Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
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Most people open rewards cards for the primary benefit of earning and redeeming points on everyday purchases. But did you know many cards have added perks, like complimentary travel insurance and shopping protections?
If a merchant won’t accept your return, or you’ve just missed the window to do so, filing a claim with your credit card’s return protection may be another way to get refunded. However, return protection is a useful benefit that is becoming increasingly harder to find.
In this guide, we’ll review the best credit cards with return protection and the steps to filing a successful claim.
Return policies can vary greatly depending on the item and store. For example, Nordstrom is famously known for having one of the most generous policies, “[handling] returns on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate goal of making [its] customers happy.” You may not be so fortunate at other stores and stuck with a stringent no-returns policy.
Whatever the case, return protection is a valuable benefit that allows you to have a second option: turning to the credit card issuer for reimbursement. Depending on the card you have, return protection allows you to have up to 90 days from the date of purchase to file a claim with the issuer instead.
Of course, there are some items that won’t qualify and some maximum coverage limits you should know about. Below, we’ll go through some of the most popular credit cards that offer return protection and the fine print details to go along with it.
|Card||Welcome Bonus Offer and Annual Fee||Return Protection Coverage|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (rates and fees)||
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card||
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||
|The Plum Card® from American Express||
Return protection is a perk that’s increasingly harder to find, as Chase removed the benefit on most of its cards in 2020. Nowadays, you’ll mostly find return protection on more premium cards, which usually come with high annual fees.
We’ve reviewed a range of cards that have return protection, and they’re the best in this category as they have high coverage limits and a breadth of other shopping protections that can cover your bases on routine or household purchases. You’ll be eligible for return protection if you buy an item in full, partially, or even with points with any of these credit cards.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the issuer’s most premium offering and tops our list as one of the best credit cards for return protection.
While most policies reimburse items that a store won’t take back for up to 90 days, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a generous reimbursement limit of up to $500 per item. That’s $200 more than the average return protection coverage we’ve seen on other cards! In addition, there’s an annual maximum of $1,000 per account with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
You’ll earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase, but don’t forget to go one step further by taking advantage of the Shop through Chase portal. You can earn additional points from hundreds of popular retailers through this shopping portal which you can then transfer to several hotel and airline loyalty programs, redeem for cash-back and gift cards, and more.
If you’re eyeing a luxury rewards card, the Amex Platinum card fits the bill nicely. With the return protection benefit on this card, coverage is also offered for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. You can receive up to $300 per item and a $1,000 maximum per card member account each year.
In fact, the Amex Platinum card is one of our favorites when making large purchases, whether a major home improvement project or an expensive pair of shoes. You’ll want to check your account’s Amex Offers, which you can enroll in to save on travel, dining, entertainment, and so much more. Other shopping benefits on the Amex Platinum card include purchase protection and an extended warranty, with high coverage limits to boot.
The Capital One Venture X card is a happy middle-ground between an ultra-premium and an everyday credit card. It also comes with complimentary return protection on eligible items if the store won’t accept your return and you submit a claim within 90 days of purchase. You can be reimbursed up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 annually per account.
What we also love about this card is that it offers 2x miles on all non-bonus purchases. That’s on top of earning 10x miles on hotels and rental cars and 5x miles on flights (which must all be booked through the Capital One Travel portal).
We value Capital One miles at 1.8 cents apiece thanks to their flexibility with Capital One transfer partners for award travel, so that’s like getting a 3.6% return on your everyday purchases. Having return protection on top of that is just the cherry on top.
If you would rather earn cash-back, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is an excellent earner across heavy-hitting categories. You’ll earn 6% on groceries (up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets) and select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit and U.S. gas stations, and 1% on all other eligible purchases.
It’s also one of the few affordable cards that offer return protection, which is certainly hard to come by nowadays. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. Still, you can receive up to $300 per item and an annual account maximum of $1,000 with the card’s return protection as long the purchase was made within 90 days.
Do you live near a United Airlines hub and frequently fly with the carrier? For luxury perks like a yearly United Club membership, access to complimentary upgrades and priority boarding, and the opportunity to earn Premier Qualifying Points for elite status, the United Club Infinite card is an excellent choice.
As a Chase card, it comes with a long list of travel and everyday coverages — including return protection that covers eligible items within 90 days of purchase. You can be reimbursed up to $500 per item and up to $1,000 per year per cardholder account. Other important benefits include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, extended warranty coverage, and more.
On the flip side, if Delta is your carrier of choice, the Delta Reserve card may be just the one for you. It also comes with complimentary access to Delta Sky Club and even Amex Centurion Lounge when flying same-day with Delta, along with an annual companion certificate that can be worth hundreds of dollars.
As a premium Amex card, you can also access return protection on eligible items purchased within 90 days. The coverage limits offer up to $300 in reimbursement per item and up to $1,000 per account every year.
It’s even harder to find return protection on business cards, but you’ll want to ensure you have return protection to cover those large business expenses.
The Amex Business Platinum card is an exceptional offering for high-earning business owners and sole proprietors. With the card’s return protection, you can receive a reimbursement of up to $300 per item and a maximum of $1,000 per cardmember account per calendar year.
You’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels (booked through Amex Travel), 1.5x points on eligible purchases at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year). You’ll still earn 1x points on all other eligible purchases.
Finally, there are annual statement credits of more than $1,000 that cardholders can use for their business, including select purchases at Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers (enrollment may be required for some benefits).
The Amex Plum card is a unique business card that provides an unlimited 1.5% discount when you pay your statement early — within 10 days of the closing date. It’s also a terrific card for financing, as you can take up to 60 days to pay your statement without interest (when you pay your minimum by the payment due date).
If your cash flow ebbs and flows, the Amex Plum card can be the right fit for many business owners. On top of all that, eligible purchases may qualify for return protection. You can get up to $300 in reimbursement per item, with an annual maximum of $1,000 per account.
Credit card return protection generally covers purchases for up to 90 days from the date of purchase, extending the return window for many stores you already shop at. To qualify for reimbursement, the merchant must refuse your return before you try to file a claim with the issuer.
The coverage limits will vary by credit card. However, the best return protection we’ve seen is offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the United Club Infinite card — both offer up to $500 in reimbursement per item.
There’s also an annual limit that applies per account — not per card. This is an important distinction, as you’ll only receive up to $1,000 in reimbursement per year, per account.
Finally, return protection is typically secondary. This means that you’ll likely need to show a proven attempt that you’ve tried to return the item with the merchant before you file for a return protection claim on your credit card.
While return protection is a fantastic perk to have, there are exclusions to note. While this is not a fully encompassing list of items that are excluded from coverage, here are some examples:
Once you confirm that your merchant won’t accept your return and it’s within the 90-day window of purchase, here are some ways to ensure that your return protection request is successful:
If your claim is approved, you’ll receive a reimbursement up to the coverage limits as a statement credit, minus any shipping or handling fees.
Not sure if your card offers return protection, or you want to confirm the coverage limits and exclusions on your policy? You’ll want to dig out the benefits guide detailing all the terms and conditions of the return protection. You can try accessing your benefits guide through your online account or call the customer service line on the back of your card.
Return protection is one of the best shopping coverages offered by credit cards, but there are plenty of other benefits to familiarize yourself with:
Credit cards provide immense value, especially when you take advantage of “hidden” perks like return protection.
Next time you’re purchasing a high-ticket item, it’s best to use one of the credit cards above to pay for your purchase. That way, you can be covered if an item you purchase doesn’t meet your expectations.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
For the return protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and The Plum Card® from American Express, with return protection, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Plum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
Return protection is a complimentary insurance benefit offered by some credit cards. Cardholders can file for reimbursement under their credit card issuer if the merchant doesn’t take back their purchase, typically within 90 days of purchase.
Yes! American Express offers return protection on many of its cards, including:
If you attempt to return an item to the original merchant and they won’t take it back, you can file a return protection request with your credit card if the purchase was made within 90 days. You’ll need to provide your original store receipt and charge on your statement credit to receive reimbursement.
If your merchant won’t take back your purchase that’s in good, working condition, you can receive reimbursement through return protection within 90 days from the date of purchase. On the other hand, if an item you purchase gets lost, damaged, or stolen within the first 90 days of purchase, you can turn to purchase protection for replacement or reimbursement of the item.
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