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12 Credit Card Benefits You Might Not Even Know You Have

by on September 21, 2011

12 Credit Card Benefits You Might Not Even Know You Have

When selecting a credit card, you may be swayed by cash back rewards, or frequent flier miles.

Chances are, however, your credit card has loads of benefits you didn’t know about. Read the benefits guide that came with your credit card. You may be surprised at the benefits you have!

Here are 12 of the most common card benefits that you might not even know you have:

1. Disputation help. Paying with a credit card allows you to dispute charges in cases where you felt you were taken advantage of by a retailer. If you can’t work things out directly with the retailer, credit card companies will go to bat for you.

2. Price protection. Usually you can recoup a price difference from a retailer if the price on something drops right after you buy it. But when you can’t, MasterCard and Visa give you 60 days to document the price drop, and they’ll credit you the difference.

3. Return protection. If a store refuses your return, your credit card may offer refund protection of up to 60 days.

4. Extended warranties.  Most credit cards extend manufacturer’s warranties for an additional year, giving you a reason to refuse retailers’ extended warranty pitches.

5. Purchase protection. MasterCard, and Visa offer short-term insurance against accidental damage and theft on purchases for up to 90 days after the purchase. Read your card agreement for coverage limits.

6. Car rental liability insurance. If you own a car, this insurance kicks in after any benefits from your regular car insurance. This means you can decline loss-damage waiver insurance as long as you pay for the rental with the credit card offering the coverage.

7. Luggage insurance. DOT rules limit how much you can claim for lost luggage. But if your luggage is worth more, your credit card company may help with supplemental insurance.

8. Travel accident insurance. Premium cards often have $100,000 to $500,000 in travel accident insurance payable if you die during common carrier conveyance (plane, ship, or train). It applies to travel paid for with the credit card. If you travel frequently and your card has this, notify your loved ones of this benefit. If they don’t know about it, they can’t claim it should the unthinkable happen.

9. Trip cancellation insurance. If you have to cancel a trip due to illness or injury, your losses may be covered by your credit card. Each card has rules about what conditions qualify, and coverage limits.

10. Reimbursement of checked luggage fees. Some non-airline branded cards have flexible perks that will reimburse you for checked luggage fees. Airline-branded cards often provide for checked baggage fee waivers on their associated airline.

11. Discounted admissions. Bank of America cardholders get free admission to 150 different museums the first weekend of the month. Discover gives cardholders 5% off on parking, merchandise, and season passes at Six Flags parks.

12. Waiver of currency conversion fees. Many cards charge currency conversion fees when you shop abroad, automatically adding up to 3% to your purchases. Choosing a card without currency conversion fees (Capital One offers several.) can save you big if you shop in other countries.

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