Experience with AMEX Buyer’s Assurance (AWESOME!)

Many of the American Express cards, including the Platinum, Gold, and SPG cards [these are referral links], offer the Buyer’s Assurance program. This program will double the original terms of your manufacturer warranty, up to an additional year, if the full purchase price of the item was charged to your American Express card that has coverage.

I usually think of these types of programs as useless, requiring too much paperwork, effort, false-denials, etc. However, after my MacBook Pro screen started to discolour, and my Apple warranty expired but a month earlier, I used the Buyer’s Assurance program.

First, I had to call their insurance hotline. The policy is managed by RSA Insurance. Over the phone, they collected the basic information about my claim, including my biographic details, purchase price, and a description of the damage. Fortunately, the person who took my claim was also my claim examiner. He told me to email him the following information:

  • A description of the damage and the events surrounding it;
  • A copy of the original purchase receipt;
  • A copy of the bill where the charge for the item appeared;
  • An estimate for repair (I simply emailed a local repair shop, and within an hour, they emailed me an estimate to replace the screen), and;
  • A copy of the manufacturer warranty (which I grabbed off the Apple website).

Within 5 days, I received an email from my examiner stating that my claim, which was around $1000, was paid. Wow! Now that’s service!

Even better, when I spoke with my examiner, he stated that I was under no obligation to actually repair the laptop. Once the claim was paid, he didn’t care how I spent the money. I’ve been looking to completely get rid of all my Apple products (changed out iPhone for Galaxy), so I sold the damaged laptop on eBay for $500, and with the paid claim, that means I actually earned a couple dollars from my original purchase price. I was able to switch over to an ASUS Zenbook that I love.

In conclusion, the American Express Buyer’s Assurance policy works wonderfully. It was a quick experience, without any pushback. My claim was rather significant, for ~$1000, and I couldn’t say anything bad about the policy. Kudos to AMEX!

Interesting note: my new ASUS Zenbook has an included “drops, damage, liquid, etc” coverage as part of their standard 1-year warranty. According to the Buyer’s Assurance policy, my laptop should be covered for those risks in year 2, which is amazing!

Comments

  1. I’ve had the pleasure of handling two different claims one via Amex accidental damage within 90 days of purchase for my cellphone that ended up getting crushed and another via Chase for a price protection claim as the couch I recently purchased went down significantly in price.

    I’ll say without any hesitation that the claims process for both Amex and Chase was a breeze. On the Amex side for the accidental damage everything was submitted online and processed within 5 days.

    Chase does require you to contact card benefit services, but the agents on the phone were some of the nicest people I had ever needed to contact for any card I currently have.

    In the end I’ve saved over $500 and it took maybe a total of 30 minutes of my time.

  2. I had a similar great experience last year with the Amex program when one of our Nexus 5 phones developed a dead display screen about a month out of Google / LG warranty. Gave Amex proof of purchase and a written statement of my conversations with Google about the hardware defect. Took about 10 minutes of my time and resulted in a full credit of the purchase price, and as you indicated no requirement that I return or repair the device. Basically they funded 14 months use of the phone for free and we were able to use the funds to buy a newer gadget.

  3. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog and love the informative contents! I hope can follow your blog daily!
    Question here, you didn’t specify what kind of damage and what happened, can you please let me know what was your claim about?
    And to be eligible for this protection, do I have to charge full amount of the purchase on my Amex card? How about if I pay partially by coupon (e.g, mover’s coupon for Best Buy) and Best Buy gift card and then charge the rest on my Amex card, would I still be eligible for this protection?

  4. Think it’s worth referencing my very different, very recent experience. Cracked my phone screen within the 3-month protected period back in early Nov. Part of Amex’s process is getting a repair estimate from an “Authorized Repair Facility, per the manufacturer’s warranty”. My device, a Nexus 6P, is manufactured by Huawei. Called Huawei a couple of times, and they publish no such list of authorized repair facilities. Took several phone calls to Amex to finally find a rep who acknowledged that this sometimes comes up, and that I should still just submit the estimate from any repair facility, and that it would likely be treated as normal. Then after waiting a few weeks, it turned out the claim had been opened by the original Amex rep as an Extended Warranty rather than Purchase Protection. I needed to restart the process and submit more paperwork due to their error. There were then more delays in the processing “due to the holidays” (even factoring in the loss of business days, they didn’t meet their own processing deadline). No willingness / ability to expedite. Also note that all paperwork communication needs to be done via fax or regular mail, no scanned / emailed docs. There is also no ability to check the status of claims online, you must call or wait for Amex’s periodic update emails. Finally had the claim filled (successfully) on Jan. 8, nearly two full months after I initially opened it. All-in, between many calls, multiple trips to the repair facility, filling out paperwork, probably spent 6-7 hours of time.

  5. I have a claim pending now, but regardless of how it works out, I am not happy with how the claims are administered. I dropped and cracked my new iphone, within the accidental damage period (90 days I think) and found filing my $129 claim to be ridiculously bureaucratic, requiring me to spend absurd amounts of time getting an estimate from Apple, and providing a proof of purchase which is fully established by records that they have (i.e., my Amex statement). Much more outrageous thoug is that — at least for the US program — they only accept documentation over fax or mail, but not by email. The only reason to accept a fax, and not an email, is that they want to make it as difficult as possible to make a claim, and there is simply no legitimate basis to this requirement. They put me to a lot of uneceessary trouble to collect $129 — which I’m sure is the point.

    I was promised notification of the status of my claim within 10 business days of their acknowledging having received it, but I’m on day 20 or so with no indication one way or the other.

  6. I wouldn’t describe my experience as positive either :(. I tried to file a claim way back in April and it was closed due to my failure in finding a technician willing to give me a quote. (no leather repairmen i know!!!) They told me i just needed pictures. So i sent that – by mail – so i had to print my pictures and mail them – extremely backwards!!!
    Its almost November and I sent my pictures in August so I called them again, and they told me they don’t have the paperwork I submitted the first time.
    I’m now printing out the form they emailed to me and I need to fill it out and mail it.

    Overall a very frustrating experience. Yes they are nice on the phone, but a backward system for Amex is unjustifiable.

  7. I filled a claim for stolen item and gave all necessary paperwork..police report and detective phone number. It’s been two months and no payment or reimbursement. They all full of shit!!! They gave me the round a round.

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