Most major credit cards come with perks that many of us don’t even know about.  One common extra is a free extended warranty period. That  means if you buy a flat screen TV with a warranty-benefit credit card, and the TV dies a month after the manufacturer’s warranty ends, you could still have  warranty coverage. And that benefit could save you big bucks on repair or replacement

Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Visa credit card by MoneyBlogNews, Flickr Creative Commons 

The major credit cards — Amex, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover — all offer at least some level of card  membership that includes an extended warranty benefit. Commonly, those cards add up to an additional year on the original warranty period.  Check the credit card you use to see whether its consumer benefits include an extended warranty, and how you can use it.

Warranties are valuable because they act as limited insurance policies on the items you buy. In fact, many retailers sell warranty extensions on their  products such as appliances and electronics for a hefty price. (Ever have Best Buy make a pitch when you buy a product there?)  It may be well worth using your credit card for a purchase if it means you get a free warranty extension.

The procedure for using the extended warranty benefit varies by credit card, and it can be complicated. For more information on the steps you must follow to use the extended warranty provisions of various credit cards, as well as a basic overview on buying extended warranty plans, check this post on