Many cardholders walk around with their credit cards unaware of some of their benefits. Often, the main focus is on interest rates and fees, so you may not even have taken the time to discover the additional perks to owning your card. As expected, different card issuers and different card types offer different perks. Below are some standard benefits that most credit card issuers offer.
1. Trip Cancellation Insurance
In case you need to cancel your trip for emergency reasons and your card offers trip cancellation coverage, then you will be reimbursed for travel cancellations on non-refundable flights. Several cards also offer protection against travel delays (learn more in Travel Insurance: Do I Really Have To?)
2. Travel Accident Insurance
If you charge all your travel expenses to your credit card, you may get travel accident insurance. If you are injured en route to your destination, you will be eligible for medical expenses coverage. But once you arrive at your destination, your coverage ends.
If you love to shop and enjoy a good bargain, then this perk is for you. If your credit card has this benefit and you buy something from a store only to find the same item somewhere else for a lower price within a 30- to 60-day period, then your credit card provider will refund the difference. Usually, there is limit to the refund amount. Now you do not have to worry about ever feeling overcharged for anything.
4. Guaranteed Returns
Some cards offer guarantees for the return of items once bought. So, if you buy an item and miss the window for returns, they will refund your purchase. You cannot file a claim for a refund if the item is broken. You have to ensure the item is in its original state, including its packaging, and make sure to keep your receipt.
5. Extended Warranty Coverage
Most qualifying credit cards prolong the original product warranty on a purchase without additional charge. Your card can come through in terms of repairs or replacing a gadget if it breaks a few days after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. This saves you a lot of money because it usually covers appliances and electronics, such as refrigerators and laptops, which can be very costly to repair. You must provide paperwork that proves that you bought the item and it is non-functional or destroyed. You likely have to wait a couple of weeks for a payment, even if it’s something as small as a cell phone.
6. Cell Phone Replacement Insurance
Did you know that your credit card can buy you a new phone if yours gets stolen or damaged? Some cardholders get up to $250 for a new phone, but the downside is that you have a $50 co-pay, which makes it pointless if you’re not using an expensive phone. You also have to pay your monthly cell phone bill with your credit card and you will need paperwork, usually a police report, that proves your phone was stolen. If you forget it on the bus, leave it on a restaurant table, or otherwise lose it, your phone will not be covered.
7. Roadside Assistance
Did you know that you may be able to call your credit card customer service line when your car breaks down? They will arrange for a tow truck to come your way and help you out with locksmith, tire change, and jump starting services. Depending on your card type, you could save up to $100 due to a flat rate payment for whatever car problems you are facing. Some cards save you the hassle of needing to have cash on you by charging a pre-negotiated price for each service you use.
8. Entertainment Benefits
Some lucky cardholders have card issuers who offer them pre-sale or preferred tickets, especially to exclusive concerts and sporting events. Say goodbye to missing out on your favorite band or team. This helps save you from more than just the frustration of missing tickets; you also get tickets at the best prices, thereby saving you money.
9. Rental Car Insurance Coverage
Most people either don’t know that their credit cards offer collision insurance for rentals, or they simply do not think that the cards would actually cover the costs of rentals (learn more about Rental Car Insurance). The benefit of credit card coverage is that it covers even what your primary auto insurance won’t. Usually, you get a loss-damage waiver when you rent a car; however, prices will vary. Be sure to check whether your card covers long-term rentals and if it is applicable in foreign countries as some have restrictions. Moreover, coverage is limited to the type of car you are renting. Cars like campers, SUVs, and trucks are excluded. Additionally, you may pay for "loss-of-use" or towing fees even though your card covers damages.
It's time you went through those papers your new card came with to find out the significant perks it might offer. In short, these perks are worth nothing if you do not know about them.