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How Chase paid to fix my wife’s broken Apple Watch

Credit card purchase protection is a valuable, often unheralded perk. It came in handy for me after a recent gadget mishap

Summary

My wife accidentally broke her Apple Watch less than a month after buying it. Fortunately, our Chase Freedom card’s purchase protection benefit covered the repair. Here’s how.

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My wife accidentally broke her Apple Watch less than a month after buying it.

Fortunately, my Chase Freedom* card covered the $299 repair bill.

You might have a card that offers similar purchase protection. These include the American Express® Gold Card, the United Club℠ Infinite Card and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, among others.

Check out more stories from our credit card experts.

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How I used Chase’s purchase protection

I called the Chase customer service number on the back of my card. I explained that I wanted to file a purchase protection claim and was directed to submit my information online at EclaimsLine.com. That website is operated by Chase’s insurance partner, Card Benefit Services.

I was asked for documentation including a photo of the damage, a repair estimate, my purchase receipt and my eligible Chase credit card number.

There’s some important fine print to be aware of if you’re considering a claim. The Freedom card covers “eligible personal property that has been damaged, stolen or involuntary and accidental parting with property within 120 days from the date of purchase,” according to Chase. The coverage is capped at $500 per claim.

I filled out the online form and was told I would receive a decision within five business days. That time passed without any word, so I followed up with a phone call to Card Benefit Services. The representative said they had sent me an email (although I never received it) noting that more information was required to process my claim.

They wanted an official repair estimate specific to my wife’s watch, not just the generic repair quote for a cracked screen that I copied and pasted from Apple’s website.

I explained that it would be difficult to get someone to look at the watch given the COVID-19 pandemic. With Apple and so many other retailers currently closed, my best bet would be to mail the watch to an authorized repair center, but I didn’t want to do that unless I knew the repair cost would be covered.

The watch cost $399 and it looked like Apple would charge $299 to fix it, so if Chase wouldn’t cover the claim, we might have considered other options like a cheaper, non-Apple repair shop (if and when we could find one) or giving up on the Apple Watch entirely.

Fortunately, the representative agreed with my logic, and after consulting with her supervisor, decided the generic Apple.com estimate would be sufficient. I was told to wait another five business days for a final decision.

When that email came in, I learned I was approved, and I was offered the opportunity to enter direct deposit information rather than waiting for a paper check. I filled in my bank account details and received the $299 payment the next business day.

I also got the ball rolling with Apple. They sent me a box with a prepaid shipping label. My wife packaged up the watch and I dropped it off at a local FedEx store. We should get the repaired watch back within a week.

See related: Best credit cards for Apple purchases

Bottom line

Overall, this was a relatively smooth process (although it did require some persistence and attention to detail). I’ve heard similar stories about other credit card insurance claims, such as rental car insurance and trip cancellation reimbursement.

It was well worth it. The biggest obstacle is awareness. If I hadn’t paid with a card that offered purchase protection or if I hadn’t known to file the claim, I would have been out of luck.

Credit card purchase protection is one of my favorite under-the-radar credit card perks. Others include free extended warranty coverage and price protection. For big purchases like electronics and appliances, it often makes sense to pay with a card that offers strong coverage, even if its upfront rewards are a bit lower.

*All information about Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. These cards are no longer available through CreditCards.com.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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