end benefits.

But this one is easy, with $68 coverage just like that. I also recently on our new MacBook laptop, We got a scratch. No one in my family knows how it happened. I wasn't on the laptop when it happened. That's all I know. I filed a claim with it because it got damaged within the first 90 days. I had to go get a quote for this one from an authorized repair facility, but Amex ended up paying me $619, which is what it cost to replace the screen.

That was it. I got a quote. Here's the receipt, here's how much the estimate was, and then the $619 statement credit. Boom. And then the last one I'll share is that I bought a Kindle E-reader. You know, I've mentioned that a couple of times on the podcast now. And while we were in Cancun, it was just my wife and me in Cancun.

I don't know how it got scratched. She doesn't know how it got scratched. It wasn't me. Anyway, Amex gave me a hundred dollars credit because it was scratched within the first 90 days. So damaged, lost, stolen, and, and your purchase is covered. These all come as card statements, not as direct deposits or checks or anything like that.

Sometimes, as I mentioned, they'll quickly approve the credit with no additional paperwork. Other times I'll ask for a receipt in like a quick two-page form that just kind of repeats the instance of how it was damaged or how it was lost, and things like that. I think it depends on the size of your claim, how much you spend, how many claims you make, and details like that.

But it's pretty straightforward and is well worth a 10-minute investment of your time to fill out the claim online to then make $600 for your damaged MacBook, for example.

[00:04:50] Spencer: Yeah, that's fantastic. I guess it goes without saying, but I'm gonna say it anyway. But don't abuse a benefit. Don't commit insurance fraud.

That's not what we're encouraging here on the podcast at all. But it is amazing that, hey, if they're gonna offer this benefit and you purchase something and something happens to it in the first 90 days or at some cards, you know, you have up to 120 days. And again, check your terms and conditions to see what's actually covered.

But that's, I mean, that's a fantastic benefit. And if it takes you less than five minutes to do it and you can get a couple of hundred dollars back, man, that's a great hourly rate. I'd probably hold off on the smaller claims just because that's me. But for the bigger claims, like if I get a, If I buy something and it like a MacBook Pro and it gets damaged or scratched within the first 90 days, heck yeah, I'm gonna file a claim and get that repaired so then I can enjoy the use of that product for years to come.

[00:05:41] Jamie: Yeah, great point about insurance. Obviously, it is an insurance claim and you have to do all the normal insurance things. It's definitely not worth it, even for several hundred dollars to get thrown in jail for insurance fraud, so definitely don't go there at all. But damage lost or stolen, that's pretty impressive coverage and a reason why I personally like to use the Amex Platinum card or similar card with this benefit, which we'll talk about in the second on big purchases or electronics or anything like that, that is at risk of getting damage.

Or I want to protect it because it's expensive, like a MacBook laptop. So I'll even forfeit a little bit extra earnings on a different card just to make sure it has the coverage of this protection, for example. 

So Spencer, can you kind of just run down the list of some of the cards that it's on? I think we did a quick scrub.

It might not be all-inclusive, but just kind of give them an idea of some of the other options.

[00:06:28] Spencer: Yeah, sure. So on our little research elves went ahead and did this for us, but Amex Platinum, so that includes all varieties of Amex Platinum, for instance. Like there's the Amex Platinum Card exclusively for Charles Schwab or also known as the Schwab Platinum.

[00:06:43] Jamie: That was a very formal name.

[00:06:44] Spencer: Yeah. exclusively. So I just did an article on that. You can Google “Amex Platinum Schwab military”, and I talk about how you can get the annual fee waived on that Amex Platinum as well. And that's another Amex Platinum in your collection there. The American Express Delta Reserve Card, the Amex Hilton Aspire, and the American Express Gold Card are the Amex cards that should provide purchase protection.

If I didn't mention an Amex card. Go check out the terms and conditions and see if yours covers it. 

Jamie does the Amex app, if you open up the Amex app, does it talk about purchase protection kind of in the card section? 

[00:07:23] Jamie: Either from the app or the desktop browser. If you go to your account and then click on the “benefits” tab, you should find it there.

It'll be labeled purchase protection. And then, by the way, if you need to file a claim, you just go there. Usually, it takes less than five minutes, but if you go under the benefits tab, yes, it's right there. And it should say purchase protection as a benefit if it's applicable to that card.

[00:07:43] Spencer: Awesome. Yeah, so I just pulled up my Amex app here.

I clicked on “membership” at the bottom of one of my Amex Platinum cards. And then under “benefit”, I went and clicked on See All. But if you click “shopping”, it's under the shopping category, and you can click on return protection, and then it just pulls up the part of the website relevant to what you clicked on.

Okay, so we talked about Amex cards and Chase cards. There's the Chase Southwest Priority. It's a similar benefit to the Amex Platinum card that we'd already talked about, except it's extended an extra 30 days, so you actually get 120 days. Which is pretty awesome. Chase also has the World of Hyatt Card, which has a similar program.

90 Days though for that one. And Chase Freedom Unlimited also goes out to 120 days. I would suspect the Freedom Flex has a similar benefit. Is that true? 

[00:08:30] Jamie: I bet it does. I'm not sure off the top of my head on that one. Yeah.

[00:08:33] Spencer: But definitely the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Probably the Chase Freedom Flex.

They're very similar cards. One earns 1.5x ultimate reward points on every purchase. The other one earns 5% cash back, but really it's paid in ultimate reward points, so it can be a travel card as well if you use the points through your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. IHG Premier Card also has a similar purchase protection program.

And in terms of Citi, the Prestige does, but that card is not open to new applicants. And then I haven't checked the Capital One Venture X card, but I'm pretty sure they offer a similar program as well. But do your own research, listener. Yeah, and buyer beware. 

Okay, Jamie, so we talked about the purchase protection.

What about return protection?

[00:09:16] Jamie: So return protection is another great benefit and this allows you to claim with American Express primarily, I'll talk about first if the company will not let you return it within the specified window, and that is within 90 days of the date of purchase. Or I believe it also is the dated delivery if it's not the same day.

So, quick story, I got an Apple mouse when I bought that MacBook and all of this was on the platinum card like I talked about. I decided I didn't like the mouse and I wanted the magic trackpad or whatever it's called instead, but I decided that on like day 16 and Apple only has a 14-day return policy, so I submitted a claim, they wouldn't take it back because it's outside their 14-day return window and boom, $89 credit for not being able to return it.

Recently my wife bought me one of those cool minimalist wallets that I thought I wanted. Well, it came in, it was a $79 wallet. It was for my birthday. This company Facebook ads, you know, thousands of five-star reviews and they wouldn't respond to us. When we tried to return it. We documented the attempts.

They wouldn't let us return it because they never responded. Amex reimbursed us for that $79 purchase because we weren't able to return it. And again, for both of these, your mileage may vary, but was no extra paper required other than the online claim submission. I didn't have to go for any interviews or file a police report or anything weird like that.

So the details of the coverage on this benefit are again, see your terms and conditions on your card. Under “benefits”, as Spencer mentioned a minute ago, if you try to return an eligible item within 90 days of the date of purchase and the merchant won't take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card account.

If you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express card and purchases must be made in the US or its territory, they do say that you may be asked to send the item back to Amex. I personally have made, you know, a handful of claims and have not seen that yet. They also require, the items must be in working order and not visibly used, defective or damaged.

So you can't get a bike and ride it for 89 days and then say, Oh, they won't let me return it. They are strict on the not visibly used line. I've had an issue where I rode a bike once and the store, the Navy Exchange, actually in Hawaii wouldn't take it back because it was used. And I put that in the remarks because that was the scenario and they denied that claim.

It also doesn't cover things like tickets. You know, baseball games or concert tickets or anything like that are not covered as well.

[00:11:44] Spencer: Good details there, Jamie. Thanks. Just doing a quick scrub. It looks like the American Express Platinum Card, the Amex Delta Reserve, Amex Hilton Aspire, Amex Bonvoy Brilliant, and American Express Green Card all have that return protection benefit.

The Amex Platinum Card has a special benefit beyond return protection and purchase protection, and they call it the Extended Warranty Protection. What's that all about, Jamie? 

[00:12:13] Jamie: It's just like it sounds, and it's an extended warranty. So this coverage is for when you charge a covered purchase with your eligible card.

The extended warranty will provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer's warranty. It applies to any warranties of five years or less. And coverage for the extended warranty protection is up to a maximum of $10,000 not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. So if you buy something like a big tv, probably a great card to use is one that has extended warranty production, like the Platinum Card.

So just this week I got approved for a $45 credit. This is probably one Spencer wouldn't waste his time with, but I just love these little wins. My wife has a pair of cycling shoes that were kind of separating at the sole. We bought them on Amazon in July of 2021. They came with a one-year warranty. So we're obviously now outside that I submitted the claim.

Two days later we got this statement credit. No extra paperwork or anything was required other than just the initial claim online. And again, you can file that claim under your account benefits tab, you can learn more, and then file a claim straight through there. There's also a phone number if you wanna do that, but then you gotta give them all the details over the phone and it's just awkward.

It's much easier to do online, five minutes, maybe 10 at the most. If it's a complex thing, but really quick and really worth your time. If it's an expensive purchase or a big electronics item, for sure.

[00:13:36] Spencer: I thought you were gonna say it was a $4,500 credit, but Nope. Just 45. Big win for you.

[00:13:44] Jamie: The small victories, man.

Got Take it. Stick it to the man when you can. 

[00:13:49] Spencer: I guess if someone's not losing, Jamie's not winning. We hope today's discussion encourages you on your journey to financial independence while you serve in the military and helps you maximize the military benefits that you can get from annual fee-waived credit cards if you're interested in signing up for annual fee-waived credit cards, or you don't know what you're talking about with like all these Amex platinum and Amex Bonvoy Brilliance.

You can get these cards with no annual fee. Military spouses too, military service members, and military spouses can both get these cards for no annual fees. I've got an entire course about it. Over 8,000 people have taken it, which is pretty mind-blowing.

And just as a review, today's main takeaways are to understand what benefits you can get from these credit cards. We talked about purchase protection, extended warranty, and return protection. Jamie shared a few stories of benefits that he's been able to use recently, and some of them can be pretty big wins, like a $600 MacBook scratch screen repair, which can definitely be a bummer if you just bought it less than 90 days ago.

Finally, how you can use these benefits to protect your purchases and get even more out of your annual fee-waived credit cards. 

Hey, listers. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please message us on Instagram @MilitaryMoneyManual, getting about a question or two a day on there, which is pretty awesome on Instagram.

Also, we've got a new podcast-specific email address. It's, We love the questions, and we love the messages that we've been getting. We appreciate you joining us today, and we're very grateful for all of you. Listen. Keep sharing the podcast with your family and friends and coworkers.

It means a lot to us and also thanks for listening, dad. We'll see you on the next episode. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the Military Money Manual Podcast. If you are enjoying the show, please feel free to rate, subscribe and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. This helps others find the show and we really appreciate it.

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