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Purchase Protection from Mastercard:
Benefits You Didn't Even Know You Had

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Have you ever bought something and then found it cheaper somewhere else the next week, or had your microwave break the day after its warranty expired? What if your kid's new scooter was stolen off your porch? There's nothing more frustrating than spending time and energy buying the perfect thing and having it break or get stolen, finding out you paid more than you should have, or deciding that you're just not happy with your purchase.

Imagine that you finally decide to splurge on that fancy espresso machine you've been wanting for ages. You spend hours reading product reviews online to find the very best one - the one that is guaranteed to last, and to turn out the perfect latte every single time - and then the first time you have your friends over for dinner, it makes a death gurgle on the second cappuccino and gives up the ghost. As you serve your guests cups of tea, fuming, you wonder if you'll be able to get your money back. Well, if you bought it with a Mastercard credit card, you might be able to.

Every time you buy something with your Mastercard, it comes with their Purchase Protection program - a set of four guarantees designed to protect shoppers and make sure they're happy with their purchases. Here at Credit-Land.com, however, we know how much people love reading the fine print on the terms and conditions of their credit cards - not a lot - so we decided to do it for you and give you the scoop. You may have insurance benefits that you didn't even know about, thanks to Mastercard.

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Extended warranty

When you buy something that has a store or manufacturer's warranty and pay for it with your Mastercard, the original warranty will be doubled by Mastercard, up to one year. That means if your vacuum cleaner came with a six-month warranty, it's covered for a year if you bought it using a Mastercard credit card. If the original warranty lasts a year or more, however, then Mastercard will not extend the warranty (not all Mastercard credit cards have this benefit, depends on the issuer).

All you have to do to file a claim is call 1-800-Mastercard and have them send you a claim form. You'll need the signed claim form, your receipt, a copy of the warranty, and possibly a repair estimate - when you call, they'll tell you exactly what your situation requires. You need to return your documentation within 60 days and then they'll decide whether to repair or replace the item, or reimburse you.

Like any warranty, this coverage does come with some exceptions. It doesn't cover normal wear and tear, and it won't cover antiques or collectibles, consumables, software programs, land, boats, services rendered, or a few other things of that nature. If you are unsure whether or not your item will be covered, you can always call Mastercard and ask, rather than wading through all the terms and conditions - just know that this coverage exists, so you can make sure you're getting all the benefits you're eligible for.

Price protection

Remember that espresso machine I mentioned before? If you bought it with your Mastercard and find it at a lower price within a couple of months (anywhere from 30 to 120 days, depending on the card), Mastercard might reimburse you for the difference. Reimbursement caps vary by specific card and can be up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 a year. All you have to do is get a copy of the advertised price and call 1-800-Mastercard to request a claim form. Within 60 days of the published date of the advertisement, send it to Mastercard along with the claim form, your receipt, and anything else they ask for on the phone. Once they verify your claim, they'll mail you a check for the difference. Pretty easy, right?

Situations where this price protection doesn't apply: anything you find on eBay or other online auction sites (or any auction at all, for that matter), anything that is advertised as "limited quantity", "going out-of-business sales", "close outs", or "discontinued", personalized or custom items, jewelry, art, or collectibles, consumables, plants, pets - you get the idea. There are exceptions. Look them up, or call Mastercard and ask about your specific item.

You can only use this benefit four times a year, so don't go crazy bargain-hunting. Or if you do, try to do the hunting before you make your purchase, not after!

Purchase Assurance

If your bike got stolen, or your brother sat on your designer sunglasses, you might be able to get reimbursement through the Mastercard you bought the bike or shades with. Mastercard Purchase Assurance provides coverage for most items you purchase if they are damaged or stolen within 90 days of buying them. Again, call Mastercard to file your claim and find out the details of your exact purchase, but in general, most things are covered - even art and jewelry. There is an up to $1,000 limit per claim and up to $50,000 limit per year (depending on the card), and the amount covered is only the actual purchase price, not sentimental value.

Exclusions on this offer include anything damaged by radioactivity, war, or Acts of God - so anything anyone sat on should be covered. Of course, the list of exclusions is a bit longer than that, and you can read it for yourself or call and ask - but Mastercard Purchase Assurance should give you peace of mind that most things you've bought are covered in the event of theft or damage.

Satisfaction Guarantee

Here's the best of the four, if you tend to be fickle about liking something and then not liking it once you get it home. If you aren't satisfied with your purchase (made with your Mastercard, of course) and the store won't accept the return, Mastercard may refund your money up to $250, up to 60 days after purchase.

One little pain in the neck with this one - you'll have to provide Mastercard with documentation from the store, saying they will not accept the return. Also, anything bought on eBay or another auction site isn't eligible. You have to buy the item from a store that has a return or exchange policy of at least ten days. The item can't be damaged (if it is, maybe Purchase Assurance is your better bet) and must be returned in its original packaging.

You can only use this benefit four times a month, and it doesn't cover jewelry, art, antiques, or collectibles. Also no DVDs or CDs, event tickets, or pets. (You're stuck with that whiny puppy - sorry.) If you think something you bought in the last couple of months might be covered by Mastercard's Satisfaction Guarantee, call Mastercard at 1-800-Mastercard to find out how to file your claim.

Let the Shopping Commence!

So there you have it - the four great purchase benefits Mastercard gives you that you probably didn't know you had. Every time you use your Mastercard, you're protected against theft, damage, short warranties, refused exchanges, and changing your mind (depending on the card). Remember to call them anytime you think you have a claim to make, and shop with confidence, knowing that Mastercard has covered you.

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