Extended Warranties: To buy or not to buy?

This time of year, some of us are dropping hundreds, if not thousands on electronics or appliances.

But should you spend more on an extended warranty?

MORE: Your Credit Card’s Extended Warranty Policy: A Guide

Kelsey Sheehy, a personal finance expert with NerdWallet, says extended warranties are a cash cow for retailers, and that they should be researched just like the product you’re buying.

Sheehy adds that in most cases, extended warranties only cover manufacturer defects; not wear and tear, or damage by the consumer.

What to research

First, find out the start date of the extended warranty. If it’s concurrent with manufacturer warranty, it’s not helping out the coverage timeline.

Know what’s in your wallet. Some credit cards include an extended warranty on items. Before you make a purchase, know each credit card’s benefits so it’s put on the most suitable card.

“The best way to check the credit card benefits is just to go to the website, same place you pay your credit card bill,” Sheehy said. “There’s usually a place where you can view all of the card benefits in one place. You can also call the card issuer, but that can take a little bit longer.”

Some items that are not covered include computers, as well as items sold as is.

Sheehy says to double check your coverage because policies can change from year to year.

What to save

If your credit card does cover the purchase, find out what paperwork is needed to make a claim. NerdWallet suggests saving the receipt, a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty, and the credit card statement.

Reporter:Allison Gormly
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