Credit card perks you probably don’t know about

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Most of us aware of credit card rewards like points for air travel, but almost every card comes with a lot of other, under-advertised perks. There is a bunch of perks out there that most people don’t know about because every time when it comes to looking through fine line type stuff and doing some research on perks or “extras” that are included, people prefer put it aside and stay ignorant. People just like make things as easy as possible.

But if you ever buy electronics or get on a plane, listen up: you may have benefits you didn’t know existed if you pay with plastic. Here are some common ones worth remembering:

Purchase Protection

Many credit cards offer purchase protection. The perk refunds your money in the event you’ve lost or damaged an item within a certain period of time. For example, if you buy a suit of your dream and accidentally rip it within 90 days, American Express will refund up to $300 if the store can’t repair it.

Return Protection

If you’re unsatisfied with your purchase and the retailer won’t accept the return, Return Protection lets you recoup the funds from your credit card. The periods will differ but in general it’s a refund up to a certain dollar amount for a specified period of time. For example, MasterCard’s guarantee is for 60 days of purchase and up to $250.

Extended warranty coverage

Many credit cards offer an extended warranty policy on almost every purchase you make. If you buy a product with a six-month warranty, you get an additional six months from credit card issuer. Thus you don’t need this “extended warranty offer” pitch by a cashier because you have already had it from your credit card issuer.

Price Protection

This is quite a rare perk these days, but if you purchase something and see the same item at lower price, your credit card might refund you the difference. Eligible MasterCard cardholders, for example, have 60 days to use this perk before the protection expires.

Trip cancellation insurance

If you bought an airline ticket and then couldn’t fly because you got very sick, the airline company may want to charge you almost the entire cost of the ticket to cancel it. But don’t despair: your credit card company can take care of the cancellation fee. Many cards cover up to $1,000 annually.

Car rental insurance

Whenever you rent a car you can be offered to purchase additional insurance with the car rental company. Without any doubts you can decline the offer, as you’ve already had it from your credit card company. Check what car rental protection credit card company offer to you before you spend on extra insurance.

Concierge services

Access to credit card concierge services used to be the domain of elite card-holders, but this perk has appeared on more mid-level credit cards in recent years. Concierge services can help you book flights, secure dinner reservations, and essentially act as your travel agent, making arrangements on your behalf. Take a look at your credit card to see if this is offered, if you have a VISA Signature card, you have free concierge services.

Tracking spending

With some credit cards you can easily track your spendings. There are cards that offer free online tools that allow you to track your spending trends, making it easier to analyze your habits at a glance. Looking for areas to cut back? Check your breakdown to see where you’re overspending.

These are just some of the credit card secrets out there. Check your credit card issuer website and your original agreement to see what custom perks you are offered for saving money.

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