5 Unexpected Perks of Rewards Credit Cards

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Rewards credit cards are great for earning airline miles, cash back, and points to use in a variety of ways. But there are some benefits to cash back cards that you might not know about. Here are five unexpected perks that your rewards credit card might offer you:

An easier boarding experience. Many co-branded travel rewards cards offer this to their members, in the form of priority boarding. If you have a rewards credit card from, for example, United Airlines or Delta, and you use your credit card to purchase your airline ticket, you’ll be able to settle into your seat before anyone else. Priority boarding means you’ll be the first one to be allowed on the plane once boarding starts, instead of standing around waiting for your seating group to be called.

Discounts on in-flight purchases. This is another one that comes with many co-branded airline credit cards. If you qualify for priority boarding, chances are you’ll also qualify for 25% or so off of all your in-flight purchases. Since most airlines don’t give out free meals anymore, this comes in very handy and saves you a few dollars. Those sandwiches, snack boxes, and mini bottles of wine really add up, but with a discount, you can get your fill of drinks and snacks and make your flight that much more pleasant.

Free magazine subscriptions. People tend to think of the big things, like free hotel stays and flights, when they think of credit card rewards. But you don’t have to go on vacation or do anything out of the ordinary to use your rewards. You might just want to stay home and curl up on the sofa with a good magazine. If you’re a homebody, that’s good new. You can use your credit card rewards or frequent flyer miles earned with your credit card to get free magazine subscriptions. Many different magazine choices are available, and cashing in your miles for magazines is easy to do.

Complimentary car rental insurance. Next time you rent a car, think twice before you pay extra for the rental insurance. Chances are, your travel rewards credit card or other premium card, such as a Visa Signature card, already provides you with the collision insurance you need. Check the fine print or call your card’s customer service representative hotline to ask what type of car rental insurance is provided by your credit card. Then just make sure you use that credit card to pay for your rental car. You’ll be driving easier knowing you’re covered, at no extra cost.

The option to transfer miles and points. Did you know that even if you get one type of miles or points from your rewards card, you might be able to turn them into another type? Miles are often transferrable between airlines, and points can be used as miles, or vice versa. This flexibility is the hallmark of a great rewards credit card. So if you haven’t been using up all your airline points or rewards, look at what else you could do with them.

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