Guide to Credit Card Return Protection

Return Protection gives you compensation if a store refuses to accept your return within a certain period (usually 90 days). For example, I was able to use return protection to obtain compensation when Walmart refused to issue a refund for a open air mattress after it was been opened (even within the standard return policy). 

American Express: You can see your coverage based on the card you have. 

Coverage may slightly vary by card.

Program Description

Return Protection offers you an extended return policy on eligible items charged entirely on an eligible American Express® Card. If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling charges related to the item purchased, and up to a maximum of $1,000 per Card Member account per calendar year based on the date of purchase, not during the year the claim was filed.

How to File a Return Protection Request

Once you have verified that the merchant will not accept the eligible item, call 1-800-297-8019 within 90 days of the purchase date to notify us of your request. Within 30 days from the date of your initial call, we need to receive the following:

  • A copy of the original store receipt
  • A copy of the American Express Card record of charge
  • Any other items deemed reasonable by us to process your request

Once your request has been reviewed and deemed eligible, you may be instructed to send the item to us within 30 days for further evaluation. Please keep a record of your shipping receipt, as you will need to provide proof of shipping in the event that your eligible item is not received. If you are required to send the purchased item to us, we will reimburse you for that shipping cost.

Limitations and Exclusions

Purchases must be made in the 50 United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the

  • Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands and charged in full on your eligible Refunds are limited to $300 per eligible item, and $1,000 per Card Member account per calendar year based on the date of purchase, not during the year the claim was filed. To be eligible, an item must be in the original purchase condition (not visibly used, defective, or damaged in any way) and must be in working order. The merchant from which the item was originally purchased must also have denied an attempted return of the item. Any  item purchased from a merchant that has an established return/satisfaction guarantee program which   is greater than or equal to the terms of Return Protection, and provides coverage for your claim, will not be eligible for a refund. Product rebates, discounts or money received from lowest price comparison programs will be deducted from the original cost of the item. The maximum you will be compensated will not exceed the amount charged to the eligible Card Account.

Items not eligible for a refund are:

  1. animals and living plants;
  2. one-of-a-kind items (including, but not limited to, antiques, artwork, and furs);
  3. limited edition items;
  4. going-out-of-business sale items;
  5. consumable or perishable items with limited life spans (including, but not limited to, food, perfume, light bulbs, and batteries);
  6. jewelry (including, but not limited to, loose gems, precious stones, metals, and pearls);
  7. watches;
  8. services and additional costs (including, but not limited to, installation charges, warranties, shipping, handling or memberships);
  9. rare and precious coins;
  10. purchased used and/or altered items (including, but not limited to, purchases at auction sites and second- hand stores);
  11. custom-built items;
  12. compact discs, digital video discs, mini discs, audiotapes, videotapes;
  13. computer software;
  14. firmware (including, but not limited to, console games, );
  15. maps;
  16. books, magazines or periodicals of any kind;
  17. health care items and /or medical equipment (including, but not limited to, blood pressure machines and diabetes equipment, items or supplies used for maternity care);
  18. personal hygiene items (including, but not limited to, all electrical or non-electrical toothbrushes, razors, or any devices (medical or non-medical) that have been personally used and could be considered a health risk to others);
  19. formal wear (including, but not limited to, bridal wear, gowns, prom dresses, and tuxedos);
  20. tickets of any kind (including, but not limited to, transportation passes or tickets and event tickets);
  21. motorized vehicles (including, but not limited to, cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and airplanes), their parts and accessories (e.g. car battery) as well as those parts and accessories intended for use with the motorized vehicles (e.g. a trailer or audio or visual components);
  22. land, buildings and fixtures (including but not limited to, central air conditioner, built-in kitchen appliance and water heater);
  23. firearms;
  24. ammunition;
  25. negotiable instruments (including, but not limited to, promissory notes, stamps, and travelers checks);
  26. cash and its equivalent (including, but not limited to, gift cards and gift certificates); and
  27. items permanently affixed to home, office, vehicles, (including, but not limited to, garage door openers and car alarms);
  28. seasonal items (including but not limited to holiday decorations and costumes)

If you have any questions regarding a Return Protection Request or the Return Protection program, please call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-297-8019.You may also write to us at Return Protection, PO Box 981553, El Paso, TX 79998-9920.


If you try to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, we may refund you the purchase price up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year.

To be eligible for coverage, you must pay for the item in full with your Citi card and/or ThankYou®  Points. We will only reimburse the lesser of the actual amount paid for with your Citi card (including ThankYou®  Points) or the maximum coverage per item. The item must be purchased in the United States and its territories.



How Long are you Covered?


Within 90 days from the date of purchase


Maximum Coverage per item


Coverage is limited to the lesser of the following:

■ $300

■ The amount charged to the Citi card

(including ThankYou®   Points).


Maximum Coverage per calendar year per account



When returning the item, we must receive it in like-new and good working condition with all the original parts.


Purchases made by you on your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points.


Coverage doesn’t apply to the following items:

  • Cars, boats and any other motorized vehicles and their attached parts.
  • Computer software or any type of video, digital, or audio discs or tapes, including video games.
  • Collectable items; including but not limited to, antiques, coins, art, sports memorabilia, or stamps.
  • Cash (including rare or precious coins), checks, promissory notes or any other financial document that represents money.
  • Tickets of any kind (g., for airlines, sporting events or concerts).
  • Products that can spoil or be consumed, such as food,
  • Animals and living plants.
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Tires
  • Jewelry, furniture or appliances.

Coverage doesn’t apply under these specific   circumstances:

  • The item is customized, altered, rebuilt or sec
  • The item has product defects, is not in working order or is Coverage doesn’t apply to the following related charges:
  • Shipping, handling or taxes.
  • Warranties or memberships.
  • Services, such as product installation or repairs.


Please keep the item with all its original parts because we may ask you to send it to us if we approve your claim.

Please follow the steps below and pay close attention to the deadlines to make sure you remain eligible for coverage.

  1. To file a claim, call 1-866-918-4670 within 30 days of when you attempt to return the item. We will ask you a few questions, send you a claim form and advise you what documents we may need to support your claim. Or you can visit to print a claim form for submission.
  1. Return the claim form and all requested documents within 60 days of the date you initiated the We will notify you of our decision once we’ve processed your claim.