Guide to Credit Card Shopping Benefits: Which Card Should You Use to Make Your Holiday Purchases?

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Shopping Benefits Guide

Shopping Benefits Guide

Like most of you, I have been doing a ton of shopping lately. Up until I got into miles and points I didn’t really pay any mind to which card I used for certain purchases other than for bonus category spending. I recently availed myself of Citi’s excellent trip delay benefit.  Citi reimburses you for eligible expenses if you’re delayed more than 3 hours. Also, I recently had someone tell me they never buy extended warranties because their card generally covers it. All of this got me interested in making sure I was making the right purchases with the right card. Hopefully this info will help you make the right decisions and save you some money!

Within each of these benefits, I noticed that there was language stating the maximum benefit would be in the amount charged to the card. In other words, if you used a gift card to purchase a google home for example but paid the remaining $10 balance with your Prestige card; if your Google Home was damaged and you were covered under purchase protection, it would only be for $10. So definitely keep this in mind for things that you’re likely to lose or break etc.

One category of cards that I wanted to highlight were your bonus category 5% cards, namely the Discover It and Chase Freedom cards. We tend to use these these cards a lot for shopping, especially in the 4th Q where the bonus categories tend to be retail and much higher than any other shopping category you’ll find. These cards are usually left out of similar analysis because they are no fee and not as widely used for day to day purchases. (Aside from bonus categories.) But, there’s some surprisingly good benefits, especially for the Freedom. Recently, Discover cut these benefits.

Note: Differences in specific cards are elaborated on under each card’s section. Analysis and Conclusion at the end.

As always, if I leave something out, feel free to comment below, holler at me on Twitter @bethanyatMtM or message me in the facebook group.

Benefits Broken Down By Issuer and Card

Discover It

Recently, Discover cut back some of the benefits that automatically came with your purchases. The cuts made by Discover will do away with purchase protection, return guarantee and extended warranty. However, price protection remains. In fact, purchases made with Discover It have better price protection terms than those made with Citi Prestige, which is about $450 more expensive and touts the Citi Price Rewind as a benefit. Doing some research for this article, I was also shocked to see that your $550 Amex Platinum card does not include price protection (in addition to several common travel protections.)

Price Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 90 days from date of purchase for each item
  • Remedy-  the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found
  • Amount of Coverage- $500 or the amount charged to your Discover card, whichever is less
  • Yearly Maximum- $2,500

Chase Freedom

The Freedom card has the exact same applicable benefits as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, with the exception of a couple of smaller coverage amounts. The two benefits below differ  (only in amount) from those of CSR. I am thrilled to see this and will confidently use my Freedom card in the 5% categories. To locate the terms of Freedom’s other benefits, see the CSR section.

Purchase Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 120 Days from Date Purchased
  • Remedy- Repair, replace or reimbursement (up to the amount paid with your card)
  • Amount of Coverage- $500 Per claim
  • Yearly Maximum- $50,000 Per Year (for each card account)
Return Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 90 days from the date of purchase
  • Remedy- Refund of purchase price
  • Amount of Coverage- lesser of $250 or up to the amount charged
  • Yearly Maximum- $1,000

For More Information: Click here.

Citi Prestige

Damage and Theft Purchase Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 120 Days (90 for NY) from Date Purchased or Delivered- whichever is earlier
  • Remedy- Repair or reimbursement (up to the amount paid with your card)
  • Amount of Coverage- $10,000 Per Item, up to
  • Yearly Maximum- $50,000 Per Year (for each card account)
  • Eligibility for Coverage- you must pay for the item at least in part with your Citi card and/or ThankYou Points.
Citi Price Rewind

Citi Price Rewind searches for a lower price at hundreds of online merchants on the registered items you pay for with your Citi card. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found by Citi Price Rewind.

  • Period of Coverage- 60 days from date of purchase for each item
  • Remedy-  the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found
  • Amount of Coverage- $500 or the amount charged to your citi card, whichever is less
  • Yearly Maximum- $2,500
Extended Warranty
  • Period of Coverage- 24 Months. Citi will extend the manufacturer’s warranty for an additional 24 Months. If you purchase an extended warranty, coverage begins at the expiration of that warranty. (BUT this will not extend past 84 months in any case)
  • Remedy- Repair or replace
  • Amount of Coverage- Up to the amount charged or $10,000
90 Day Return Protection

If you try to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, Citi may refund you the purchase price

  • Period of Coverage- 90 days from the date of purchase
  • Remedy- Refund of purchase price
  • Amount of Coverage- lesser of $500 or up to the amount charged
  • Yearly Maximum- $2,500

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Purchase Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 120 Days from Date Purchased or Delivered- whichever is earlier
  • Remedy- Repair, replace or reimbursement (up to the amount paid with your card)
  • Amount of Coverage- $10,000 Per claim
  • Yearly Maximum- $50,000 Per Year (for each card account)
Price Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 90 days from date of purchase for each item
  • Remedy-  the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found
  • Amount of Coverage- $500 or the amount charged to your citi card, whichever is less
  • Yearly Maximum- $2,500
Return Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 90 days from the date of purchase
  • Remedy- Refund of purchase price
  • Amount of Coverage- lesser of $500 or up to the amount charged
  • Yearly Maximum- $1,000
Extended Warranty
  • Period of Coverage- 12 Month Chase will extend the manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less for an additional 12 months.
  • Remedy- Repair or replace
  • Amount of Coverage- Up to the amount charged or $10,000
  • Yearly Maximum- $50,000

For More Information: Click here.

Amex Platinum

Purchase Protection
  • Period of Coverage- 90 Days from Date Purchased
  • Remedy- Reimbursement (up to the amount paid with your card)
  • Amount of Coverage- $10,000 Per claim
  • Yearly Maximum- $50,000 Per Year (for each card account)
Return Protection

Note: Purchase must be made entirely with Amex card

  • Period of Coverage- 90 days from the date of purchase
  • Remedy- Refund of purchase price
  • Amount of Coverage-  Up to $300
  • Yearly Maximum- $1,000
Extended Warranty
  • Period of Coverage- 12 Months.  Amex will extend the manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less for an additional 12 months.
  • Remedy- Repair or replace
  • Amount of Coverage- Up to the amount charged or $10,000
  • Yearly Maximum- $50,000

Conclusion

As you can see from the differences in benefits, it makes sense to use certain cards for certain groups of purchases. If you’re using your card for something that is likely to break, I would stay away from the DiscoverIt card. If you’re buying something that will last a long time, I would probably go with Citi Prestige since they have the 24 month extended warranty. For purchases over $300, avoid Platinum and It if you’re likely to need to return the item.

I’m thrilled with the over-sized value provided by a no-fee card like Freedom and very disappointed in the lack of coverage provided by Platinum, the most expensive card on the list.

 

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Very good blog. It would have been nice to see those in a chart. Pretty easy to do in excel. We all look at data differently I guess. This coming from an engineer.

    Still, very good blog.

  2. I always mean to look at my cards and figure out the best uses as well- this is great! I know some give cell phone insurance if you pay your bill with certain cards. That might also be worth looking into, or perhaps other readers already do this. Nice article!

  3. Extremely timely & great comprehensive data, thanks Bethany. You are right about the big spend on Discover & Freedom this quarter – sensible to select cards for spending based on the variables presented.

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