How I Got My iPhone Fixed For Free


Is there anything more frustrating than buying an expensive item just to have it kick the bucket once the warranty on it expires? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, especially if you shelled out a bunch of your hard-earned cash to purchase it. If you ever run into a situation like this in the future, you’ll know one of the options you can pursue after reading this post.

Last year, the Touch ID feature on my iPhone 6 began to malfunction out of nowhere. I didn’t drop the phone on the ground or in the toilet, it wasn’t left in an extremely cold or hot environment and it was up-to-date on the latest version of iOS. I was totally stumped and felt so frustrated. I'm obsessed with Touch ID and how quick and easy it is to use to unlock your phone. Passcodes are so 2013.  

I scoured the internet to find out how I could fix my phone. I chatted with Apple Support, I read forums and I looked at blogs to see if other people had ever experienced the same issue that I was running into. There were a few similar cases, but I didn't find too many promising leads. 

I made an appointment at the Apple store and they determined that the Touch ID error was caused as a result of a known firmware issue (a.k.a., there was nothing I did to the phone to cause the Touch ID to stop working). They gave me the total cost for the repair: a whopping $110 and explained that the phone was no longer covered under Apple's warranty which I already knew. I gave the Apple associate a big NO THANKS and decided to go home and do more research. I was not about to pay for something that wasn't my fault, let alone a known defect with Apple devices. #SorryNotSorry 

$110 to fix the phone. No AppleCare. No Touch ID. I was about to give up.

Finally, after a quick Google search, I found the holy grail of tips…

Let me fill you in on it: if you purchase items that have a warranty on your credit card and the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, in most cases you can work with your credit card company to take advantage of what's called an extended warranty! An extended warranty typically adds up to an additional year of coverage to the product's manufacturer's warranty. Talk about a game changer. 

In my case, I purchased my iPhone 6 from Costco on an American Express card. To start the process of filing an extended warranty claim with American Express, I had to go to Costco and request a receipt reprint (yes, you can actually get a receipt reprinted if you misplace one or throw one away – I totally didn’t know this before). After I got my receipt, I filed a claim with American Express and waited to see if it was approved. The review period can take anywhere between 7-14 days, but I received an update on the status of my claim pretty quickly. 

I was in luck! My claim was approved and American Express agreed to reimburse me for the amount that I purchased my iPhone for. The reimbursement amount was added to my card and I set up an appointment at the Apple store to get my phone fixed. After an hour of waiting, Apple determined that they couldn't fix my phone and agreed to give me a new one at the same cost for the repair. So, thanks for my extended warranty, I was on my way out of the store with a new Touch ID-enabled iPhone in my hand. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you've purchased an item that has become defective and the warranty has expired, be sure to check out your credit card's extended warranty benefits. To file a claim you'll need your original receipt (if you don't have the original receipt, try to get a reprint like I did. I didn't run into any trouble using that method), your account statement showing when you purchased the item and a copy of the product's manufacturer's warranty. 

Here is some additional information on the extended warranty programs through American Express and Mastercard: 

Did you know about this credit card benefit? I'd love to hear if you've benefited from your credit card's extended warranty program or if you plan to use this tip in the future if needed in the comments section below. 

*Be sure the read the fine print and know your credit card companies' policy on filing extended warranty claims as there are some exclusions. Closely review the criteria you need to meet in order to be eligible to submit a claim.