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Credit card companies love to publicize their huge signup bonuses and the rewards that consumers can earn when they use their card. These are the perks that can drive people to opt for one card over another. What you don’t hear are all the other benefits that come with many credit cards. While they might not be flashy, like receiving a four-figure signup bonus, they can be really beneficial to have.
Remember, it’s important to read the fine print thoroughly when vetting a card. Not only will this help you determine if the card is right for you, it will also familiarize you with the benefits you’ll have available should you get the card. It’s also a good idea to check your credit before you apply for some new plastic. That way, you’ll have an idea of what cards you can qualify for and won’t incur an inquiry on your credit report only to be rejected. (You can view two of your credit scores, updated every 30 days, for free on Credit.com.)
Now, let’s take a look at five different credit card perks that you might have forgotten, but can save you money.
1. Travel Insurance
Several credit cards offer different variations of travel insurance when you use the card to book your trip. To start, if your baggage is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can be compensated for the cost, up to a certain amount. This benefit tends to kick in when the airline itself will not cover the replacement cost. Some cards will also include baggage delay insurance, which will cover the cost to purchase incidentals, in case you make it to your destination before your luggage.
Your credit card might also come with trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. If you trip is cancelled or delayed for an extended period of time, and you have non-refundable travel arrangements made, then you may be able to get compensated for the loss. The cancellation or delay must be caused by a qualifying reason like sickness or weather. One of the most generous cards for trip cancellation insurance is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (see full review here), which has a benefit limit of $10,000.
2. Car Rental Coverage
Depending on your credit card, you might have either primary or secondary car rental insurance. Most cards will include anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 worth of coverage. If your card offers secondary car rental insurance, you will be covered for anything that your standard insurance company will not pay for. However, if your card comes with primary car rental insurance, you could be completely covered in case of a loss, up to the benefit limit. With primary coverage, you can decline the car rental companies policy and you won’t need to inform your insurance company if an accident should happen. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card, also from Chase, is one of several cards that offers primary car rental coverage.
3. Price Protection
How many times have you made a purchase only to find it on sale a week later? It can be a frustrating feeling. Luckily you might be able to avoid this annoyance by using a credit card for your purchase. There are several cards available that come with price protection. This will cover you in case the price declines on an item, usually within the first 60 to 90 days after purchase. You will be reimbursed for the difference in price. Check your benefits statement to see what the claim and/or lifetime limits are for your card. Two of the best cards for price protection are the Chase Freedom (see full review here) and the Discover It card. Both of these will give you 90 days for the date of purchase and have a limit of $500 per claim and $2,500 per year.
4. Extended Warranty
Every time you purchase electronics, appliances, or another big ticket item, the salesperson will ask you if you’d like to purchase an extended warranty. These tend to add a little extra protection over and above the manufacturer’s warranty. Depending on the credit card you use, however, you might have this built right in. Several credit cards offer extended warranty protection, giving you an additional one year after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
5. Purchase Protection
Purchase protection will cover items that you buy against accidental damage and theft, usually within the first 90 to 120 days. There are exclusions to what is covered, so it’s important to check your card’s benefits statement to find out what your card offers. Most cards will cover anywhere from $500 to $1,000, but a card like the Platinum Card from American Express or American Express Premier Gold Rewards card will actually offer a benefit up to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per calendar year.
At publishing time, the Discover it, American Express Platinum and American Express Premier Gold Rewards credit 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.