4 Credit Cards That Will Make It Right If You Get Ripped Off

credit-card-purchase-protection

If your credit card has been stolen or used without your consent to make purchases, you’re usually protected. Under federal law, consumers who report credit card fraud or theft cannot be held liable for more than $50 (and often aren’t even faced with paying that penalty, depending on the circumstances). If the credit card isn’t present at the point of sale of the purchase(s) in question, the cardholder cannot be held liable for any damages. When it comes to credit card theft or fraud, you should be covered in most cases as long as you catch the activity fairly quickly.

But what if you’ve been ripped off or incurred property loss in other ways?  What if your property was damaged or stolen, or a retailer sold you faulty goods or won’t honor a return? In short, what if you suffer losses after the point of an intentional purchase?

In these situations, purchase protection that comes with many credit cards may be able to help. Purchase protection plans can cover your purchases against accidental damage, theft or even price gouging.

Here are four of the best purchase protection cards on the market. (Note: These plans only apply when you use that card to make the purchase.)

1. Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige card (which you can read our review of here) comes with a long list of benefits, and an advanced purchase protection policy is one of them. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as American Express and Chase, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) It offers damage and theft protection for all purchases up to $10,000 per item, with total coverage at $50,000 per year. It even extends manufacturer warranties for 24 months on qualifying items. If you try to return an item within 90 days and the merchant won’t accept the return, you could even be reimbursed the purchase price.

Citi Prestige even offers a search feature that looks for lower online prices for certain registered items you buy. If they find the same item within 60 days of the purchase date, you could be reimbursed the difference. And, if you can’t attend a sports or entertainment event you purchased tickets to using your Citi Prestige credit card for a number of reasons — including your ticket being stolen or the event being cancelled with no refund — the plan could have you covered.

2. American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card 

With the American Express Premier Rewards Gold credit card (which you can read a review of here), you’ll be protected if any of your purchases are accidentally damaged or stolen for up to 90 days from when you bought them, for $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per year. Unlike the Citi card, American Express also covers jewelry. American Express has a few purchase protection policies, so if you have a different American Express card, you may want to consider looking at your terms and conditions to see if you have any purchase protection coverage.

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card (which you can read a review of here) has excellent travel rewards and comes with purchase protection.

With this card, you may be able to receive a replacement (or be reimbursed) for lost or damaged items for up to 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account annually. They may also reimburse you if a product your purchased is advertised for less, in print or online, up to $500 per item and $2,500 total per year.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also extends eligible warranties by an additional year. If a merchant won’t accept a return within 90 days of purchase, Chase may reimburse you for the purchase, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.

4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card From Chase

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card (which you can read a full review of here) is another credit card option for travelers. You can be reimbursed for certain items if a retailer won’t accept returns, within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year. The card may also reimburse you for stolen or damaged purchases for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.

This card offers extended warranties for an additional year and offers price protection up to $500 per item and up to $2,500 per year.

Most of these credit cards have a long list of excluded items and scenarios covered by the purchase protection policy. If you ever do need to file a claim, most cards will require you provide specific paperwork, including original receipts, insurance claims and even police reports in the case of theft. You may want to carefully review the details of any purchase protection plan before you choose a credit card.

Applying for a New Credit Card

If you’re looking to add a new piece of plastic to your wallet, there’s a lot to consider, like what you want your card to offer you and if you can afford an annual fee. To start the process, you may want to get an idea of what types of cards you can qualify for. To do this, you can take a look at your credit scores, as many premier credit cards are only available to those with good or excellent credit. (You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) If, after you review your credit, you discover your scores aren’t quite where you’d like them to be, you may want to consider doing what you can to repair them. This includes things like paying down debts, disputing any errors you discover on your credit reports and limiting the number of inquiries on your credit until your score rebounds.

At publishing time, the Citi Prestige and American Express Premier Rewards Gold cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

 

Image: Geber86

The post 4 Credit Cards That Will Make It Right If You Get Ripped Off appeared first on Credit.com.

Smashed Phone? The Trick That Can Help You Get Your Money Back

broken_cell_phone

You know that feeling after you’ve just bought a new cell phone. You hold it like a precious new thing; play with it like your new favorite toy. You’ve just paid quite a bit for it, or maybe signed up to be leashed into a contract for years. Yet, as shiny and new as the phone feels, it’s still an object you’re not accustomed to holding. You clutch it carefully, fearing that one buttery finger could drop it to the pavement and crack your lovely new screen.

But Let’s Say You DO Drop It

Oh no! After you’re finished freaking out about those sickening, splintery cracks spreading across your new screen, know that if you’ve paid for it by credit card, you’re likely in luck for at least part of your phone’s price. Many cards protect you with policies that can pay you $500 to $1,000 for the damage, within months of your date of purchase. You can look for what’s listed in your credit card contract under “Purchase Protection” or “Damage Protection” to see if you’re covered.

“The level of protection varies from card to card but the basic terms are that, if an item is stolen or damaged within X days (the X varies), then the card will reimburse you for the loss up to a certain amount per claim,” says Jim Wang, a Credit.com contributor and “chief money nerd” at WalletHacks. “The only other rule is that you need to use that card to pay 100% the cost of the item.”

For Visa, American Express and Discover, the limit is usually $500 per claim, up to 90 days after purchase. MasterCard usually allows up to $1,000 and is about a month longer – 120 days after purchase, Wang said. And some cards, such as Discover, will extend a warranty an additional year for those that are three years or less. If your current credit card doesn’t offer an extended warranty on phone purchases, it might be worth looking for a card that offers the benefits you want. You can compare credit cards and their benefits using our handy credit card finder tool. 

“Not all banks and not all cards at each bank offer protection, so you might need to consider opening a new account to gain this benefit,” said Eric Lindeen, vice president of marketing for ID Analytics.

What Might Not Be Covered

It’s worth repeating — the perks are not universal — so you need to check the terms from the issuer of the card. That’s because issuers are able to customize coverage amounts, length of coverage, as well as incidents that would qualify for protection, says Megan Delaney of Visa’s marketing firm CBSI. In some cases, only certain thefts are covered. Other cards don’t cover mechanical or electrical failure. And cards typically don’t take responsibility for acts of God, like floods, either.

There are also certain exemptions on some purchases. “Like American Express doesn’t offer purchase protection on animals, plants, coins, stamps, antiques, etc. It’s a pretty reasonable list,” says Wang.

Other caveats — some cards, such as Discover, don’t cover phones that are stolen from vehicles, according to Discover spokesman Derek Cuculich. And you’ll have a hard time replacing your phone if it has a glitch but still rings. Most replacement protection will cover damaged or stolen, but not lost or failed devices, says Lindeen. “Most will not replace a device that can still make or receive calls,” he says. Stolen phones may require evidence, like a police report. And any other protection payouts, “from your carrier, home insurance, or AppleCare, must pay first,” says Lindeen.

What To Do

If you smash or damage your new phone, call your card’s benefits administrator immediately. “If you do not notify the Benefit Administrator within sixty days after the product failure, your claim may be denied,” says Betty Reiss, spokeswoman for Bank of America credit cards.

The benefit administrator will likely guide you through the process and send you a claim form. And, by the way, even theft, gifts and things you’ve bought but don’t really like could be covered. Just make sure you have all the necessary documents to prove your case.

When you buy your phone, it’s also a good idea to see if you need to register it with your credit card’s benefit administrator. The terms are generally sent to you after you receive the new card, Reiss says. You’ll also want to save the purchase receipt in case you’re asked for it.

What You’ll Likely Need to Submit Within 90 Days:

  • The claim form sent to you by the benefit administrator
  • Your card receipt
  • The itemized store receipt
  • A copy of the original manufacturer’s written U.S. warranty and any other applicable warranty
  • A description and serial number of the item, and any other documentation deemed necessary to substantiate your claim (this includes bills and, if necessary, a copy of the maintenance record and receipts)
  • The original repair order
  • A police report if your phone was stolen

But What If You Didn’t Buy the Phone Outright?

If you purchased your phone on an installment plan with your carrier, there is an added opportunity for protection. “Cards are increasingly offering cellphone replacement insurance as an added feature,” said Lindeen. “You’ll need to pay your monthly bill with the card, so review your agreements and chose the card you use for your phone bill carefully. Reimbursements vary from $200 to $600, and most have a deductible.”

Wells Fargo may offer the most generous plan with $600 protection on up to four phones with a $25 deductible, and two claims a year allowed. You’ll need to read the fine print to see if your card offers this service. The protection is for damage or theft (but not phones that are lost), said Natalie M. Brown, spokeswoman for Wells Fargo. And, in case you’re thinking of intentionally getting absent minded and losing your phone to score some funds for that new iPhone, it also doesn’t cover phones that “mysteriously disappear.” Also check to see what’s offered under your card’s extended warranty.

Remember, you’ll get the best deals on everything from cellular service to credit card interest rates if you have good credit, which you can achieve by paying your bills on time and not carrying high credit card balances. A good credit score can end up saving you a lot of money over your lifetime. You can see how your payment history is affecting your credit by checking your two free credit scores, updated monthly, at Credit.com.

At publishing time, American Express and Discover products are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: sawaddee3002

The post Smashed Phone? The Trick That Can Help You Get Your Money Back appeared first on Credit.com.