I am a big fan of credit card rewards programs, like cash back or travel, especially those with generous spending rewards coupled with a solid insurance package. One such card that comes to mind is my favorite free card of all time, the MBNA SPG credit card. This card gives a healthy 2-5% return on spending along with a comprehensive insurance package which included extended warranty, purchase assurance and car rental collision coverage. Sadly, the SPG card has been discontinued by MBNA, but rumour is that it will be picked up again by AMEX. More on this in a future column.
When evaluating credit cards, I’ve always considered the extended warranty offered to be an afterthought, but a minimum requirement. Credit card extended warranties will typically double the manufacturers warranty up to a maximum of 1 extra year. Even though it’s nice to have peace of mind when making a large purchase, never did I think that I would ever use it. That is until the hard drive on my laptop, which was purchased during boxing week sales of 2007, failed.
It was early December 2009, I was in the middle of writing an article for MDJ when the hard drive failure happened. After some mild profanities, my thoughts came around to finding a solution which then lead to a question that often goes through my head, “what is this going to cost me?”
It occured to me that the date I purchased the laptop (late Dec 2007) and the extended warranty that my credit card offered allowed me to make a claim. As the laptop warranty was for one year, the credit card extended warranty would bring the warranty up to the end of Dec 2009. As luck may have it, the hard drive failure may have been good timing after all.
With that, I grabbed the telephone and phoned the number on the back of my credit card, spoke with a rep who forwarded me to their insurance division. After explaning the situation, date of purchase, date of hard drive failure, she explained all the paperwork required. In addition, they would send out a form to be filled out which needed to be mailed back to them including the required documentation.
The documentation required includes:
- Copy of original store receipt
- Copy of statement indicating the purchase
- Copy of manufacturers warranty
- Copy of repair quote/bill
Since the laptop is my preferred blogging tool, I decided to get it repaired right away and send them the bill instead of waiting for them to reimburse a repair quote. All in all, it’s a fairly painless process providing that the documentation is available.
I can see many people not taking advantage of the extended warranty service as most do not keep their paperwork in a retrievable fashion. I’ll be honest, my filing system could use a bit of work, but it’s good enough to retrieve information when it’s required.
How do I file my paperwork? When making larger purchases, I keep the original store receipt along with the warranty information together within a labelled file in my filing cabinet. That way, if anything goes wrong, I can either take it back to the store, or use the warranty if it’s still available. I also keep all my credit card statements in the filing cabinet, but they get moved to a “tax box” in the basement come year end.
Question for you, have you ever used the extended warranty feature on your credit card?