American Express Purchase Protections Are Simply Amazing

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There’s always going to be debate on which card to use and when.

Should you grab the 2.11% you can get on all purchases from the Barclaycard Arrival or should you try to maximize spending by using Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Cash to earn 5 points per dollar via gift cards from office supply stores.
Should you accumulate Starpoints via Starwood Consumer or Starwood Business, Chase Ultimate Rewards points via Sapphire Preferred and Freedom, or American Express Membership Rewards points via Premier Rewards Gold or Business Gold Rewards.  They all offer different category bonuses and very different airline transfer options.  It gives most people a headache just trying to figure it all out.  I took a stab at it in this post though I’m afraid it made things even more confusing for some.

But besides for category bonuses, threshold bonuses, and how you personally value and use each currency it’s important to keep in mind the protections that your cards offer and that’s really where American Express shines.  There’s no good way to quantify whether you should earn 5 points per dollar on Amazon for that laptop via Ink gift cards or if you should use your Starwood card for the 1 Starpoint per dollar plus warranty protections but it is something that you should bear in mind when making any kind of significant or risky purchase.
While many other banks offer some of these protections nobody makes it as pain-free as American Express does. Not even by a long shot.
Best of all? Even if you close the American Express card on which you bought the item as long as you have any open card you can still file a claim!

American Express Online Claims Center

Return Protection: This allows you to return items up to $300 to American Express within 90 days if the merchant won’t take the item back. You can use this up to $1,000 annually per card.  (Yes, if you buy something like the Bose QC3s on sale for $314 you can still make a return claim within 90 days, you would just lose the $14 overage)

I’ve used this extensively with retailers that have 30 day, 14 day, or even non-existent return policies. You just file a claim online to get it started.
It’s really hassle-free and it’s totally underrated by most people. If the item is under $100 typically you will just receive a refund within a few days without even having to fax in any receipts or even having to return the item!
Recently Vente-Privee had a “summer camp” sale where they offered thousands of items per day at massive discounts, with the caveat that everything was final sale. When several of the items didn’t work out I didn’t even sweat it as I purchased them on my Starwood card. Within a few days they were all refunded and I donated the clothes to a clothing bank as American Express didn’t even ask for them back.

DDF members share when they did or did not have to ship the item back to American Express for a refund and other protection experiences in this thread.

Extended Warranty: This matches the manufacturer’s warranty up to an extra year of warranty coverage on items up to $10,000.  It does not extend warranties that aren’t from the item’s manufacturer.
The irony here is that most manufacturer’s warranties stink. They make you send in your item and typically have long turn-around times. Or they find reasons why the warranty doesn’t cover your problem.
Wait it out until the manufacturer’s warranty ends and you’ll be in luck. Often times you’ll receive a refund of your entire purchase price within a few days of making a claim without even hassling you at all.   DDF members report this happening often for cameras, cell phones, and computers. For some more expensive items they may ask for a repair quote but when you send in the quote you’ll typically be credited with that amount (up to the purchase price paid) within a few days.  People on DDF have even reported getting refunded for computers with cracked screens and other physical damage during the AMEX warranty bonus year, something that the manufacturer would never cover.

I just shake my head when I see people paying for a 2nd year warranty at a store.  Your AMEX will do that far better and it’s free!

Purchase Protection: This covers items that break or get stolen within 90 days of purchase.
On most cards you’re covered for items up to $1,000 but if you use your Platinum card it covers items up to $10,000. If you use your Platinum card it will even cover you for items that you just lose!

Dispute Resolution: If you have a problem with a defective item or a bad merchant then American Express makes it easier than anyone to get your money back. You can file a claim online and often that will be the end of it, your money will be returned. I’ve had to file disputes with other banks and I rarely seem to win, even when I’m 100% in the right. With American Express they will fight for you like nobody else.
When I bought a GPS in Isrrael in 2007 that was completely defective, Office Depot in Jerusalem refused to take it back even though I was within the stated return policy. I filed a dispute and got the money back without a fight.
I paid for an introductory scuba diving course in Hawaii in 2009 and they stuck us with diving experts who were being certified for a new depth that day. When I wasn’t ready to jump in the water and go down dozens of feet right away they made us wait on dry land and refused any refund. Some intro course, ever heard of easing people in? Luckily I paid with my AMEX and I’m sure you know how the story ends 🙂

Can Rental Insurance: This is one place I don’t use American Express. Instead you should use a United Explorer card as it gives free primary car rental insurance in most countries in the world except Israel. This coverage is only secondary with most cards including American Express (meaning in case of damage you would have to file a claim with your personal car insurer) unless you pay a $20-$25 per rental fee. American Express also does not cover rental cars in Israel.  Over there the ideal card to use is a Chase Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard which covers Israel with no foreign exchange fees and offers 2.14 points per dollar on all travel items. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa you can still call up Chase to have it changed over to a Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard.

More reasons I love American Express?
1. They post an opening date for your cards of when you got your first AMEX card.  That means that every time you open an AMEX you are instantly improving your FICO score as you are greatly increasing your average account age. (And even when you close a card it still helps average account age for at least 10 more years). Check your report for free at to see for yourself.
2. Typically just 1 pull to get consumer and business cards on the same day.
3. Twitter promotions!
4. Small Business Saturday. Need I say more 😀

Share your experiences with purchase protections and American Express in the comments!

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83 Comments On "American Express Purchase Protections Are Simply Amazing"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


I bought a $300 pair of shoes that just doesn’t fit right and I can’t wear after trying for 10 days… I bought it with my Amex Stwd. Is there anything I can do? Store doesn’t wanna take back bec it’s worn…


Of course. Just file a return protection claim via the link in this post.
As long as there’s nothing defective about them and they’re “like-new” (i.e. don’t send them shoes you’ve been wearing for a year) you are good to go with return protection.


One more question I bought a belt thru PayPal on eBay which is paid thru my Amex gold and I never wore it and seller doesn’t take returns… Anything I could do?


As long as you bought it within the past 90 days you can do return protection for that as well!


why not use ur SP WMC for rentals? or ink with avis? or they dont give primary insurance?


Sapphire is not primary coverage unless your own insurance doesn’t cover you (which is typically the case when abroad)

Ink only covers damages on car rentals that are for business purposes.


does the 2 yr warranty work for smartphones as well that were “rolled in” to a new plan or upgrade and not purchased at full price?


You can only get refunded up to the price you actually paid on your AMEX.


If I purchase on Amex Plat and then downgrade/cancel the card, and have SPG cards still open, will they honor the 10k loss insurance and other benefits on the items I purchased on the Plat for full “Plat insurance” or limit it to regular Amex coverage like on the SPG cards?


what if you did not pay for the entire price on the amex
for example bought from amazon a $50 item, with $25 gift card and paid $25 by amex, do they refund the entire cost or just the part paid on amex ?


Henry frisch

There is the fact that I once shlepped a good bottle of duty free single malt to give as a gift in Israel. I dropped it on a hotel lobby marble floor in Tveria. Amex would not cover the expense because liquor is on a list of non-covered items.


I bought a cell phone in Israel ($124) and the ear piece wasn’t good so I tried returning it to the store but didn’t allow. I filed a claim with AMEX and was declined from purchase protection because it was bought in Israel (although I had called up AMEX before hand and asked if they would cover in Israel they said they do) and a default in the phone they don’t cover only if it gets damaged. So now I filed a dispute that they misled me. any ideas or tips to pull this through?


Does the extenteded waranty work if I already closed the card I made the purchase on? Also can I start the extended warranty process online or do I need to call?


Would this warranty extension apply to household kitchen appliances (fridge, oven etc)?

And do you recommend paying on an AMEX for these items?

Chaim Leib

@Dan Question, I have an USAA Amex card. Does Amex coverages extend to my card? Can I register and set up an account on Amex


1-car rentals: does ink ask proof of Buisness intent on rental ?
2-is the 25$ primary coverage option from Amex smoother & more encompassing than united ? If. So wouldn’t it be more worthwhile to always put rental on Amex & if no damage then pay at end with dif. Card? Just did this in Calgary.( This idea was suggested to my friend by the ppl in Amex 🙂
3-just got updated benefits from Saphire . Seems to say they are offering 120 day purchase protection. Might b something to keep in mind ..
4- finally, off topic: what r the best way 2 use avois 2 Israel? Does the air lingus to Dublin open many options 2 either further avois routes or cheap fares ( e.g. Dublin to Paris Berlin etc)?


I bought a lap top on citibank Amex – 22 month later sound board went.not sure if they r different then regular Amex but they required : warranty copy from company ( real pain to retrieve) & diagnostic which cost 40$ & (wasn’t for whole comp) still , can’t complain bout 400$ & a great laptop that just doesn’t have sound..

Steve G

What do you think the chances are of getting a non-refundable hotel from Expedia refunded?

Dispute em all

Some disputes that I won : went to restaurant & took 3hrs for service ( Saphire ) hotel room that smelled from smoke( Amex) vort flowers that they cheaped out on me & never tried to respond to our complaints(200& citi) went snorkel in purto rica & they didn’t send instructor down dispite being only 1 in water- ( Amex) & went snorkel tour in key west & since water was to choppy (something 30 min b4 they claimed was non-issue) they were gonna turn it in2 booze cruise instead . B4 we where off the boat I had already disputed & enjoyed getting slammed with friends 4 free( Amex)…

In summary: they screw with u: dispute !!


If I close that card that I purchased it on but have any amex open – a starwood thats good enough?
I want to close all my amex cards since I can’t seem to get any signup bonus again. I keep trying every 6 or so months when you post a good deal and they say that I had one in the past 12 months etc…. I tried SMing numerous times- is there anything else I can try?


i dont have car insurance (because I dont own or lease a car) but I rent very often.
Is Amex rental insurance good enough 4 me or should I open a united explorer?


paid $1000 for a brand new Bugaboo last year, I kept it in the car overnight when I came in the morning the carriage was stolen, I filed a claim by Amex and they refunded me the whole $1000 dollars. 🙂


Does united club card offer same benefits of car rental as united explorer card?


if I have an order from my habit for 3 pair of shoes that I bought 6 weeks ago, do I submit a new claim for each pair of shoes or do I put it all on one claim I really do not want to have to pay to return them.


Amex is amazing but* chase sapphire might just take the cake…

yitz g


When using an INK card, how will they know if its for business or not?


Weird. The times of found myself disputing things have been in israel. Ive has better experinces using chase cards. Heres my experiences:

1. Dispute with el al. They charged me a change fee for a cancelled flight. Used my amex plat. They kept on rebilling even after i had “won” the dispute. Apparantly with amex this is possible. Every time they do it u have to file a new dispute. Changing cc. Number does not help. Only way to stop it is to cancel the account.

2. Netvision. Use amex. 2 years after having closed mu account they starting billing me random amounts. I disputed. Company did not respond so i won by default. They just billed again, dispute again, eventually i got i had to block all purchases from the card in order to stop it.

3. Chase. Prepaid shabbos meal at hotel. Despite paying a small fortune they neglected to write me down so when we came shabbos they said sorry we cant let u in. Eventually after making a scene they begrudgingly let us in. But the food was already kinda cold. Disputed with chase got a full refund even though we did eat something we just didnt receive ” hospitality”. No rebills done deal.


I think they don’t cover many items regarding auto repairs…


Bought a LeSportSac backpack for $63 on spg consumer card. It was final sale no returns. I Called up that I don’t like it and I want to return it but the store won’t take it back. They said I will get a email with the results. I got the email a day later it said that I will get a credit .they did not ask to return the item


From what I understand Dan is saying is that for easy no hassle claims that don’t make you spend more time than it’s worth jumping through hoops like other banks do for purchase protection, extended warranty, and return protection, Amex is way above the rest. It also seems that while Amex is biased towards the consumer when there is a dispute, they do allow the merchant to re contest their charge backs. It seems like a fair trade off to me. Just save your documents, rinse and repeat if that happens.


Does SPG cover lost items?


My iPhone got stolen from a gym locker within a month of my buying it. I filed a claim with Amex (Blue Cash Grandfathered 5%) and they refunded the purchase with no request for police report.

I bought a waterpik from amazon and used it incorrectly and it broke. I called Amex, described to them exactly what happened and they refunded it without questions.

I regularly return small purchases to them and have never been asked for the item. I, like Dan, usually donate the item to a charity.

I’ve used their various protections to legitimately save thousands of dollars over the years.

This is the reason I don’t buy and use gift cards for purchases. Everything goes on the Amex so I can use their protection.


I filed a claim under purchase protection for a HTC one cracked screen and got original purchase amount returned 2 days later no questions asked


Dan, does this work for AMEX Bluebird?


Good question. Trying writing to them (SM/Chat/Twitter) and let us know what they say!

Just what you pay on AMEX.

If you already disputed it just wait for the results.

Read the post please.

Click on the protections in the post to see the FAQ page which lists the exclusions.

@Chaim Leib:
No, these benefits are only for AMEX issued cards, not third party AMEX cards like USAA and Citibank.

1. If there is major damage they definitely can.
2. I don’t have much experience but generally that should work. Though I’ve heard in Israel they may not let you switch the card after the rental.
3. Meh.
4. OT comments are best asked on DDF.

Citibank AMEX does not have these protections, you are subject to the demands of Citibank.

@Steve G:
On what basis???

As the post says, any one will do.
Starwood can be downgraded to Blue cash by the way.

It is good enough for you.



I would do it as separate claims.
You can return multiple claims in one package if they ask for them back.

@yitz g:
If the damage is large enough to make it worth an investigation I bet they’ll ask for proof.

Any company can rebill you with any card.
All you’ve proved is that El Al and Netvision will rebill you in the case of a dispute and that the hotel didn’t.

Did you try saying that your card was stolen to cancel that card out without closing the account?

It’s a great feature!

Read the post.


Most of these will not.
There is some sort of purchase protection but the better question is why you would ever purchase something with Bluebird when you can so easily cash it out and earn more miles on a credit card?


If I make a purchase on Amex card but then cancel that card and have no other cards that I’m primary but I am an AU on my husbands card, will that still extend the warranty?


I WAS with american express since 2007.
Last year they froze my cards and wanted me to submit my income (I forgot whats its called).. long story short I submitted my info and explained to the rep that being that I was in a sever car accident the income reported will not match my original application because I did not work that year. I told her that I could send proof if necessary. They shut my accounts.
I called for an explanation. I was never late for a payment since I opened my card. Policy!
I’m burnt.


I highly doubt it.
But you can always open another card yourself.

Did you really not make a penny?
They don’t care if your income matches what you originally said it was, they just want to know that you are making something on the books.
People have passed with just a couple thousand in income.

Also many reps will accept checking account data instead of proof of income if you have a good enough reason (such as your case) though you have to ask for that.

But if you ignore them they will shut you down.


I bought a $500 pair if shoes and they are giving me blisters , could I go straight and dispute it with my Amex?


if im unhappy with charges for a avis car rental on my spg card, what can i do?


@scott where can I get a repair quote for my laptop-amex is asking me for one when I made a claim and I can’t find a place that wld do that for me?


@Amex: what did you have to send them?


There purchase protection is phenomenal! The light in my trunk is hanging down and it can get very hot. One Erev Shabbos that we went away and I left trunk open. The light burned a whole right through our dress bags and damaged some of our clothing including my wifes dress which she purchased recently. We called AMEX and within a week or 2 we had a check for the full value of the dress. Unbelievable!


@Dan What do you mean “They post an opening date for your cards of when you got your first AMEX card”. What does every other credit card company do?


opening a business starwoods and a chase ink bold (business) can i do that on 1 pull?



If i rember correctly that didnt help. They can bill even after u cancel card and are issued a new number. They have a way of requesting ur number i guess. The charges just reappear on the new number. At that point all u can do is cancel the whole account


@Dan: i dont see anything regarding lost items?


@Ohboy: basically only platinum?


Chase Sapphire doesn’t give primary car rental insurance?


does the fidelity amex have the same purchase benefits?


Just to make sure I understand right:
If I bought a laptop from HP on an AmEx and decide within 90 days that I don’t feel like keeping it I can just tell AmEx and they’ll give me a full refund?
HP return policy is 21 days.


…. Whoops, just re-read the post.
Laptop was way more than $300 (approx triple) so no go.


Dan, you seem to have lots of Amex cards. Have you been able to get around the Amex policy limiting you to 4 credit (not charge) cards? How? CSRs say their hands are tied.


My galaxy s4 screen just cracked, I paid 200 upgrade with att on amex, how can I get it fixed or reimbursed for it? I have insurance but they have a 200$ deductible.

Liam Knuj

Are there any protections with AmEx prepaid or AmEx giftcards (like the ones we got for free with last year’s promo)?


if i file a Dispute Resolution claim does amex eat the loss or they deny payment to the merchant


@Dan: “Ink only covers damages on car rentals that are for business purposes.”

You know, I secure-emailed Chase about this twice — and they said, and then repeated that the coverage IS on “car rental” — they would not commit to: “yes, business or personal rental” — just yes, the Ink Bold card covers rentals.

I keep seeing this “Ink won’t cover personal rentals” — anyone have an actual Chase report of this — or an actual example? It worries me ALL the time! (And really — how will they tell when my 4-day biz trip switches over to the second 4-day vacation trip?!)


“… these benefits are only for AMEX issued cards, not third party AMEX cards like USAA and Citibank.”

Is the Delta Gold Amex an AMEX-issued card?


does amex ever ask to send back the returned item?


i returned 3 handbags and they wanted them back.


It is important to note that you must contact them WITHIN 90 DAYS OF ORIGINAL PURCHASE. I purchased a designer pair of shoes from Daffys (which is now out of business) with my Starwoods AMEX & put them away in my closet. A few months later, I took them out & used them- the “Black Leather” peeled off the front – on the first use. I called AMEX & told them what happened- they said that there is nothing they can do- neither with return protection, nor with dispute, because it is past 90 days since purchase!


@Dan: Dan, I believe you are correct for domestic rentals, but not for international personal rentals. CIB terms state “The Auto Rental CDW benefit provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles. It is primary coverage which means you do not have to file a claim with any other source of insurance before you can receive coverage under this benefit while renting primarily for business purposes, renting outside your country of residence for personal reasons or if you do not have automobile insurance.” I read this to mean that it will provide primary coverage for pesonal international rentals.


Getting around the $25 charge when renting using an “upgraded” AMEX: When you take the car out, use your AMEX. When you return the car, if theres no damage, tell the car rental company you want to pay with a different CC.
Obviously if you damage the car you should pay for the rental with your AMEX


is that on the blue from Amex as well ?


Does Amex offer purchase price protection? Meaning, if that the price drops within 30 days they would refund the difference.

. . . Or should I just use my chase card, since it offers that protection.



Do I have to contact my Insurer if the rental car damage is less than my deductible, or will AmEx handle it?


Is it per card or per account?
I.e if I split a purchase between two cards (mine and my wife) for a total of $2,000, do I get full refund?


when disputing on a starwood card, is it better to say other when they ask questions or say that they charged you too much etc…….


bought appliances for kitchen over 10 years ago, they are all broken, bought with amex any chance can get money back


10 year ago appliances…wow are you serious?! that’s just unethical


@Yakov: you could block the seller without closing the account


I bought a couch mid June. The sales person told me to buy it right away and come back in 1 1/2 weeks to get money refunded for a price guarantee deal. I paid in full, couch was delivered, went 2 days later after delivery and got my refund. 2 months after, i am contacted by the store saying that it was a mistake and we got too much money back. They want us to pay back and or they will rebill us! Please help!


Dan if I have an Amex gift card do I also have protection or just Amex cc?


“If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa you can still call up Chase to have it changed over to a Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard”

Please advise what you mean by this. Does the Sapphire Visa ‘take on’ the benefits of Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard but its still a visa or it changes the card entirely to a MC but is the same number?


In regards to Extended Warranty. It seems to me that if you buy an extended warranty for a product then Amex extended warranty will further extend that for another year. The following is from the Amex website

Is my item eligible under Extended Warranty if I purchased an extended warranty or an extended service plan with my item?
If you buy an additional service contract or extended warranty with a product that is otherwise eligible under Extended Warranty, and the combined coverage provided by both the original manufacturer’s warranty and the purchased service contract does not exceed five years, then the eligible product can be eligible for coverage under Extended Warranty. Extended Warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty after both the original manufacturer’s warranty and the purchased service contract have expired.


Bought a tie got a stain. Refunded money within 5 hours of filing. Effortless.



In mid-september 2014 I purchased a brand new dell laptop from staples using my platnium amex card. Since the time I have had it it has given me a lot of trouble with glitches and a host of other probles. Everytime I contact customer service under my dell warranty, the technicians seem to make things worse, or only temporarily fix my issue. I am ready to give up on this laptop, and wanted to know if Amex can help me, as I know staples and dell won’t as it been a bit over 5 months.
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!


Hi, what if i purchase a macbook on ebay, and the seller is selling it WITH applecare protection extended warranty- will I still be eligible for the extra year of extended warranty coverage being that I did not purchase directly from an apple authorized retailer?


Update- I just spoke to American Express, and they said that if the computer is purchased on ebay from a recognized merchant as opposed to an individual, then they will honor the extended warranty. Does amex mean an “authorized apple merchant” or just a recognized merchant on ebay? Because according to ebay any individual is an authorized merchant…
Please answer as soon as possible as this is quite time-sensitive. Thank you very much!


I traveled to Mexico for vacations three weeks ago, while I was there, my gf and I went shopping, we were on our way to the hotel when two guys cut off the taxi and made us get down, they stole our purchases and her purse, (I don’t carry wallet, only card and ID) they didn’t find my wallet since I didn’t have one. They took my Casio watch and sunglasses. I filed a police report. I’m back in the states and I told a friend about it and he told me about purchase protection from AMEX. I have the Platinum card, will it cover my stolen goods? I use that card for all the purhcases and Delta Skymiles to fly.


Does Chase auto coverage include the Gush Etzion bloc. Their letter says

coverage is not available where it is prohibited by law or by individual merchants, or is in
violation of the territory terms of the rental agreement.”

It is not clear what is covered by the actual car company. Anyone with experience?


OMG Dan, your scuba diving story happened to me exactly the way you said in Hawaii!! Probably same company! However, like a fool I purchases it with the Fidelity 2% card and they refused to help me! Due to this, till that day I use Amex for anything I might need to dispute! SO funny, we had the same story!


Hello. I ordered some equipment worth $600 and it got delivered but when I came home from vacation it was stolen. Is that something that’s covered under AMex purchase protection. I bought all of it on AMEX luckily and it’s only been 13 days since purchase. The company won’t refund because they did delivered it via FedEx. What’s my protection in this case?