Finance tips

Premium Return Protection from American Express Allows Shoppers to Make Returns after 180 days

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Last year American Express launched a new return service to allow shopper to return items in a longer time period than typically allowed by stores.  Some stores have very generous return policies, allowing returns for up to 90 days, which is plenty of time to find out if an item works and get it back to the store.  But sometimes smaller merchants only allow returns within 7 days, 14 days or 30 days.  It’s always harder to me to keep track of the schedule for those types of returns.  Sometimes you can’t make that short return window, or you don’t find out that the item is a lemon until well after the return policy ends.  

Premium Return Protection from American Express is designed to offer shoppers greater flexibility and fewer restrictions on the types of items that can be returned. This includes expanded return protection on clothing, jewelry and electronics as well as for new categories like watches, books and DVDs. It is available to all consumers – not just American Express Cardmembers – for an annual price of $49.99 and will cover purchases made in the United States with any credit, debit or charge card from any financial services company. It also covers purchases made with prepaid cards issued by American Express. Those who enroll in the service will be covered for up to $600 per item, with a maximum annual refund of $2,500. All items must be returned in like new condition.

In addition, Premium Return Protection covers the cost of return shipping, up to $20 per item, with an annual maximum refund of $100. This benefit is designed for consumers who enjoy online shopping but don’t have the option of seeing what they’re buying. Another advantage of the service is that it can be used to cover restocking fees, which can be as much as 25 percent of the cost of an item.

What do you think readers? Would you pay approximately $50.00 per year for a little extra return time of your shopping purchases?


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Please be careful as they will not refund the shipping charges of the merchant. This point is not mentioned in their policy document but this is their practice.

    I recently bought a $10 item and paid an extra $5 for shpping charges. When I returned it the merchant refunded me only $10.AMEX said they would only refund me the amount I spent on postage to send the item to the merchant but not the $5 less in refund I recieved.Their policy says they will refund the “purchase” price but they have clearly excluded shipping cost from this.

    They have to clearly word their policy document to exclude this.

  2. Anonymous

    February 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    The policy limitations state:
    Purchases must be made in the United States from retail establishments in the United States.
    How many cameras (like in their illustration) are made in USA?