American Home Shield vs. Cinch Home Services (2022)

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. 

Our Take

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. 

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  • 63 companies reviewed
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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.

Compare American Home Shield vs. Cinch Home Services

Here are some of the primary differences between AHS and CHS:

American Home Shield Cinch Home Services
Our Rating 9.6 9.2 
Website Visit Site Visit Site
Plan Options
  • ShieldSilver
  • ShieldGold
  • ShieldPlatinum
  • Appliances 
  • Built-in Systems 
  • Complete Home 
Monthly Premium*
  • ShieldSilver: $34.27
  • ShieldGold: $44.27
  • ShieldPlatinum: $64.47
  • Appliances: $44.99
  • Built-in Systems: $51.99
  • Complete Home: $61.99
Service Fees $75, $100, or $125 $100, $125, or $150
Availability Not available in Alaska Not available in Alaska or Hawaii
BBB Rating B B
Years in Business 51 42

*Based on a $100 service fee

American Home Shield vs. Cinch Home Services Coverage

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

American Home Shield Coverage and Plans

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:

  • Unlimited refrigerant 
  • $6,000 annual coverage limit per appliance
  • $1,500 in roof leak repairs
  • $1,000 for code violations, permits, and modifications

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:

  • Unknown pre-existing conditions
  • Poor or lack of routine maintenance and tune-ups
  • Improper installations and repairs
  • Sediment, rust, or corrosion
Best Customizable Plans

  • 3 plans + add-ons and the option to build your own plan
  • Customers can choose the service fee they want to pay
  • Provides generous coverage caps
  • $35–$75 per month
Covered Item  ShieldSilver ShieldGold ShieldPlatinum
Air Conditioners
Heating 
Ductwork
Built-in Exhaust, Vent, and Attic Fans
Ceiling Fans
Interior Electrical Lines
Main Breaker and Fuse Panel Box
Doorbell 
Garage Door Openers
Interior Plumbing Lines and Stoppages
Hot Water Heaters
Faucets and Valves
Toilets
Whirlpool Tub Motor and Components
Refrigerators
Built-in Microwaves
Dishwashers
Ovens
Ranges/Cooktops
Garbage Disposal
Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
Clothes Washer
Clothes Dryer
Roof Leak Repairs

American Home Shield Optional Add-ons Available for Coverage:

  • Electronics Protection Plan (covers an unlimited number of devices like TVs, smart home products, laptops, gaming systems, and more)  
  • Pool and Spa
  • Roof Leak Repairs
  • Guest Unit (for dwellings up to 750 square feet)
  • Septic Pump
  • Well Pump

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.

Cinch Home Services Coverage and Plans

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:

  • Unknown pre-existing conditions
  • Rust and corrosion 

Cinch Home Services is not available in Alaska or California

Best Workmanship Guarantee

  • Offers 3 plans under $62 per month
  • Allows customers to choose between a $100, $125, or $150 service call fee
  • Covers repairs with a 180-day workmanship guarantee
  • Lets customers cancel for free within 30 days of their contract start day
Item  Appliance Plan Built-in System Plan Complete Home Plan
Refrigerators
Freestanding Icemaker
Built-in Microwaves
Wall Ovens
Dishwashers
Ovens/Cooktops
Ranges/Range Exhaust Hoods
Built-in Food Centers
Garbage Disposal
Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
Washing Machine
Clothes Dryer
Built-in Trash Compactors
Air Conditioner
Ductwork
Heating System
Attic Fans
Ceiling Fans
Central Vacuums
Doorbells
Garage Door Openers
Smoke Detectors
Garbage Disposals
Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispenser
Electrical System
Plumbing System
Hot Water Heater
Sump Pump
Toilets
Whirlpool/Jetted Tub

Cinch Home Services Optional Add-ons Available for Coverage:

  • Pool and Spa (includes chlorine or saltwater)
  • Freestanding Freezer
  • Septic Tank and Septic System
  • Well Pump 
  • Premier Upgrade Package (covers a maximum of two claims, up to $1,000 each, for additional expenses typically excluded by home warranty providers such as haul-away services, permits, code upgrades, etc. 

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 vs. Cinch Home Services Cost

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:

American Home Shield Cost

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

Cinch Home Services Cost

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

American Home Shield vs. Cinch Home Services Reviews

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. 

 Home Warranty Customer Reviews Comparison

American Home Shield Cinch Home Services
BBB Rating B B
Average Star Rating 2.25 out of 5 1.12 out of 5
Number of Online Customer Reviews 10,224 1,438
BBB Accreditation  Yes Yes

American Home Shield Customer Reviews

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

Cinch Home Services Customer Reviews

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

Final Thoughts

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. 

  • An American Home Shield policy might be right for you if:
    • You’re looking for more forgiving per-item annual coverage caps
    • You have an older home with original appliances or systems that may need to be replaced and properly disposed of in the near future
    • You want roof leak coverage
  • A Cinch Home Services policy might be right for you if:
    • You want to purchase standalone appliance coverage
    • You aren’t prioritizing optional add-on coverage
    • You’re interested in a $500 homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement

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

If you’d like to get a free estimate from American Home Shield, fill out this online form or call 888-365-2839. For Cinch Home Services,  fill out this form or call 833-743-1056.

FAQs about Home Warranties

Is American Home Shield trustworthy?

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.

Who owns Cinch Home Services?

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.

Who is American Home Shield owned by?

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.

What did Cinch Home Services used to be called?

Formerly known as both Cross Country Homes Services (CCHS) and HMS Home Warranty, Cinch Home Services underwent a companywide rebranding in 2019.  

Is a home warranty worth it?

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.

What does a home warranty cover?

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.

House Method Home Warranty Ranking Methodology

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:

  • Coverage (0.4): This category evaluates the scope of protection offered by a home warranty provider. We clearly distinguished between limited or broad coverage to help homeowners identify their own home protection needs. We also factor in claim turnaround times, average waiting period lengths, plan types, annual coverage limits, policy exclusions, etc.
  • Cost (0.3): This category considers what home warranty companies charge homeowners monthly, annual, and out-of-pocket. We urge homeowners also to consider the cost-to-value ratio of a home warranty plan.
  • Transparency and Trustworthiness (0.15): This category evaluates home warranty providers based on pending or past legal action, hidden fees, lack of information readily available on the website, exclusions, and more. We consider how upfront a company is to its potential policyholders, which says a lot about its products and services.
  • Customer Support and Satisfaction (.09): This category evaluates the efficacy of a home warranty company’s effort to provide supportive guidance to inquiring customers and how policyholders are satisfied with the assistance they receive.
  • Customization (.06): This category evaluates the ability of homeowners to adjust and choose their policy details, such as pricing variation, optional add-ons, and the number of plans available.

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