Did you know that credit cards can fix broken things? Or help you get a free flight every year or bring along a friend at no additional charge? Protect the car (and you) if you’re in a car accident? Give you cash if the card is stolen? If you’re not getting impressive benefits like these with your credit cards, maybe you just didn’t know to ask for them! Often, credit card companies include fringe benefits like these to cardholders, but once you get your credit card and start using it, you tend to forget they exist. And if you forget… the credit card company is not likely to remind you of them!
Here’s a sampling of the kind of extra perks many credit cards offer – are you missing out on benefits and extras that your own credit cards offer?
Just about everyone knows the disadvantages and potential dangers associated with using credit cards – from charging more than you can afford to pay back to identity theft concerns – but few people are aware of all the benefits and perks that credit cards offer. While just about every credit card, including the most basic credit card, offers some form of extra perk; the more you pay the more perks you can expect. So if you pay an annual fee for your credit card, chances are you have some excellent benefits just waiting for you to redeem.
Purchase Protection - almost all cards offer some type of purchase protection. It may be in the form of return protection, extended warranties, or price protection. A card with return protection means you can return your purchases (made with the credit card) to a store even if the store doesn’t accept returns or if the return period has passed. Price protection is standard on many cards – and means that if the price drops on something you buy within 30 days of buying it, you can get a refund for the difference regardless of where you buy the item. Cards with extended warranty coverage means you can bypass the extra warranty they try to sell you in the checkout line because the credit card will double the standard warranty on anything you buy using the card (usually up to an extra year).
Insurance – when you use most credit cards to secure a car rental, some will cover you for car rental insurance. This means you don’t have to pay extra for the coverage when renting the car, or through your own regular car insurance policy. You’re covered at no additional charge over the cost of the rental. Some credit cards offer what is known as “event insurance”, and can help you if you have to cancel a trip you’ve booked or miss a concert you’ve already purchased tickets for. Lost luggage insurance is included by many cards, so if the airline loses your bags and you’ve used a credit card with this insurance coverage to book the tickets, you’re automatically covered.
Other Travel Perks – credit cards with travel perks come in very handy. Many include emergency roadside assistance coverage at no additional charge, which can help you get your car fixed on the road if it breaks down or get you towed to the nearest garage for repairs. Some will even cover the cost of a temporary rental car or a hotel room if your car requires extensive repairs and you’re many miles from home. A lost passport is of no concern for cards with a benefit to assist you with this situation – just call the customer service number on your credit card and explain the situation. They’ll help you get a new one in a hurry.