Did you buy a new cell phone only to have it stolen a few weeks later? Did someone just spill coffee all over your brand new laptop? Well, your credit card may have you covered thanks to a benefit called purchase protection. This great feature can help you replace or receive reimbursement for stolen and damaged items. Let’s take a look at what purchase protection can (and can’t) cover.
What Is Purchase Protection?
Purchase protection offers short-term theft and damage insurance for things you get together with your credit card. It mechanically covers all eligible purchases on your card, with no further registration necessary. The catch is that not all credit cards supply purchase protection and not all things are eligible for coverage. The definition of eligible purchase additionally varies from card to card. Purchase protection is secondary insurance coverage. You’ll solely use it if other insurance, like renters or owners insurance, doesn’t cowl the item.
Purchase protection will glide by completely different names like purchase assurance, purchase security, or damage protection. Note that purchase protection is totally different from price protection and extended warranty protection. Price protection helps you get all-time low costs for the purchases you make. Extended warranty protection adds up to 1 year to the Associated item’s original manufacturer’s warranty.
What Does the Purchase Protection Cover?
Purchase protection covers several everyday purchases, however, there are also several exclusions. Occasionally, not all credit cards may cover the same things. You should be aware of your credit card’s agreement papers and terms and conditions to find out exactly what it covers.
In general, credit card purchase protection will not t include live animals or plants, antiques or collectibles, computer software, motor vehicles and their parts, medical equipment, perishable items, household items, gift cards, checks, or tickets. In addition to that, loss or damage in certain situations tends to fall under exclusion, too. This means items lost or stolen from a motor vehicle, items lost under the care of common carriers (airplanes, postal carriers, etc.) and used or pre-owned items.
Furthermore, you will have to prove some sort of theft or identity theft to use purchase protection. If you happen to misplace an item, it won’t be covered. For example, if you forgot your new watch on an airplane, you would need to file a police report to have a chance at reimbursement. If you fail to take proper care of an item could also exclude you from coverage. Another example if you momentarily left your laptop on a coffee shop table to take a phone call outside. When someone stole your laptop at that time, you probably won’t receive purchase protection benefits.
How Much Does Purchase Protection Cover?
Purchase protection won’t reimburse you for more than what you originally paid for an item. At the same time, purchase protection covers up to a certain amount only. A good example, Discover will not reimburse you for any more than $500 per claim and no more than $2,500 per year. That means if somebody stole a $600 item from you, Discover won’t reimburse the full price. On the other hand, Visa could reimburse you for up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year. You have to make sure to call your credit card issuer if you are unsure about your protection limits.
How Long Does Purchase Protection Last?
There are two main time frames to keep track of. First, purchase protection only applies for a certain time after an item’s purchase date. The cap usually lands at 90 days, but the exact time frame will vary from card to card. It may also vary by state or country.
Second, you need to file a claim through your credit card provider within a certain amount of time of the incident occurring. Usually 30 or 60 days. Additionally, if the item was stolen, you will have to file a police report usually within 48 hours after the incident occurs.
Does My Card Offer Purchase Protection?
Purchase protection is offered on many cards from all major credit card companies (i.e. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). Credit cards that require the cardholder to have good credit are more likely to offer purchase protection this is also one way for the cardholders on how to secure your credit card. Cards designed for people who are building credit or have people who have a credit card with bad credit are less likely to have this benefit.
To know if your exact card offers purchase protection, you should read your card’s guide to benefits. It will explain your card’s exact policy in detail. The guide to benefits is mailed to you when you first receive a card. If you never received it or no longer have it, you might find it online by searching for your card. Not all credit card providers post these guides online though so you may have to call the credit card’s customer service for information.
How to Use Purchase Protection
In order to use credit card protection, all you need to do is to file a claim through your credit card provider this is one way to avoid credit card scams. If you have a Visa or a Discover card, you are required to call their customer service number to file your claim. MasterCard and American Express may allow you to submit an online claim form or call their customer service number.
Always remember that purchase protection only applies within a small window after purchasing an item. most credit card companies offer protection for 90 days after the item’s purchase date, but this can vary by state and by country so it is advisable to file a claim as soon as possible.
When you file a purchase protection claim, you will have to provide more information than just the claim form. for new claims, you’ll need all your credit card information handy when filing the claim. Next step, you will need to provide an itemized receipt that clearly shows the date you purchased the item and its cost, plus the credit card statement that includes the item. Lastly, when reporting damaged or loss items, you will need to provide a description of the damage plus how and when it occurred and for stolen items, you need a copy of a police or incident report that was filed shortly after the theft.
For replacement or reimbursement, the credit card company will require you to mail them the item. There are companies will have you ship the item at your own expense, while others can cover shipping and handling, so always make sure to keep your receipts.