Is AppleCare+ for your Apple Watch worth the price?

Choosing the right Apple Watch and band combination for you is confusing enough, but you also need to decide whether or not to purchase the AppleCare+ extended warranty. reviewer James A. Martin, who already ordered his Watch, shares a number of important considerations.

Apple Watch Series 3 - built-in cellular

When you buy an Apple Watch, you're presented with an option to protect it with the company's extended warranty program, AppleCare+. Before you make your decision, here are some things to consider.

AppleCare accidental protection isn't free

With Apple Watch Sport ($349 to $399) and Apple Watch ($549 to $1,100), you get a limited one-year hardware warranty and 90 days of phone support. For the pricey Apple Watch Edition models ($10,000 to $17,000), the limited warranty and phone support lasts for two years.

Apple's limited warranty is designed to protect you from manufacturer defects. It doesn't cover accidental damage, such as scratches on the watch crystal, but AppleCare+ does.

AppleCare+ costs $49 for the Apple Watch Sport, $69 for Apple Watch, and a whopping $1,000 for the high-end Apple Watch Edition models. On top of the free limited warranty, AppleCare+ gives Watch Sport and Watch two years of hardware repair coverage and phone support. Apple Watch Edition owners with AppleCare+ get three years of hardware repair and phone support.

However, with AppleCare+, you're subject to additional fees for each incident of accidental damage: $69 for Apple Watch Sport; $79 for Apple Watch; and $1,000 each for Apple Watch Edition. You're also limited to two incidents of accidental damage per watch, per warranty.

Your credit card may extend free warranty

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