Get a $5 SquareTrade couponSince I plan to keep my new iPhone 4S for the next two years, I decided to buy an extended warranty to cover both hardware failures – and accidental damage — like drops and spills.

Apple is offering an upgraded warranty called AppleCare+, where the “+” adds coverage for accidental damage. has always offered accidental coverage as an option.

So the question is, which is better?

  • The price is the same – around $100 for two years of coverage.
  • The deductible is the same – about $50 per repair/replacement.
  • The maximum repair/replace claims is the same – two.

They seem pretty much the same. Is one better than the other? I emailed SquareTrade to ask that very question. According to them, here are the reasons why SquareTrade is better:

  • Apple offers up to two repairs. SquareTrade can actually authorize up to three repairs, depending on the nature of the problem.
  • You have a 30-day window after your iPhone purchase to buy a SquareTrade warranty. Apple states you must purchase AppleCare+ at the time of your iPhone purchase (Note: this rule has been relaxed for new iPhone 4S orders until November 14, 2011).
  • Apple charges an administrative fee for canceling warranty coverage early. SquareTrade does not.
  • SquareTrade waives the deductible if you have a local repair option – which I do! If needed, I can get a repair done locally and then SquareTrade will reimburse me.

For my money, the winner is (No, I don’t work for SquareTrade – I paid $99 for my 2-year warranty!)

I hope I never drop my shiny new iPhone into a swimming pool. But if I do, I won’t have to pay $600+ to replace it!

Use this link to get $5 off coupon for a SquareTrade warranty