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We all want to be smart consumers, spending our money wisely, protecting the investments we make. American Express is now offering free brochures to help you learn how to protect your purchases.
American Express also provides the following suggestions to help consumers save money by protecting their purchases against damage, theft, no-return policies and price changes:

PROTECT PURCHASES AGAINST DAMAGE AND THEFT

We all know how easily expensive appliances and electronics can be accidentally broken. Did you know that some credit card companies offer purchase protection plans? These plans typically cover theft and accidental damage for a specified period of time from the date of purchase, with protection limited to a specific amount per occurrence, in excess of other applicable insurance. Check with your credit card company for their policy. For a free brochure entitled Protecting Your Purchases, contact American Express, P.O. Box 4635, Trenton, NJ 08650-9874.

MAKE YOUR CYBERSHOPPING EXPERIENCES SAFE

Internet shopping is always available – seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The convenience of shopping according to your own schedule instead of the stores is one of the most appealing features of cybershopping. To feel comfortable with a company offering merchandise on the Internet, ask for a catalog or brochure to get a better idea of what they offer. Inquire about their refund and return policies before placing an order. More information on safe shopping over the Internet is available in the free brochure Cybersmarts, also available from American Express at the above address.

MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE THE LOWEST PRICE

Some credit card companies assure you the lowest price available on covered products that you have purchased with your charge or credit card. This guarantee typically applies if a cardholder sees the same item in a published, dated advertisement for a lower price, within a specified period of time. The card company generally refunds the price difference, up to a specified amount per item, up to a preset annual limit.

PROTECT YOUR PURCHASES AGAINST NON-RETURN POLICIES.

Some stores dont make refunds on returned items, but your credit card company might. For example, American Express Gold and Platinum and Optima Platinum cards provide Return Protection, giving cardmembers refunds for the full purchase price on items up to $300 per item, up to $1,000 per year, within 90 days from the date of purchase, if the store wont accept returns. Certain restrictions and limitations apply.

DO YOU NEED AN EXTENDED WARRANTY?

Some charge and credit card companies will extend the terms of the original manufacturers warranty, so you may not need to buy additional warranties on major purchases from the retail outlet. There may be some restrictions on coverage, so check with your credit card company first.

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR STORE RECEIPTS

Its wise to keep your receipts in a safe location, since theyre your proof of the date of purchase and price you paid for the items youve purchased. Download a copy of the purchase order and confirmation number from any Internet transactions you may make, and keep that information on file, too.

Contact your credit card company to find out if they offer these and other benefits. American Express can be contacted by calling 800-THE-CARD (843-2273).

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