Best Credit Card Purchase Protections


purchase protections from credit cardsWhat is the best credit card to use for a large purchase?  Often, the answer is driven by which card offers the best rewards for your spend.  The biggest bang for your buck usually comes from using the purchase to help complete spend required to get a big new welcome bonus.  Alternatively, you can look for a card that offers to best category bonus.  Different cards are most rewarding for different types of spend.  If that’s what you’re after, see this post for details: Best Category Bonuses: Which card to use where?

Another way to approach the “what’s the best card” question is to identify the card that offers the best purchase protections.  If something goes wrong after purchase, which card has your back?  Which cards offer extended warranty, purchase protection, return protection, and price protection?  This post aims to answer that question.

What’s New

The Big Four Purchase Protections

There are four types of purchase protection that are, or used to be, commonly offered by credit cards:

Extended Warranty

When you buy an item that offers a manufacturer warranty, a credit card extended warranty will extend that coverage.  Typically, whatever was covered in the original warranty is covered in the extended warranty.

Most banks that offer this perk extend the manufacturers warranty by 12 months, but it’s always worth checking your guide to benefits for specifics.

Purchase Protection

One type of purchase protection is confusingly referred to as “purchase protection.”  Generally this means that you are covered if your new item is damaged or stolen. Some cards also cover simply losing the item.  Coverage typically lasts 90 or 120 days.  This is usually secondary insurance.  That is, if you have some type of insurance that covers the loss (home insurance, car insurance, etc.), then you must submit a claim to that insurance first. The credit card insurance will then cover up to the balance not paid by your primary insurer.

While most banks cover damage and theft, with some of their cards, American Express goes farther by including lost items as well.  Meanwhile, Chase offers protection for 120 days after purchase while other issuers typically cover your purchase for only 90 days.

Return Protection

If you buy an item, but change your mind and the seller refused to take the item back, then you can file a claim for return protection.  As you’ll see in the chart below, return protection is far less common than purchase protection or extended warranties.

I find it interesting that Chase and Amex offer return protection only on their most expensive cards while Synchrony offers return protection on their fee-free Rakuten Visa.

Price Protection

If you buy an item and the price for that item drops shortly afterwards, price protection offers a way to get back the difference.  Unfortunately, very few credit cards offer price protection.

Retail Purchase Protections

At the time of this writing, I’ve only included a few popular cards from each major issuer (Amex, Capital One, Chase, Citi) in the chart below. However, I intend to soon add more, so please check back!

*Note that the Citi Costco cards will no longer offer extended warranty protection effective 1/22/23

Very few cards still offer price protection.  The chart below is a summary of the known options.  See also this post for more details: Price Protection overview by issuer.

Benefit Guides

The information shown above summarizes purchase protections by card.  For details about exactly what is or isn’t covered, it’s best to read the benefits guide.  Here are links to the guides for many of the cards shown above…

Amex Benefit Guides

All Amex retail & travel benefit guides can be found here.

Capital One Benefit Guides

All Capital one benefit guides can be found here.

Chase Benefit Guides

Citi Benefit Guides

Synchrony Benefit Guides

Wells Fargo Benefit Guides


If you’re about to buy something expensive, it’s worth checking to see if you have a credit card that can help protect that purchase.  The tough part is figuring out what type of protection you value the most since different cards have different strengths.  For example:

  • If you most value extended warranties, then pay with a Citi card which offers a 24 month extended warranty (note that not all Citi cards offer this feature, but Citi Premier and Citi Prestige are two cards that do).
  • If you think that your item may get damaged or stolen, then pay with a Chase card in order to get 120 days of coverage instead of 90.
  • If you think that you’re likely to lose the item, then pay with one of the Amex cards that covers lost items.
  • If you think that you are likely to return the item and are also likely to have trouble doing so, then consider paying with the Chase Sapphire Reserve which offers up to $500 in return protection.
  • If you think there’s a good chance that the price of the item will soon drop, check the price protection chart, above, for your options.  Your best bet is to go with one of the Chase United cards (such as the United business card) which offer 90 days to file a claim of up to $500.  Note though that the popular United MileagePlus card does not offer this feature.
  • If you think all four types of purchase protection are likely to be necessary, then consider the Rakuten Visa card.  It doesn’t offer the best of any of these protections, but it’s the only card in this roundup that offers all four.  The best part is that it can be quite rewarding too.  If you can make your purchase online through the Rakuten shopping portal, you’ll earn a portal bonus plus 3% back with the Rakuten card.  And if you opt to earn Membership Rewards points rather than cash back, you can do even better.
Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Could you please update this post? You’re my preferred source and this is incredibly helpful


I was just thinking the same thing 🙂

Adventure NML

Just wanted to add a callout that it sounds like Discover doesn’t offer any of these protections.


The no-AF Citi ThankYou Preferred includes 24 months of Extended Warranty:

We will extend the manufacturer’s warranty for an additional 24 Months. If You purchase an extended warranty, Our coverage begins at the expiration of that warranty. In the event of a covered failure We will repair or replace the item or reimburse up to the amount charged on Your Citi Card and/or ThankYou Points (excluding shipping and handling) or $10,000, whichever is less. Total coverage up to a maximum of 7 years from the purchase date.


Do you think you can update this to include the Capital One Venture X? It offers pretty great protections as a Visa Infinite card. Thanks for all you do!

[…] on the Citi Costco card, but I know some people love this benefit and the added piece of mind.  Frequent Miler has a great resource on extended warranty benefits and other credit card purchase pro…, so check out the post to see what the new best card will be for you.  If you have any questions […]


Are you saying that if I have a homeowners insurance policy with $1,000 deductible and the (Chase Sapphire Preferred for example) offers only secondary insurance then I will not have any coverage for a $900 purchase?



Mark W

Worth noting that United Explorer Business Card no longer exists. Not only is it no longer available for new applicants; everyone who had it was force converted to the United Business Card. The United Business Card does not offer price protection.


Please do!

Mark W

First, a *huge* thank you for this article. It’s one of my favorite resources on this site. I refer to it all the time for large purchases that I think could be at significant risk of a price drop, damage, or theft.

On that note, shout out to Chase United Explorer Business for sending me a $500 bank deposit last year when I found my new TV much cheaper elsewhere! (At a super shady dealer that I would’ve never bought from, but shhh… don’t tell Chase Card Services that.)

Anyway, the main reason I’m commenting – I got an email from Synchrony today, and it looks like another price protection bites the dust: “Effective July 16, 2021, your Rakuten Cash Back Visa Signature Card will no longer provide Price Protection.” Sad news. Arguably a significant devaluation for that card.

[…] In short, I bought a brand new phone and smashed the screen a week later. Since I had paid with a credit card that offers purchase protection, I was able to get 100% of my money back (a full refund of the $499.99 purchase price. See that […]

[…] details and proof of purchase. Other card issuers offer purchase protection (see this post: Best credit card purchase protections for more detail), but this was the type of terrific and simple customer service experience that […]

[…] Greg’s post “Best Credit Card Purchase Protections” he actually notes this about return […]

Jan W

Great summary. I did a bit of a deep dive on my cards recently and noticed a few interesting things. My Amex cards offered one year extra on warranties up to five years or less, while Chase and BoA offer one year on warranties of three years or less (while the BoA Amtrak has a strange doubling of warranties up to 24 months and will even cover 24 months after your purchased extended warranty expires). Amex BCP and Marriott Bonvoy mention a max of $500 if loss is from a natural disaster. BoA Amtrak also offers price protection up to 120 days after purchase (up to $250/claim, 4x year, with a printed ad or non-auction internet ad). BoA Premium Rewards mentions “repair, replace or reimburse” for item stolen or damaged, but if the item is worth more than $500, you must file a police report within 48 hours (though you have 60 days to file claim). Oh, they also have a site where you can register items at time of purchase to make it easier to file a claim down the road.
Obviously, I had many sleepness nights when the quarantine started and had to do something! I now have two-page “cheat sheets” on all my credit cards, each with a subheading for Purchase Protections benefits. The project turned out to be fairly exhausting, but I learned so much and it really helped me up my game!

[…] Best Credit Card Purchase Protections […]


Hey, good summary.

However, I see the Amex everyday preferred and blue cash preferred have return protection. The Wells Fargo Propel does as well.


Thank you for putting together this list! I didn’t realize that the AMEX Gold card dropped its Return Protection until I saw this article.

Return Protection has been so helpful during the pandemic, because its lowered the risk of buying “final sale” items that cannot be returned, because I can return it through my Hilton Aspire card if need be.

Request: Could you put the yearly limits for the Return Protection? That would be helpful just to make sure I’m not setting myself up for failure down the line haha.