More issuers offering purchase protection programs

Most consumers think they’re out of luck if a recent purchase is lost or stolen, but what many are unaware of is the protection credit card issuers have for these unexpected events. Visa, American Express and MasterCard all come with a feature known as “purchase protection.” This means the credit card issuer will reimburse members for their lost goods.

“Most people just don’t know about it,” NerdWallet.com founder Tim Chen told MarketWatch. “You never see this advertised, and most people don’t look beyond the rewards rates and the APR.”

The coverage offered varies from company to company, but most come with an initial layer of protection, similar to an extended warranty, according to MarketWatch. American Express’ program comes with up to 90 days protection for items that may be lost or vandalized. There is a $1,000 limit, however, and a maximum of $50,000 in coverage annually.

Cardholders are encouraged to read all of the fine print to determine what the exceptions are for their issuer’s purchase protection policy. Consumers should also hold on to receipts for reference purposes.