photo credit: Johan Larsson via photopin cc

So I went shopping with my Amex Bluebird card for the first time yesterday. A simple trip to the local mall, with the intention of buying school supplies. Now, back in the day, ‘school supplies referred to pens, pencils, notebooks and the like, but things have changed. The ‘school supply I went to buy yesterday was a 16GB iPad Mini.

I had promised myself at the beginning of summer that I would treat myself to an iPad for the upcoming school year, as a way to organize college life, take notes in class and research when I’m writing papers (it is a hassle to switch between word processors and wikipedia¬† scholarly articles in a web browser. Much easier to have your research up on the iPad and focus on writing on your computer). Anyway, I decided yesterday that it was time to go out and buy it. I have saved up all summer, and was ready to go out and get myself my new toy. I realized that I had only added $500 to my card for this project, but when I read about Bluebird’s purchase protection, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can always add more money to my Bluebird account.

So why is  purchase protection so important?

It’s a term you’ve probably heard before, but never really looked into. Well, this feature, which American Express offers on all of its cards, entitles you to a full refund if a product purchased on the card is lost or broken with 90 days. That means that I can rest assured knowing that for the next 3 months, I can get a feel for this iPad, transport it where I please and if I drop it, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t know if its just me or if this happens to a large majority of iPad and iPhone users, but I have fallen victim to the tragic smashing of a new Apple product shortly after purchasing. You seem to hear about it pretty often, so it must be relatively common (although they look great, Apple’s products are slippery little suckers). In my case, I was getting out of my car about 2 weeks after I bought my first iPhone 4, and completely forgot the phone was sitting on my lap. So when I opened the door and moved to get out, the phone fell off my lap, onto the concrete below. Needless to say, that was the end of that iPhone.

It was a similar situation, where I had saved all summer for my device, counted down the days to when I was able to afford it, and was absolutely devastated when I dropped it. Because I had bought it outright, with no contract there was no chance of being able to afford another one. If I had bought my iPhone with my Amex Bluebird card, I would have been able to retrieve my money from American Express and buy another one.

That’s just awesome.

So, as I load this iPad with every app I can find on the App Store (which is linked to my Bluebird account by the way), I feel much more comfortable that I can start school and still have almost 2 and half months of American Express looking over my shoulder. After all, everyone makes mistakes, but not every company/bank understands that.

Disclosure: This series of posts is sponsored by Bluebird American Express.

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