What Happens to Your Stuff When You Use Credit Card Return Protection?

Many rewards credit cards come not just with travel protections like delayed flight and delayed baggage coverage, but also with protections for the things you buy.

  • Purchase protection. If your new purchase gets damaged they may pay to fix it
  • Extended warranty. Covering warranty claims after the manufacturer no longer will
  • Price protection. If the price of what you buy goes down you can get the difference back (this is becoming more rare now that automation finds price drops more easily and the benefit has become more costly to offer)
  • Return protection. If the manufacturer won’t take an item back, your card company’s administrator might.

Different cards have different benefits and it pays to know what’s available to you.

Reader Bryan shares an experience with Citi’s return protection.

A friend recently sent back some electronics (headphones that amazon wouldn’t take back) to Citi’s insurance vendor under their return protection benefit .. [and was] provided FedEx labels and he sent the items off to a place called Cyberkit.

Cyberkit resells items that have been returned. That’s interesting because it reduces the cost of honoring return protection. And if you’re so inclined you can buy returned items online at a discount.

They have computers, electronics, clothing, watches, and more. It’s the ‘others’ category that is most intriguing – or troubling – depending on your perspective. There are hydraulic brakes, prescription glasses, even a wig, Tumi wallet, and United Airlines model Boeing 747.

And then there’s this item that’s not safe for work.

Some people are embarrassed buying condoms, though I guess now that you can buy pretty much anything that you want this old coming of age ritual doesn’t exist any more?

But let’s say it’s no longer taboo to buy things that are much more risqué than that. Who returns them? And let’s take it a step farther, who sells used, and further still, who buys such a thing used?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. judging by their web site, someone seems to be ripping customers off

    for instance

    T000969 Cvlife Outdoor Military Rucksacks Tactical Backpack
    Regular price$500.00 $375.00 Sale

    or about $30 in a store

  2. A phone I looked at had a 20% restocking fee and a 10 return period. I wounder if you could make a return claim with your credit card here to save on the restock fee.

  3. lol, as a joke i bought some condoms when i was 16…small town that luckily no one knew me, they just pointed me to a cardboard box behind the pharmacy counter. i got out of there fast!

  4. @Mark f, yeah I have used Amex return protection a handful over the years and they have never asked for the item back.

  5. So what if you buy from Cyberkits and pass the 10 day mark and return it to your credit card return protection…..does it go back to Cyberkits?

  6. Prices are nothing special. Comparing pricing for electronic items to eBay and Gazelle (which generally has better warranty options) show Cyberkits prices to be about the same or slightly higher.

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