Extended warranties, backup car insurance, purchase protection and return guarantee are among the rarely used benefits that Discover ended Feb. 27. 2018.
Travel and purchase protections make up often overlooked card perks that can add value, if you know how to spend to qualify for them. But unfortunately, Discover cut most of these benefits from its suite of cards in 2018. While basic protections for identity theft and fraud remain, popular cards like the Discover it® Miles or Discover it® Cash Back have tapered down benefits compared to competitors like American Express or Chase.
The card network cut the following benefits in February 2018: purchase protection, return guarantee, extended product warranty, auto rental insurance and flight accident coverage. Additionally, Discover no longer offered price protection as of Oct. 31, 2018.
Discontinued Discover benefits
- Purchase protection: Purchases made before Feb. 28, 2018, were covered; no claims could be made after July 13, 2018. Insured damaged or stolen purchases up to $500 for 90 days after purchase.
- Return guarantee: Coverage applied to purchases made prior to Feb. 28, 2018; no claims could be made after May 29, 2018. Helped get money back on unsatisfactory items within 90 days, up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year.
- Extended product warranty: Purchases made before Feb. 28, 2018, were covered. Covered additional year after original warranty expires, for eligible items with warranties 36 months or less.
- Auto rental insurance: Coverage applied for auto rental purchases that posted prior to Feb. 28, 2018; no claims could be made after May 29, 2018. Secondary insurance for loss or damage up to $25,000.
- Flight accident: Coverage applied for incidents that happened prior to Feb. 28, 2018. Travel accident coverage up to $500,000 when buying airline tickets.
- Price protection: Purchases made before Oct. 31, 2018, were covered. Refunded the difference on purchases up to $500 on eligible items (up to $2,500 per year) if you spotted an identical, lower-priced item within 90 days of purchase.
Discover is not the only card issuer that has cut back benefits for shoppers and travelers in recent years. Visa and Mastercard, for example, began slashing return assistance and guarantee perks in 2014.
Trimming costs without affecting customers
The benefits were ended “due to prolonged low usage,” Discover said in a statement when it first announced the changes. The card company appeared to be trimming costs without rocking its customers’ boats too much, analysts said.
“They’ve done well in customer satisfaction – you have to assume they’ve done some market research,” said Brian Riley, director of credit advisory service at Mercator Advisory Group. He said it is significant that Discover’s rewards program, which is relatively generous, is unaffected by the changes. Discover was second only to American Express among major card issuers in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 survey.
This “low usage” narrative is one that’s been repeated by other issuers such as Citi and Barclays as similar benefits are trimmed.
Time for a card reboot?
However, the cuts may mean some cardholders can find more value in other rewards cards.
Discover still offers valuable security benefits
Despite leaner perks for travel and shopping, Discover still offers plentiful protections in the case of identity theft. All cards come with fraud protection and Social Security number alerts in case details are used without your permission.
And for those working on their credit health, Discover Credit Scorecard can help you keep track of your credit score and learn more on exactly what goes into your report.
See related: Credit cards that offer free credit scores