Return protection means the credit card company will refund the cost of an item purchased by the card if the retailer won't accept it.
MasterCard will refund up to $250 within 60 days of purchase under its satisfaction guarantee. That applies to most Gold and Platinum cards as well as World and World Elite cards, says company spokesman Dwain Schenck.
Visa will reimburse cardholders the cost of a product within 90 days after purchase if the retailer doesn't accept the return and if the product was paid for with an eligible Visa card. The limit is $250 per item and up to $1,000 each year per account. Items must be in like-new or good working condition.
All American Express cardholders have 90 days for a purchase refund up to $300 per item and $1,000 each year.
The issuer also offers a premium return protection program for $49.99 a year to all consumers, not just cardholders, says American Express spokeswoman Leah Gerstner. Consumers get 180 days to make a claim. The plan covers such items as jewelry, watches, books and DVDs for up to $600 per eligible purchase and $2,500 a year.
Chase Sapphire credit cards also offer return protection for the first 90 days after purchase if the retailer doesn't accept a return.
Discover doesn't offer any return protection.