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This article was last updated Jan 09, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
When you buy an expensive item, such as a laptop, the last thing you want to worry about is if it gets stolen or damaged. The costs involved to repair or replace an item can rack up, especially if it isn’t covered by a warranty or insurance. However, select credit cards may provide coverage in these situations via purchase protection. This benefit comes at no additional cost to the cardholder, and can be a cost-efficient and helpful alternative to purchasing individual insurance for items.
If an item you bought gets stolen or damaged, purchase protection may provide repair, replacement or reimbursement up to the cost of the item if you purchased the item using your credit card. Just know, coverage is secondary to any existing insurance you have, such as homeowners insurance or warranties. The maximum coverage amounts and restrictions differ by card issuer, so you should familiarize yourself with the exact terms prior to filing a claim.
We’ll review the purchase protection terms provided by major issuers, list possible exclusions and explain how to file a claim.
In this post:
- Purchase protection by issuer
- What are the exclusions?
- How to file a claim
- Can I keep the item after I file a claim?
- The bottom line
Purchase protection by issuer
Some credit card issuers have cut back on purchase protection benefits, and others, like Discover and Barclays, removed the benefit altogether. However, there are still a number of credit cards that offer the benefit. If this is a benefit you’re interested in, you should take a look at the cards listed below.
Keep in mind, though, that the protection differs by issuer and may change or be discontinued at any time. Therefore, it’s not recommended to choose a card solely based on the prospect of purchase protection.
Here are the purchase protection terms for major card issuers on eligible cards:
|Issuer||Maximum coverage per item||Maximum coverage per calendar year per account||Return window|
|American Express||Up to $10,000 per covered purchase and up to $500 per covered natural disaster on eligible cards||Up to $50,000 per eligible card||Within 90 days of purchase|
|Bank of America||
Up to $10,000 per claim on eligible cards
|Not specified||Within 90 days of purchase|
|Capital One||Up to $10,000 per claim on eligible cards||$50,000||Within 90 days of purchase|
|Chase||Up to $500
per claim or up to $10,000 per claim, depending on the card
|$50,000||Within 120 days of purchase|
$10,000 per incident on eligible cards
|$50,000||Within 90 days of purchase|
Popular American Express cards offering purchase protection
American Express offers purchase protection for damaged, lost or stolen items up to $10,000 per covered purchase, up to $50,000 per eligible card per calendar year. You can also receive up to $500 in coverage for natural disasters per covered event. The return window is within 90 days of purchase. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*
Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*
No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
$300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.*
6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
1% back on other purchases*
- Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
- Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Popular Bank of America cards offering purchase protection
Bank of America may replace or reimburse cardholders for stolen or damaged items purchased using their eligible card within 90 days of purchase. Purchase security covers items up to $10,000 per claim, up to $50,000 per cardholder.
Popular Capital One cards offering purchase protection
Capital One provides purchase security, which replaces, repairs or reimburses you for eligible items of personal property up to $10,000 per claim. The protection covers stolen or damaged items for 90 days from the date of purchase.
Popular Chase cards offering purchase protection
Chase offers purchase protection for personal property that has been damaged or stolen, as well as involuntary and accidental parting with property for 120 days from the date of purchase. Eligible items are covered for up to $500 or $10,000 per claim (depending on the card) and $50,000 per account. For example, the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offer up to $500 per claim, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve® covers up to $10,000 per claim.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Popular Citibank cards offering purchase protection
If you purchase an item — using your eligible Citibank card and/or ThankYou® points — that is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, Citibank may reimburse you for the item up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year per Citibank card account.
Earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
No Foreign Transaction Fees*
- Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- NEW! Earn 3 Points at Restaurants and Supermarkets
- Earn 3 Points at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- NEW! Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
- 60,000 Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
See additional details for Citi Premier® Card
What are the exclusions?
In addition to setting maximum coverage amounts and return windows, shipping and handling costs are typically excluded from reimbursement. Also, purchase protection doesn’t cover everything you buy with your card. However, many items that are excluded aren’t things you’d typically return, such as animals and living plants.
Here are the common items that don’t qualify for purchase protection:
- Motorized vehicles (cars, boats, motorcycles) and their attached parts (including tires)
- Collectible, one-of-a-kind, custom-built, and limited edition items (antiques, coins, furs, art, sports memorabilia, stamps)
- Computer software
- Cash (including rare or precious coins), gift cards, checks, promissory notes or any other financial document that represents money
- Items that can spoil or are consumable and need to be replaced after they have been used for a period of time (food, fuel, batteries, medications, beauty products or personal-care products)
- Living plants
- Permanent household fixtures
- Items rented, leased or borrowed
- Business fixtures (air conditioners, refrigerators, heaters)
- Hospital, medical and dental equipment and devices
In addition to excluded items, certain types of damage are often excluded:
- Normal wear and tear
- Fraud, abuse or illegal activity
- Item not reasonably secured
- Theft of (or from) baggage not carried by an eligible beneficiary
- Damage to an item purchased for play, such as sports equipment, drones, etc.
- Product defect
How to file a claim
Purchase protection claims can be filed one of several ways: by calling your card issuer, submitting a claim form online or mailing in a claim form. When you file a claim, you’ll typically need your purchase receipt, proof of theft or damage, the damaged item (if applicable) and any additional documents your card issuer may request. If an item has been stolen, you will generally be required to file a police report within 48 hours of the incident.
Here’s how to get the process going with the major card issuers:
- American Express: Call 1-800-322-1277 or 1-303-273-6498 collect if international. You can also visit AmericanExpress.com/onlineclaim. Notice of claim should be given within 30 days of the loss, and proof of loss (such as a receipt) must be provided within 60 days. Note, a claim for benefits will be paid within 30 days of receiving the proof of loss.
- Bank of America: Call 1-800-Mastercard for Mastercard credit cards and 1-800-553-4820 for Visa cards.
- Capital One: Call 1-800-VISA-911 or 1-303-967-1096 within 60 days of the theft or damage.
- Chase: Call 1-888-320-9656 or visit eclaimsline.com to notify the Benefit Administrator within 90 days of the loss, damage or theft.
- Citibank: Call 1-866-918-4670 or visit cardbenefits.citi.com. You must return all requested documents within 180 days of the date of the incident.
Can I keep the item after I file a claim?
Most likely not. If your item was damaged, the card issuer may require you to mail the eligible item to a warehouse to be inspected. In some cases, you may be reimbursed for those shipping costs.
The bottom line
Ultimately, the purchase protection benefit provides an added layer of insurance for the items you purchase using your credit card, making it a very valuable benefit if your items are ever damaged or stolen. To see if your credit card offers this benefit, be sure to check your card member agreement or benefit guide, or call the number on the back of your card.
The information related to Chase Freedom® and Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever have been independently collected by CompareCards and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.