While many consumers rely on their credit cards almost daily to increase their spending flexibility, these accounts often come with a number of other benefits consumers may not know about or don’t do enough to tap.
There are a number of benefits that can make credit card use more beneficial than paying by debit or cash, but in many cases, borrowers simply aren’t aware of them, according to a report from Investopedia. One of the most significant benefits a credit card provides to borrowers is that there is some amount of certainty about the quality of the product or service they purchase with their card. That’s because credit card companies allow for chargebacks. If something consumers buy with their credit card doesn’t live up to the billing and the company it was purchased from won’t refund the money, lenders sometimes can.
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Along the same lines, many lenders automatically extend the return policies and warranties associated with products purchased using their credit cards, the report said. Further, some lenders also offer damage or theft protection within a certain amount of time after an item is purchased. These account features, too, will help to increase consumers’ confidence that they’re getting value for their money.
Some lenders now even offer price protection in the same way that many retailers do, the report said. That means if consumers buy an item for one price and find the same one for a lower price within what is usually a 60-day period, they will help to make up the difference. In some cases – lenders might even do this automatically through price assurance programs – though in MasterCard’s case, this option is only available for plane tickets on select airlines.
Further, in much the same way debit cards may allow users to receive some cash back when making a purchase, several lenders are now doing the same for credit cards, without applying the cash advance fees commonly associated with doing so, the report said.
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Of course, each credit card account is different, and therefore consumers who want to know more about the benefits they can receive will have to take the time to examine the terms of their lending agreement. Doing so will also have the added bonus of giving borrowers a better understanding of what their account costs them, as well as the best way to maximize the benefits of using the card.
Image: Images_of_Money, via Flickr