Using AMEX Purchase Protection for the First Time
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Purchase Protection is a credit card feature I always forget about and never had a reason to use. But when I decided to upgrade to the new Samsung Galaxy S4 phone at the end of the year, I figured I should take that coverage into consideration. I’d never broken my phone or cracked my screen, but it could happen.
So I did my research and after reading about the hoops Gary from View From The Wing had to jump through with his Chase Sapphire, decided I should default to my favorite card — the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. But I was so unused to thinking about purchase protection that I almost forgot and used my Ink Plus card instead in order to get 5X the points on a telecommunications purchase. Ha!
Fast forward to early March. I drop my phone for the umpteenth time, this time in an outdoor shopping center. Phone lands face down, screen cracks right down the middle. Apparently the case I had for the phone decided not to work that day. AUGH. I try to solace myself — this happened within the 90 days the one was covered AND now I’ll get to write about my experience submitting a claim to AMEX. Sigh.
I contacted a nearby cell phone repair place and was quoted $89. As soon as I hung up, their system automatically texted me a quote for what we’d talked about. Pretty cool. The phone was fixed in 2 hours and they emailed me my receipt. Remembering the problems other people had had, I asked if I could get a written quote. They thought the receipt would be enough but offered to send me a quote if the credit card company insisted.
I then procrastinated several weeks and finally submitted my claim at the end of March, still within the 30 days from when the accident happened. I made my way through the online form which was easy to fill out but didn’t ask any information about the cost of repairing the damage. Concerned I had done something wrong, I called customer service and got a very helpful person who reviewed all my information (which had been entered correctly) and added a few extra notes as well.
I would receive an email from them within the week, or I could proactively fax a copy of my quote and receipt to them. Simple enough.
The email arrived within a day and contained another form which asked for much of the same information but also details about the repair cost and my renter’s/homeowner’s insurance. I faxed it in. Checked online a few days later and it said they were still waiting for the materials. Hmmm. Then a few days later I got the email saying my claim was approved and the full credit was issued.
Yay! It’s an easy process, but if it’s your first time submitting a claim to American Express, here are the steps I took:
1. Figure out if you’re eligible. You are covered 90 days from when you purchased the item and you have 30 days from the date of the incident to report the loss. You are only covered if you both purchased the item with an eligible American Express card and paid to repair or replace the item with the same credit card. Which means if you cancelled that credit card after you bought the item, it’s probably not going to work.
2. Compile necessary information.
- Date and place the damage/loss occurred
- Date of purchase and merchant
- Total purchase price & total charge amount of that transaction (if you bought other things at the same time)
- Make/Model/serial number — for some cell phones this might be difficult. Mine wouldn’t show a serial number.
- Homeowner’s/Renter’s Policy number and number and name of your insurance company
3. Decide how you want to submit your claim. You have three options — phone, online, or downloading the form and faxing it in. I recommend the downloadable form. I did mine online, but it would have been faster to just fill out the PDF form and fax it in, since that’s what the follow up email and the agent on the phone had me do.
Phone: (800) 322-1277
Download & fax to (800) 322-1277
Online: Purchase Protection Claim website.
Note: if you go online, you’ll need to first select the credit card you purchased the item with and then choose the appropriate coverage.
4. Supporting Documentation. They requested I fax or mail the following:
- Complete Information on the Claim Form (the downloadable form above)
- Itemized Store Receipt
- Repair Estimate from a verifiable repair facility w/date, item serial number, loss type and cost
I was worried about my quote which was a text message. So I forwarded the quote to my email, printed out the email and then also wrote a note explaining when and how it was sent to me and the exact date and time to make it seem more legit.
5. Wait. It only took 10 calendar days from when I submitted my materials to get approval for my claim. During that time the online status showed pending, which apparently was not indicative of not having received my materials.
The whole process was incredibly painless and easy. Way to go American Express!
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