Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location



Rewards for Good Sweepstakes

Contests and

Rewards for Good Sweepstakes

Learn about Rewards for Good and you could win $25,000! See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Ask Sid

Are Extended Warranties Worth It?

The clue may be in the fine print

Q. What happens to my extended warranty if the store where I purchased it goes out of business?

A. In most cases, you'll still be covered because extended warranties are typically provided by third-party companies. But before you agree to buy that extra protection, read the actual contract. You'll want to see who is the service provider and investigate that company's reputation through an online search. You'll also want to check the fine print for limits and exclusions on coverage.

Consumer Reports and other expert sources say that extended warranties are usually not worth their cost. They are heavily promoted by retailers because stores typically keep 50 percent or more of the warranty's cost, often a higher profit margin than they make selling the covered product.

Here are the realities: Products seldom break down within the extended-warranty window, and when they do, the repair typically costs about as much, or less, than the price of an extended warranty.

A better approach: Before shopping, check with your credit card issuer. For purchases made with plastic, many provide free extended warranty coverage for up to a year beyond the original manufacturer's warranty. And if a product fails not long after the original warranty has expired, try approaching the retailer or manufacturer for a replacement. Ask for the manager, stress that you're a good customer and ask whether something can be done for you.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues. Have a question for Sid Kirchheimer about a new product, a new kind of bank account? Check out the Ask Sid archive. If you don’t find your answer there, send a query.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.