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Both American Home Shield (AHS) and Cinch Home Services (CHS) offer three comprehensive tiers of home warranty plan options with customizable service fees. Still, each provider’s policy frameworks have a few key differences that may or may not make it the best home warranty company for you.
Homeownership is expensive — and at the forefront of those ongoing costs are unexpected yet inevitable household repairs. Home warranties provide homeowners with a financial buffer in the event of an unexpected appliance or system breakdown.
Our comparative review of American Home Shield vs. Cinch Home Services gives a side-by-side look into what you can expect from each provider’s overall cost-to-coverage ratio, plan customizability, customer satisfaction scores, and more.
As two of the oldest home warranty companies on the market, American Home Shield and Cinch Home Services have both spent several decades working to provide policies that accommodate the unique budgets and coverage needs of different homeowners. With that being said, Cinch Home Services offers standalone appliance-only and systems-only base plans whereas American Home Shield only offers one freestanding systems plan in addition to two combo plans. CHS does, however, have slightly more expensive premiums than AHS.
House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 2000+ critical data points to identify what makes a great home warranty company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 60 home warranty providers for coverage extent, annual cost, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their homes.
Here are some of the primary differences between AHS and CHS:
|American Home Shield||Cinch Home Services|
|Website||Visit Site||Visit Site|
|Service Fees||$75, $100, or $125||$100, $125, or $150|
|Availability||Not available in Alaska||Not available in Alaska or Hawaii|
|Years in Business||51||42|
*Based on a $100 service fee
American Home Shield and Cinch Home Services have some of the most versatile home protection plans available industry-wide. With either company, you’re able to choose one of three incremental base plan options, and can even tailor your monthly premium by selecting your preferred service call fee.
Still, out of these two service providers, the best one for you will ultimately depend on your coverage objectives. Whereas AHS offers systems-only coverage at its most basic plan level, CHS has an appliance-only plan.
House Method scored American Home Shield with 4.7 out of 5 stars and named it the best provider for customizable home warranty plans. Its multiple policy options, adjustable service fee, and several specialty add-ons like electronic protection make it a great choice for homeowners seeking made-to-order coverage.
American Home Shield’s standard home warranty coverage is split into three policy levels: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum. Whereas ShieldSilver strictly covers 14 major systems, ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum both offer combined comprehensive coverage for home appliances and systems. ShieldPlatinum, however, has a few additional incentives attached, including:
American Home Shield doesn’t hold a coverage limit on replacement or repair costs for built-in home systems in any of its three base plans. ShieldGold has an annual appliance coverage limit of $3,000 per item, which is doubled for ShieldPlatinum customers.
Unlike many competing providers, American Home Shield will offer coverage for damage caused by:
|Built-in Exhaust, Vent, and Attic Fans||✓||✓||✓|
|Interior Electrical Lines||✓||✓||✓|
|Main Breaker and Fuse Panel Box||✓||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Openers||✓||✓||✓|
|Interior Plumbing Lines and Stoppages||✓||✓||✓|
|Hot Water Heaters||✓||✓||✓|
|Faucets and Valves||✓||✓||✓|
|Whirlpool Tub Motor and Components||✓||✓||✓|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers||✓||✓|
|Roof Leak Repairs||✓||✓|
For more information about AHS, read our full American Home Shield review.
To get a free quote from American Home Shield, fill out this online form or call 888-365-2839.
House Method scored Cinch Home Services with 4.4 out of 5 stars, specifically for having the best workmanship guarantee in the industry. Like AHS, Cinch also has three standard plan options and a customizable service fee. All three plans come with a $25 air conditioning or water filter credit plus a $50 Green Reward, which can be put toward the purchase of any energy-efficient product.
Cinch’s home protection plans branch off into an appliance-only plan, a systems-only plan, and a comprehensive policy option that combines the two. CHS’s Appliance Plan includes a total of 12 major kitchen and laundry appliances, while its Built-in Systems Plan covers 16 essential home systems. The Complete Home plan wraps both previous plans into one and also includes a homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement of up to $500 per year.
Regardless of the plan you choose, Cinch Home Services distributes its coverage under an aggregate coverage limit of $10,000 per year. This means all collective claims made will only be covered up to this amount.
In addition to normal wear and tear over time, Cinch will also cover damage related to:
|Item||Appliance Plan||Built-in System Plan||Complete Home Plan|
|Ranges/Range Exhaust Hoods||✓||✓|
|Built-in Food Centers||✓||✓|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers||✓||✓|
|Built-in Trash Compactors||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Openers||✓||✓|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispenser||✓||✓|
|Hot Water Heater||✓||✓|
For more information about CHS, read our full Cinch Home Services review.
To get a free quote from Cinch Home Services, fill out this form or call 833-743-1056.
American Home Shield standard coverage ranges between $29 and $74 per month whereas Cinch Home Services costs between $28 and $68. With only a $1 to $6 difference in their monthly premiums, both AHS and CHS offer some of the most competitively low prices in the home warranty category.
As we’ve covered, CHS and AHS each offer a customizable service fee, which will be due each time a policyholder opens a new service request. American Home Shield customers can opt to pay a service fee of $100, $125, or $150. Cinch Home Services offers the same first two rates, but its third option is a $150 service fee.
Below we’ve consolidated the monthly premiums per plan from each provider, so you can get an overview of how they vary:
|Home Warranty Policy||Monthly Premium||Service Fee|
|ShieldSilver||$29.27, $34.27, or $44.27||$75, $100, or $125|
|ShieldGold||$54.27, $44.27, or $39.27||$75, $100, or $125|
|ShieldPlatinum||$74.27, $64.27, or $59.27||$75, $100, or $125|
|Home Warranty Policy||Monthly Premium||Service Fee|
|Appliances Plan||$50.99, $44.99, or $27.99||$100, $125, or $150|
|Built-in Systems Plan||$57.99, $51.99, or $32.99||$100, $125, or $150|
|Complete Home Plan||$67.99, $61.99, or $39.99||$100, $125, or $150|
Both AHS and CHS maintain a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in addition to generally positive feedback from former and current policyholders. For a more detailed look, we’ve pulled a combination of negative and positive reviews about each company to compare American Home Shield vs. Cinch Home Services customer experiences.
|American Home Shield||Cinch Home Services|
|Average Star Rating||2.25 out of 5||1.12 out of 5|
|Number of Online Customer Reviews||10,224||1,438|
Here are a few of the BBB reviews from AHS customers:
“Completely satisfied. AHS contacted repair company for us on Sunday. The repair person was out first thing Monday to look at the ** unit which had quit working. Within a few minutes had the problem diagnosed and repaired — simple electrical switch. Repair was completed and we were cooling down. A service call and repair without the warranty would have been several hundred dollars. We paid a small deductible and very happy.” – John C., 06/22/2022
“I’ve used AHS for fifteen years plus, initially service was great, however over past few years service has declined and customer service has deteriorated… As a matter of fact, the only way to get anyone to answer the phone is to press the option for sales or add-ons to an existing account.” – Susan A., 11/25/2020
Here are a few of the BBB reviews from CHS customers:
“Our furnace went out in our new home with below freezing temperatures. We submitted our issue, had a tech service the furnace, and we had heat within an hour. Would highly recommend for fast service when you need it most!” – Angela B., 02/28/2022
“Cinch spent several months, several visits, and several hundred dollars trying to repair my dishwasher. They should have replaced it after being unsuccessful with the first two visits rather than replace virtually every replaceable part. When they finally got to replacing it, they offered a low-end, plastic tub unit not at all comparable to the stainless steel unit that we had.” – John A., 06/01/2022
When deciding between American Home Shield and Cinch Home Services, your final choice will ultimately be based on the type of home protection you’re looking for. While AHS and CHS both offer three base plans, American Home Shield doesn’t offer the same standalone appliance option that Cinch does. Still, when it comes to systems-only coverage, American Home Shield boasts the more cost-effective option. Both CHS and AHS openly agree to cover damages caused by undetected pre-existing conditions plus rust and corrosion, which is fairly uncommon across leading home warranty services.
All things considered, American Home Shield and Cinch Home Services are among some of the most reputable service providers in the home warranty industry. With similar pricing frameworks and overall coverage options that aren’t drastically different, the right company for you will just depend on your individual home protection objectives.
We suggest generating free custom quotes with both companies to get a better sense of which carrier offers the best rate in your area.
American Home Shield is not available in Alaska.
Founded in 1971, American Home Shield is the oldest standing provider in the home warranty industry. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1997, where it also currently holds a B rating, AHS served as a trustworthy home warranty provider for over 50 years.
Cinch Home Services, Inc. is a member company of The Cross Country Group. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Cinch is currently chaired by CEO Steve Upshaw.
American Home Shield Corporation is a fully owned subsidiary of Frontdoor, Inc. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, William Cobb is the presiding American Home Shield CEO.
Formerly known as both Cross Country Homes Services (CCHS) and HMS Home Warranty, Cinch Home Services underwent a companywide rebranding in 2019.
A home warranty offers a different level of home protection than your home insurance policy or any other type of individual system or appliance warranty. By paying a flat premium ahead of time, homeowners can have peace of mind that any appliances or system failures won’t dip into their personal savings. Policyholders will only need to worry about earmarking a fixed service fee, which is an out-of-pocket payment ranging between $60 and $150, which will only be required each time you request service.
Home warranties cover appliances and systems throughout your home as they stop working properly due to normal age-related deterioration. Inclusions and exclusions will vary from provider to provider, so be sure to read through a potential provider’s service contract carefully before enrolling.
At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader.
To create this rating system, our team spent hours researching over 60 companies, analyzing 2500+ key data points, getting the thoughts and opinions of 1000+ homeowners, and speaking to home warranty company representatives directly. We also dug into the fine print on each company’s service agreement to ensure no detail was left out.
We developed an objective home warranty review and rating methodology to score each home warranty company based on several criteria. We used a five-point scale with a point index ranging from 0.00 to 1.00. The minimum awardable value is 0.0, whereas 1.00 is the maximum. These numeric points are translated into star ratings, using whole star increments between one and five.
Here is a quick breakdown of our five core scoring categories:
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