img_2290How many times have you purchased something and have had to return the item or exchange it for something else? How many times did you realize:

a. you no longer have the receipt; or

b. the purchase was greater than 30 days

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to do this. I remember one of my very first big purchases in the late 1990’s was a Sharp Camcorder that I purchased from Best Buy. Not only did Best Buy require a receipt, but they also charged a restocking fee. I ended up keeping the camcorder because I was going to take a big loss with the restocking fee. Costco is another one of those places with a very generous return/exchange benefit. But over the years, they’ve become stricter with the items that are being returned at Costco.

So here’s the latest saga. On March 6th, my Mom purchased an iPad Air 2 from Walmart ($399 + tax). She used her brand new Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR). The product was still sealed, it was purchased as a gift. She mentioned this purchase to me over the weekend. I told her that there’s a Capturenewer iPad that Apple rolled out and it was only for $329. After learning this, she went to Walmart to return the iPad, but was told of Walmart’s 15-day return policy (which in her case, expired on March 21st). While she didn’t mind keeping it and continue with giving it as a gift, I knew that there had to be a way since she purchased the iPad using her lucrative credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR).

img_2288I shared this question with a credit card forum, and two of the members mentioned Price Protection and Return Protection from her Chase Sapphire Reserve. I looked it up on Google and was led to the CSRs benefits PDF file.

What is RETURN PROTECTION?

  • If you are dissatisfied with an item of personal property that you purchased entirely using your Account or rewards points earned on the card and the merchant will not accept the return, Return Protection will reimburse you for the cost of the item within ninety (90) days of the date it was purchased.img_2292
  • This benefit is limited to five hundred ($500.00) dollars for each eligible item and up to one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars annual maximum per Account. Please note that the Benefit Administrator must receive the item in like-new/good working condition.
  • Return Protection provides this coverage in excess of any applicable store guarantees.

I don’t know why I was surprised. I should’ve known and trusted Chase. After all, a few weeks ago, I took advantage of using their:

BAGGAGE DELAY INSURANCE

Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days.

This was a benefit that I used when my luggage was delayed, it was supposed to arrive in Stockholm, Sweden, but instead, it went and flew all the way to Paris (click here for the story). I didn’t use the CSR to purchase the plane ticket. It was our other credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred travel protection benefits that covered us with $100/day per person.

Back to the iPad Air 2, this is what I had to do to get this claim moving forward.

  • Fill out a claim form that Chase will send to me via email;
  • Send back the iPad to Chase (not Walmart) – shipping is at our cost;
  • Include the itemized receipt;
  • Once received, Chase will issue a credit and you will have two options how to receive your money back:
    • via check in the mail; or
    • the funds will be added to your Chase debit card.

It was that easy! What’s the takeaway here? When it comes to purchasing things of value, so many times, I see people pay with cash or with their debit card when they buy large ticket items. When you do that, you lose the added benefit that a credit card would provide. To give you an idea, these are the purchase protection benefits on a Chase Sapphire Preferred:

img_2291-2Purchase Protection

Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Extended Warranty Protection

Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

Price Protection

If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.

Return Protection

You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.

I’m so glad that I took a look in to the Chase Sapphire benefits. I do carry other cards with excellent purchase protection benefits:

American Express Platinum, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Everyday Card

When an American Express Card Member charges a covered purchase with their Card account, Purchase Protection can help protect your purchases for up to 90 days from the date of purchase if it is stolen or accidentally damaged. The coverage is limited up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Please read important exclusions and restrictions.Capturew
For Platinum Card®, Delta Reserve®, Premier Rewards Gold, Gold Card, Ameriprise Gold and Fidelity Gold Card Members Purchase Protection can also help protect your purchases for up to 90 days from the date of purchase if the item is stolen, accidentally damaged or lost. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Please read important exclusions and restrictions.

DiscoverCapture

Unhappy with a purchase? Now you can return your Discover Card purchase within 90 days of the original purchase date if the store will not accept your return – and we’ll refund the cost of the item up to $500.

So the next time you make a purchase, ask yourself, does your card come equipped with purchase protection benefits? You might want to rethink your next purchase, and use a card that will protect you and the items you’re about to buy. The more you know.

UPDATE:  April 27, 2017

A week ago, my Mom sent the iPad back to begin processing the claim. I called today, and they did acknowledge receiving the package and have approved my Mom’s claim. There are two ways to get the refund or credit:

a. Via a debit card (any debit card)

b. Via a check in the mail

The claims department is not tied to Chase. I first opted for the refund via debit card since it’s a refund that takes up to 72 hours. After trying three different debit cards, their system could not process the refund. So we ended up opting for getting the check in the mail (within 5-10 days).

 

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