It seems like every single personal finance blogger worth their salt has blogged about all of the hidden advantages of using a credit card. These include things like rental car insurance, fraud protection, and extended warranties. I don’t know about you, but I’ve read about 12 of those articles, and in none of them did a blogger actually use those features. I couldn’t help but wonder: How big of a hassle would it be? How long would it take? Would it even work?
Last month, I actually had then *ahem* opportunity to file an extended warranty claim through my credit card company, and I want to tell you how to get your cell phone damage covered, if you every have to use it!
Let me start off by saying that my husband is ridiculously hard on cell phones. Well, if we’re being honest he’s hard on cell phones, tablets, computers, and even the GPS in the car. It’s bad.
This summer was like any other – during his two week of National Guard Training, he broke his phone. People, I am not kidding you, it happens every summer! Of course, when he called me (from a friends phone) to tell me the news I kind of freak out. Who wouldn’t?
But then, I remembered that his cell phone was only 5 months old, and that we had bought it on our credit card. CHA – CHING! Of course, I dug into our credit card paperwork and found out that he broke his phone just under the cut-off of 180 days! Our credit card terms did state that accidental damage was, indeed, covered up to 180 days, but I have to admit I was skeptical.
Then came the hard part: actually filing the claim with the credit card company. In order to submit a claim for an extended warranty, you have to call the credit card company, at least that’s how it is with Chase. You can’t go to a claim portal online, you actually have to call, speak to a claims representative, and from there they will mail or email you a packet of information. My husband actually did this part. I figured if he broke his phone, then he needed to brave the call center ;_)
However, even though I didn’t make the physical call to the credit card company, I made sure to ask my husband how the process went. He said that the claims service was actually very easy to use. He of course had to first navigate through all of the menu options, but after selecting the general questions option, he was routed to an actual person, who then transferred his call to the claims center. I probably could have gotten the claims center number from our terms and conditions, but I guess I missed it.
The woman he spoke to was very nice and helpful, explained the process to him, and made sure that he had received the claims packet in his email before getting off the phone with him.
From there, we went to work submitting all of the paperwork necessary.
For a phone claim, we had to submit:
- a quote for the repair from the cell phone manufacturer (in this case, Samsung),
- a copy of the original purchase receipt showing that it was charged to our credit card,
- the credit card statement that shows the original purchase,
- and a copy of our homeowner’s insurance declarations page.
- If the phone had been lost or stolen, we would have had to submit a police report,
- and if our homeowner’s insurance had covered theft or damage of electronics, then we would have first had to submit that claim, and include that with the credit card claim.
The first three items made sense to me, but I truly have no idea why we needed to provide the homeowner’s insurance declaration. Ours doesn’t cover electronics, but maybe Chase just wanted to see that for themselves. Either way, it was a few clicks to print out all of the information that we needed.
The entire process actually ended up being much easier than I originally anticipated. About 2 weeks after submitting all of the claim paperwork, we received a check in the mail for $194.62 – the amount of the quote to repair it. However, as opposed to having the phone repaired, we opted to buy him a new Moto G ($150) and an Otterbox case ($29.95), so that this will hopefully not happen again. In the end, we spent $179.95 of the check Chase sent us, and actually netted $14.67!
Now, I’m not suggesting that you constantly break your phone as a way of making money, but I am suggesting that you look into your credit card’s additional features. And, I’m not really sure if using the check Chase sent us to do something other than repair the original phone is ok, but if it’s not….Oh well!
Who knows – maybe it will actually MAKE you money!
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