Credit cards that offer the best extended warranty

Extended warranty is a benefit that has long been afforded by most credit card issuers automatically for no additional cost.  The typical extended warranty included with most MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and Amex credit cards simply matches the existing manufacturer's warranty of 3 years or less for up to one additional year.  So if your manufacturer's warranty is 90 days, the card issuer would double it to 180 days.  But if the warranty is for 2 years, then the car issuer would typically only extend it for one additional year for a total of 3 years.  And if the existing warranty is over 3 years, extended warranty wouldn't come into play at all.  Depending on the issuer, the maximum coverage is typically the lesser of the following:
  • The cost to repair or replace the item.
  • The purchase price of the item.
  • The amount charged to the credit card
  • $10,000 max per item
Extended warranty automatically covers most purchases, whether gifted and acquired domestically or internationally.  However, most of the following items are typically excluded from coverage:
  • Boats, cars, aircraft or any other motorized land, air or water vehicles and their original equipment.
  • Services (such as product installation, repairs, maintenance or diagnostics)
  • Used, antique or pre-owned items.
  • Items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use.
  • Land or buildings; housing properties.
  • Plants and live animals.
  • Items that do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Extended warranty covers major appliances such as clothes washing machine (img credit: Citi)

Cards with the best extended warranty

If you've got a big purchase coming up such as a major appliance, electronic, or computer, it may be a good idea to use the card that gives you the best extended warranty protection instead of the one with the best cashback as repairs past the original manufacturer's warranty period can prove costly.  The following are the cards with the best extended warranty protection.

Citi Costco Anywhere Visa
Citi-branded cards had the best extended warranty protection until last September, when Citi axed many of their valuable card benefits.  But the lone wolf still holding extended warranty protection is the Costco Anywhere Visa card (Costco Citi card).  The Costco Citi card automatically adds 2 years to the original manufacturer's warranty for a maximum total coverage of up to 7 years.  So if the existing warranty is 5 years, you'd be automatically covered for 7 years.  And if the existing warranty is 30 days, you'd be set for 2 years and 30 days.  But what makes the Citi Costco card standout is that it also extends customer-purchased warranty, including parts and labor:
As you can see, if the original manufacturer's warranty includes both parts and labor, the Costco Citi's extended warranty would also include parts and labor.  And if you purchased an extended warranty, the Costco Citi would still add another 2 years on top of that.  Costco has long touted this benefit as Costco already extends the manufacturer's warranty for most major appliances and electronics from 1 year to 2 years, so the Costco Citi card would throw on another 2 years on top of that for a total coverage of 4 years.

Chase cards
Chase doesn't match the original manufacturer's warranty, but simply just tags on one additional year for a maximum total coverage of up to 4 years.  So even if the existing warranty is just 30 days, you'd be covered for 1 year and 30 days if you use your Chase card.  Whereas for most of the other cards with the exception of the Costco Citi, your 30 day warranty would only be matched for a total coverage of 60 days.

Chase automatically adds 1 year of protection to purchases such as refrigerators (img credit: Chase)

Whereas Amex only matches the original manufacturer's warranty, the maximum total coverage is good for up to 6 years, meaning that the existing warranty can be as long as 5 years (same as Citi Costco).  This makes Amex less of stand out, but Amex's online claim filing process is a relatively simple and smooth process.  It should be noted that Amex did remove extended warranty coverage from many of their no-annual fee cards earlier this year, so check with your issuer if your Amex carries extended warranty.

Filing an extended warranty claim

Though it will of course vary by the issuer, many extended warranty claims can now be filed online and would require the following documentation:
  • Completed and signed claim form
  • Credit card statement demonstrating that the purchase was made on your card
  • Copy of the itemized sales receipt
  • Copy of the original manufacturer’s written U.S. warranty, and any other applicable warranty
  • Description of the item, its serial number, and any other documentation deemed necessary to substantiate your claim
  • Original repair estimate or repair bill
Some issuers such as Chase allow you to submit receipts and manufacturer's warranty documentation online to register your purchase, so that you won't need to re-submit them if the time comes for you to file an extended warranty claim.  Nonetheless, it's always a good idea to keep your receipts and warranty documentation in safe place that you can remember as claims may be necessary years down the line.

Bottom line

Extended warranty is a valuable benefit offered by most credit card issuers.  Though the "average" extended warranty coverage typically matches the original manufacturer's warranty for up to one additional year, there are definitive stand outs such as the Costco Citi card, which automatically adds 2 years of warranty regardless of the existing warranty length for a total coverage of up to 7 years. When you've got more expensive purchases in mind that could be prone to failure down the line such as major appliances, TV, electronics, and computers, it may be a good idea to use a card with the best extended warranty protection for extra peace of mind.


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