Your credit card might offer you an extended warranty -- for free. Each card payment network will extend a manufacturer's warranty up to 12 months on claims of $10,000 or less.
Here's a look at the standard benefits (some premium cards offer more coverage):
- American Express: Original warranty must be for 5 years or less. Exclusions include physical damage as a result of a national disaster or power surge, mechanical failure covered by a product recall or loss caused by fraud, abuse or illegal activity. Purchases not covered include motorized vehicles and parts, animals or living plants and perishable items.
- Discover: Original warranty must be for 3 years or less. Exclusions include items that need repair due to normal wear and tear or a power surge or if it is subject to a recall. Purchases not covered include computer software and used goods.
- MasterCard: Original warranty must be for 12 months or less. Exclusions include loss resulting from "war or hostilities," "acts of God," mechanical failures due to normal wear and tear and failures subject to recall. Purchases not covered include antiques, floor models that don't come with a manufacturer warranty or professional services.
- Visa: Good on eligible Visa Signature cards. Original warranty must be for 3 years or less. Purchases not covered include rented or leased items, medical equipment and items "intended to become part of real estate," such as garage doors and ceiling fans.