Credit card warrantees are a better deal than most vendor extended warrantee plans. Given the recent issues with the quality of AppleCare service I'll likely go this route in future. VISA seems particularly good, but I've had excellent service from AMEX with broken or defective goods.
[Nicolas Martin] Thanks to Doug McLean for noting that Visa's extended warranties are much cheaper than AppleCare for purchases made with eligible cards. The Visa web site lists the costs of those warranties, which extend up to 5 years: [Visa Signature Benefits]
Visa confirms that its warranties are transferable for $10, and a pro-rated refund can be obtained if the warranty is cancelled.
This seems like an good deal, and neither AMEX nor MasterCard offer anything comparable. But to look at it another way, the Visa extended warranties, like Apple's, are in force from the date of purchase. If you have a credit card that offers an additional year of no-charge coverage on a product that has a one year warranty - like a Mac - then a 'three-year' warranty only really buys you one additional year of coverage.
You can almost buy a Mac Mini for what Apple charges for AppleCare on some Macs, so it is a good idea to use a credit card with the 'free' year of extra coverage.