How to extend a product warranty

For all of the product purchasing we do, how often have we thought about registering product purchases with the manufacturer? Not much, most likely. Typically, most of our purchasing is limited shelf life items, like food, so we aren’t thinking about warranty coverage Can’t register my milk purchase. So, if I buy anything that comes with a product registration card, I usually just toss it. Who wants more junk mail? But, with my on-going issues with my electric toothbrush problems, I have finally seen the value.

warranty

Credit: Flickr/bfishadow

To recap, I have had a few problems with the toothbrush due to faulty parts. But they were quickly addressed using online customer service as it was still under the original coverage period of two years. Now, I have had another problem but the brush is now past the original coverage period – or so I thought. Because I attempted to file a claim with my credit card company for their extended warranty protection coverage, I had to go through a few hoops to determine repair cost before they’d process a replacement. What I didn’t realize was that this manufacturer, for simply registering my product with them, extended my warranty another six months! Stoked. Now, I don’t have to fill out a bunch more paperwork with my credit card company and wait for their bureaucracy to process it.

So, like last time, I dialed up their online chat, explained the problem, and within a few minutes a replacement was promised to me. I am happy. This made me think a bit about the other items I have worth far more than $150. My tv, laptop, and appliances. Should I be registering with them, too? It might be worth spending a few minutes to do so. Getting a manufacturer to process a return is going to be far easier than with the credit card company after the original warranty expires and the extended one kicks in.

Warranty coverage made easier with registration

From now on, for significant purchases or anything that plugs in, I am going to fill out the manufacturer’s product registration card or online. I definitely appreciate the extended coverage I got just for providing my name and purchase date. And, even more so, the potential headache savings from dealing with a manufacturer directly.

How to save money with American Express

Now, the post’s title may sound a little off given that American Express is a credit card, but one of my favorite ways on how to save money is by using this credit card. Now, I am not just talking about the points or cash back I earn by using a loyalty program credit card, but savings offers just for using credit card discount programs such as AMEX Sync and others.

For holders of American Express credit cards, and a few select debit cards, like Serve, you are eligible for American Express’ “sync” program. Their sync program is how to save money on a rotating list of stores by rewarding you with statement credits when you buy a certain amount, say $100, on certain products or services. Typically, $25 is what is offered. But, it could be higher, if you spend more than $100, as I have seen. It works like this. First, you need to pull up your account on americanexpress.com. Second, you need to locate the tab at the bottom of the screen that says “Offers.” Third, and most importantly, you must “add” the offer to the card before making the purchase.

It usually works fairly seamlessly, but you do have to make sure the transaction goes through properly, use the right AMEX card when making the purchase if you have several, and also spend the minimum amount in one purchase. For this last point, you cannot make multiple purchases on separate occasions at a store and receive the bonus. 

how to save money

Credit: American Express

How to save money using credit card offers

Here is where I have applied this offer to something that I would purchase anyway. This past week (when I checked) AMEX was offering a promotion at Amazon for essentially free money. Spend $20 and receive a $20 statement credit! Yesterday, I visited Amazon, bought $20 worth of stuff I needed and then almost immediately received a confirmation indicating that I triggered the offer.

American Express offers are great, but other credit cards offer are another way on how to save money while shopping. Discover Deals, Master Card, and Visa all have programs as well that will help you save money just for adding offers to your cards. Bottom line, before you buy, see if what its in your wallet already can help snag a deal you weren’t even aware of.

“Plenti” is the new rewards program that might change everything

Especially if you are an American Express card holder, you might have heard about a new rewards program, Plenti, that launched a few months ago. This may be a game changer as far as loyalty programs go. Not only is American Express a backer of the combination online/in store shopping program, but it is partnering up with several other big names in retail such as Exxon, Rite Aid, Macy’s and others to bring consumers a “universal” rewards program.

rewards program

Credit: Businesswire and Plenti

Not only can you earn points with several different retail partners in this program, but you can also spend the currency across most of them as well. Some partners only allow just earning opportunities for now. For me, that’s huge. Instead of earning points that you may never be able to cash in due to high thresholds, now you have more options.

Here is how the Plenti rewards program works


Plenti is free and a snap to join. And, what’s also awesome is that Plenti will give you more opportunities for discounts and deals that you already have with existing loyalty programs. For example, if you are earning gas points at Safeway good for Exxon fuel discounts, you will still earn these along with Plenti points that you earn at the pump. Now, you have even more rewards programs that can help you save on gas money. There will be definitely be opportunities to “double dip” with this program. I will be on the hunt for those.

I hope to see a trend here in terms of universal currency loyalty program rollouts. I think consumers will be more convinced to join programs when they see easy earning and redeeming opportunities, especially across multiple options.