[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Credit card perks come in all shapes and sizes. But if you haven’t looked through the terms and conditions in awhile, chances are you have no clue what’s on offer. Here are six valuable features you may not have noticed.
1. Rental Car Insurance
Many travelers pay extra for the expensive insurance offered by rental car companies, even though the vast majority of credit cards offer this benefit. To enable this coverage, just use your credit card to rent the car and decline the optional coverages. Just be sure you understand your card’s policy and any exclusions. Certain types of vehicles are not eligible for coverage, and car rentals in some countries are excluded from most credit cards.
2. Extended Warranty Coverage
Like rental car insurance, many credit cards come with an extended warranty policy that you can use instead of purchasing optional coverage. Typically, these policies will add one year to the manufacturer’s warranties of up to five years. Just be sure to read the terms of your card’s benefit to find out if your purchase is covered.
3. Price Protection Policies
It can be frustrating when you shop around for the best price on a major purchase only to find a lower price shortly after. Some cards come with a price protection policy that can refund the difference. For example, Citi’s Price Rewind service will automatically refund the difference if a lower price is found on an eligible item within 60 days of purchase. To receive these automatic refunds, cardholders can register their purchases in advance or manually submit claims for up to $500 per item and $2,500 each calendar year. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, Chase and American Express advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
3. Trip Delay & Interruption Coverage
When a flight’s delayed or cancelled and you have to spend on hotels, things can get pricey. Airlines will occasionally offer to pay for some of these expenses, but not if they claim that the problem was related to weather or other factors outside of their control.
Thankfully, many travel rewards credit cards come with coverage that can reimburse you for expenses paid out-of-pocket. For example, the United MileagePlus Explorer card from Chase (see full review here) will reimburse meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket if your travel is delayed by more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay.
4. Lost Luggage
Many travel rewards cards offer a lost luggage policy that can reimburse you for losses not covered by the airline or other common carriers, such as cruise ships or train lines. (You can check out the best cards for racking up airline miles here.) Typically, the limits of this coverage are smaller for jewelry and electronics than for other personal property, but many travelers are unaware that this benefit can cover losses beyond what the travel provider is willing to pay.
5. Concierge Service
One commonly overlooked benefit is the concierge service offered by many credit cards. For example, cards with the Visa Signature logo offer a 24/7 service that can help with booking travel reservations, securing tickets for sports and entertainment events and even shopping.
These services often provide travel and shopping discounts as well as access to exclusive dining and entertainment experiences. Cards that are part of the World and World Elite MasterCard programs, as well as many American Express cards, also offer a concierge service.
Remember, if you’re considering applying for a new credit card to take advantage of certain perks, it’s a good idea to check your credit ahead of time. Good credit scores generally help you qualify for the best terms and conditions. (You can see where you currently stand by viewing two of your credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.) And when it come to rewards credit cards, it’s best not to carry a balance — otherwise, any savings from the perks, points, miles or cash back will be lost to interest.
At publishing time, Citi, Chase and American Express cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
More on Credit Cards:
- Credit.com’s Expert Credit Card Shopping Tips
- How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit
- An Expert Guide to Credit Cards With Rewards