My experience with American Express Return Protection

I’ve had a sturdy Honda lawn mower for over 20 years. The self propel function has gone out and having already spent enough money getting it fixed a while back, I decided to purchase a new one.

I saw a Craftsman 22″ self propelled lawn mower on sale at Sears for $250 and decided to grab it, using my American Express Delta Platinum card to purchase it.


Through a combination of bad weather and laziness, I didn’t get around to actually putting the mower together for a while. When I finally did, I started it up, started to mow and realized that it wasn’t really adept at handling tall grass. It also had quite a smaller bag that I was used to. I therefore decided I was going to return it and get a bigger mower instead.

I called Sears to ask about returning the mower and they informed me that their return policy was 30 days and it was now day 32. They said they would take it back but would charge a 15% restocking fee. I didn’t feel like losing the value of it and declined their offer.

It was only then that I remembered the American Express Return Protection guarantee. American Express guarantees that you can return an item in 90 days from purchase if the merchant won’t take it back if the item is in like new condition. American Express will reimburse up to $300 per item with a cap of $1,000 annually.


I decided to try the guarantee and filled out the paperwork online. They asked me to submit a copy of my receipt which I did. Two days later, I received notification that the full purchase price of the mower had been refunded.

I called American Express to ask where I should take the mower to – they informed me that I could just keep it and do what I wanted with it.

This was my first time using the American Express Return protection guarantee and I have to say that I was quite impressed with the entire process.


  1. American Express will also refund your restocking fee if the merchant imposes one.

  2. Wow. I’m positive no one in the miles & points crowd that is notorious for taking advantage of loopholes/mistakes…etc., would ever think of abusing this. (I kid.)

  3. FYI from FAQ. They MAY want the item back. It may be a s&h vs value decision OR the likelyhood might increase if you’re doing it a lot.

    7. What do I do with the item I cannot return?
    Once your request has been approved, you will be instructed to send the purchased item to us within 30 days. Please keep a record of your shipping statement, as you will need to provide proof of shipping in the event that your designated items are not received. If you are required to send the purchased item to us, we will reimburse you for the shipping cost.

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