Which credit cards offer the best extended warranty and purchase protection?
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Updated: July 24, 2023
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.
There are few realizations quite as crushing as that moment you lift up your gym bag to find it mysteriously lighter than it was 30 minutes ago, and your pricey new headphones vanished. Actually, the only thing comparably exasperating might be for those headphones to fizzle out just a few weeks after their warranty expires.
But before you throw the busted Beats against the wall, take a deep breath and read through your credit card agreement. Does it come with an extended warranty and/or purchase protection? If so, follow our general guidelines below for either being reimbursed or getting the item replaced. If not, write it off as a learning experience and consider applying for one of the following cards that will have your back next time.
We conducted an analysis to determine which Canadian credit cards offer the best terms for extended warranty and purchase protection. Our considerations included the length of coverage, scope of coverage, and the ease of getting items covered—and we also tried to provide options to suit a variety of income levels and credit scores.
Best credit cards for extended warranty and purchase protection
BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory.
– Other Requirements: No bankruptcies in the last seven years
The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* will cover repair, replacement, or reimbursement of items purchased by the card that have been either stolen or damaged, up to 180 days after the purchase was made*—that’s double the length of coverage provided by most credit cards’ purchase protection terms. The card also extends an item’s original manufacturer’s warranty up to two additional years—again, double the usual warranty extension length. Though extended warranty protection can be applied to items purchased anywhere in the world, the original manufacturer’s warranty must be valid in Canada to apply. Purchase protection and extended warranty benefits are capped at a lifetime maximum of $60,000 per credit card account.
- Annual fee: $120 (waived in first year)*
- Welcome offer: 10% cash back for first three months (max $260 cash back)*
- Regular cash back rates: 5% back on groceries*; 4% on transit*; 3% on gas*; 2% on recurring bills*; 1% on all other eligible purchases* (limits apply)
- Other features: Free LoungeKey airport lounge membership*; free roadside assistance*; limited travel medical and car rental insurance*; etc.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* review.
*Terms and conditions apply
RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard
– Recommended Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 personal/$150,000 household
– Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province
– Residency: Canadian
Like the BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*, the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard offers up to a two-year extension for a product’s original manufacturer’s warranty, but it offers ‘only’ 120 days of coverage for purchase protection³ (compared to the BMO card’s 180 days). That said, the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard does clearly beat out the BMO card in one aspect of its coverage: It offers a max coverage amount of $50K per card per year, which could potentially add up to an enormously high amount of combined coverage over the card’s lifetime.
- Annual fee: $99 for primary cardholder
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Regular cash back rates: 1.5% cash back on first $25K spent annually; 1% back on all purchases after $25K, unlimited¹
- Other features: Extra savings and additional Petro-Points at Petro-Canada⁷; complimentary access to Wi-Fi hotspots via Boingo‡; no annual fee for adding additional cardholders; etc.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard review.
Refer to RBC Page for up to date offer terms and conditions.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: $12,000
– Age: 18+/Age of majority
– Residency: Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident
– Other: No bankruptcy for the past 7 years
Though it’s not a guaranteed feature for every credit card, there are nonetheless a number of no annual fee credit cards that offer at least a basic level of extended warranty and purchase protection benefits. Among the most popular is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, which gives 90 days of purchase assurance for lost, stolen or damaged items, as well as double an item’s manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year. Coverage is limited to a lifetime maximum of $60K.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome offer: Special 10% extra cash back rate on the first $1,000 spent with the card on everyday purchases (max. $100 cash back) in the first two months if you're approved, apply by July 5, 2023.*
- Regular cash back rates: 2% cash back on 2-3 purchase categories of your choice; 0.5% cash back on everything else
- Other features: New cardholders get 1.95% interest on balance transfers for the first 6 months (1% balance transfer fee applies)*
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review.
*Terms and Conditions apply
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair/Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: Age of majority in province/territory
– Residency: Canadian resident
Extended warranty and purchase protection coverage is more commonly offered by cash back cards rather than rewards cards, but there are exceptions. The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® is one of the most popular rewards cards in Canada and it offers coverage similar to the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: Manufacturer’s warranties are doubled for up to one additional year, and purchase assurance is provided for 90 days after an item’s purchase. Coverage is limited to a lifetime maximum of $60K.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome offer: 4 MBNA Rewards points†† for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases for the first 90 days + up to 10,000 additional bonus points††
- Regular rewards rates: 2 points‡ for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and restaurant purchases (limitations apply); 1 point‡ for every $1 spent everywhere else
- Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases; 22.99%✪ on balance transfers; 24.99% on cash advances
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® review.
‡, ††, ✪, ***, Terms and Conditions apply
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.
Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the issuer of this credit card. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®MBNA and other-trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Home Trust Secured Visa
– Minimum Credit Score: Bad-Poor
– Minimum Income: $0– Age: Age of majority in your province/territory
– Residency: Permanent Canadian resident
– Other: Not available to Quebec residents or to those currently in bankruptcy
Secured credit cards are usually very basic, typically offering few if any special features, and rarely providing purchase protection or extended warranty. The Home Trust Secured Visa is one of the few secured credit cards that provides 90 days of purchase protection against stolen or damaged items, for up to $5K in coverage per occurrence. The card unfortunately does not offer extended warranty coverage, but it’s nonetheless a great option for those looking to build their credit score while benefitting from some basic level of insurance for the items they purchase.
- Annual fee: $0
- Cash back/rewards rates: N/A
- Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 19.99% on cash advances
- Deposit amount/spending limit: $500–$10,0000
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Secured Visa Card review.
What are extended warranty protection and purchase protection?
Credit card extended warranty protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty on an item purchased with your credit card. Most credit cards extend the warranty by the lesser of either one additional year or double the warranty; some credit cards may offer longer warranty extensions than this, others may offer no such extended warranty protection at all. If this kind of coverage is offered by your card it can save you a substantial amount of money that you might otherwise fork over to the likes of Best Buy for an à la carte extended warranty.
Purchase protection covers you in a different way than extended warranty protection, in that rather than extending a manufacturer’s warranty it compensates you for loss, theft, or damage of an item. The insurer will elect to either repair or replace the item, or reimburse you for the item’s purchase price. Purchase protection usually applies only for a limited amount of time after you’ve purchased the item (the ‘coverage period’), typically 90 days.
A credit card’s extended warranty and purchase protection will specify a maximum dollar value of coverage payable, either for an individual item; a year within a credit card account; the ‘lifetime’ of a credit card account; or some combination of the above.
What’s covered by extended warranty and purchase protection?
A product’s warranty will usually cover an item if it is flawed or defected in some way, provided the defect manifests within the warranty’s designated time period, and the defect is not the result of the product’s misuse by its owner. For example, if you buy a new laptop with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, and nine months after the purchase the keyboard starts to freeze up, you should be able to invoke the warranty so that the keyboard will be replaced for free—unless of course the manufacturer investigates the issue and traces the busted keyboard to a latte you spilled on it. The same terms and conditions of the original manufacturer’s warranty are typically honored by a credit card’s extended warranty protection, except perhaps in the event that the manufacturer has gone out of business.
Purchase protection covers items that have been stolen or significantly damaged. Some policies may also cover the accidental loss of an item in which you are at fault.
What’s not covered by extended warranty and purchase protection?
Each insurance policy lists a variety of item categories that are excluded from coverage. The excluded categories vary from one card to the next, but they generally include:
- Hard currency; traveler’s cheques; event tickets; gift cards/certificates
- Animals and living plants
- Consumable or perishable goods
- Used/secondhand items and refurbished items
- Motorized vehicles
- Jewelry, gemstones, and precious metals
- Items used commercially (e.g. office equipment)
- Unique or irreplaceable items
Not all extended warranty and purchase protection policies will cover items purchased outside Canada; or if the item was purchased outside Canada, the manufacturer’s warranty must at least be valid within Canada for the extended warranty to apply.
As with most forms of credit card insurance, you’ll typically need to have paid for the item entirely with your credit card in order for the extended warranty or purchase protection to be valid. So if you have a credit card with great extended warranty coverage but you bought your defective television with your debit card, you’re probably out of luck.
How do I make an extended warranty or purchase protection claim?
It’s best to file a claim as quickly as possible after you notice the item is missing, damaged, or defected. The claim process may vary slightly from one insurer to the next, but it will likely be similar to the below:
Double check to make sure the item in question is still covered according to the terms of the extended warranty or purchase protection. *Note that if your item’s manufacturer’s warranty is for five years or more, many credit card issuers will require that you register the item within the first year of purchase, which in our opinion is a little shady albeit common.
Consult with your credit card issuer to obtain the contact information of your card’s insurer. Keep in mind that credit card issuers are not insurance companies, so they aren’t directly responsible for providing your insurance, and your claim will be processed by the insurer itself.
Notify your credit card’s insurer of your intent to file a claim, describe the nature of the claim to them, and request the forms you’ll need to fill out.
Gather relevant documents that you’ll need for the claim. For example, if your laptop was stolen you should be ready to provide a copy of the police report you filed. No matter what the circumstances are of your claim you’ll always need to provide a copy of the item’s original sales receipt, and most likely the part of your credit card statement that shows you bought the specific item in question with your credit card. If your claim is for an extended warranty you’ll need to provide a copy of the item’s original manufacturer’s warranty.
Submit all the required claim forms and supplementary documents to the insurer. Your insurer may also require you to send damaged or defective items to a designated address for assessment.
Confirm with your insurer that they have received the documents you sent and that they are evaluating your claim; find out how long the claim review process will take.
Extended warranty and purchase protection are two forms of credit card insurance that can not only save you the bummer of replacing a defected or stolen item, but can also save you a substantial amount of money. There’s tons of value to be gleaned from getting extended warranty and purchase protection through your credit card, considering many retailers charge from 10% to 20% of an item’s purchase price to include extended warranty coverage. Talk about margin! So the next time someone at Best Buy, Staples, The Brick or Leon’s offers you an additional warranty, just remember, if you pay for the entire purchase with the right credit card, you’re likely already covered and can save yourself some loonies.
Though a card’s insurance policies may be a bit nuanced, the main takeaways from this article are fairly simple:
Get at least one credit card that provides extended warranty coverage and purchase protection of some kind; it doesn’t have to have an annual fee.
When buying a big-ticket item (electronics, appliances, furniture, instruments, and tools), be certain to make the purchase with your credit card that has extended warranty and purchase protection.
Never buy extended manufacturer warranties from a retailer unless you’re certain that your credit card doesn’t provide comparable coverage already.
Is there a difference between purchase protection and price protection?+
Purchase protection and price protection are two separate things. Purchase protection protects a purchase from theft, loss, or damage; price protection allows you to claim a refund for the difference in price of an item you purchased that is later marked down to a lower price.
Do all credit cards offer purchase protection?+
No, not all credit cards offer purchase protection. Some credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee, as well as many secured cards, may not offer purchase protection or extended warranty.
Do all American Express cards offer extended warranty?+
Most American Express cards in Canada do offer extended warranty, but not all. The Choice Card, for instance, does not offer extended warranty.
Are extended warranties worth the money?+
Paying for a retailer’s extended warranty may not be worthwhile, as these warranty extensions are often pricey and more often than not they go unused. That’s what makes a credit card’s extended warranty coverage so appealing; it’s like getting multiple free extended warranties for dozens of items you purchase.
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