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Posted at 6:32 AM ET, 11/29/2010

PostPoints tip: Buy with the right credit card to double your warranty

By Rob Pegoraro

With gadget purchases come pitches by merchants to buy their extended-warranty policies. These are a debatable value at best--although if a store offers one for free to close the deal, go ahead and sign up. Instead, make your purchase with a credit card that doubles the standard warranty period for you. American Express's Buyers Assurance, available on most AmEx cards, is the best-known example of this, but Visa's Warranty Manager Service and MasterCard's extended-warranty coverage provide comparable benefits on other cards.

With all of these, you'll want to keep your original receipt from the start, contact the card issuer before getting something fixed, then wait to get those costs covered. But--as I found out when getting an Apple laptop's hard drive replaced under AmEx's coverage--you may not only save money but get a better choice of repair facilities than the manufacturer's own extended warranty allows.

(About the "PostPoints tip" title: Since July, I've been archiving each tip-of-the-week e-mail we send to PostPoints members under this blog's "Tips" category. Today's item went out on Nov. 23.)

Meanwhile, in case you missed it:

* Sunday's column--part of our holiday gadget guide--noted how the convergence of computers and consumer electronics can make it easier to buy a new laptop than a new HDTV.

* In yesterday's Help File, I evaluated the malware risk involved in buying a keyboard from a strange company (probably little) and the issues involved in uninstalling Microsoft's Service Pack 3 update to Windows XP (bad idea).

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 29, 2010; 6:32 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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Comments

This is a good reminder. I ALWAYS forget to use my Amex card for such purchases.

Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | November 29, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Make sure you use a card that you will be keeping...if ya drop the card, the warranty is gone too.

Posted by: tbva | November 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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