Home > Credit Cards > 5 Perks of Credit Cards around the Holidays

Comments 0 Comments

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

The frenzied holiday shopping season has arrived. Amid all the buying and traveling to see family, it’s a good idea to keep your savvy consumer instincts intact. If you’re using credit cards for purchases, remember that credit card benefits and rewards can truly come in handy this time of year.

Whether it’s offering extended warranties on your purchases or giving you free access to cushy airport lounges when you’re traveling to see family, it’s time to brush up on the perks associated with those credit cards in your wallet.

Price Matching

Most major credit cards these days include price-matching policies. Not familiar with how these work?

If you make a purchase and later find the same item for a much cheaper price, the credit card refunds the difference. Discover cards are famous for this perk. The card will refund the difference up to $500 on eligible items if you find a lower price at any store within 90 days of purchase. The item in question however, must have been paid for with the Discover credit card.

“Also known by other monikers, such as price protection or price rewind, price matching is perhaps one of the most underutilized credit card benefits,” says Roman Shteyn, CEO and co-founder of RewardExpert. “Some credit card issuers will even conveniently monitor the price of your purchase for you if you register it, like with the Citi Price Rewind program.”

This is a benefit all consumers should be using, says Shteyn. If your credit card has this program and you don’t use it, you’re essentially throwing money away. Why not get the best price for the item you bought?

Purchase Protection

Many credit cards also offer purchase protection, also known as purchase assurance or damage protection.

This perk helps shoppers insure their goods against damage or theft, says Shteyn. And it can be useful because if your purchases ever get damaged or stolen, you’re usually on your own.

Shteyn explains, “This card benefit frequently goes unused by cardholders as they are unaware of their right to insurance through their card issuer.”

The coverage amount and the duration of time during which a claim can be submitted varies from card to card, typically ranging from 90 through 120 days after purchase. Some cards offer $1,000 coverage per claim while others may go as high as $10,000. You should check the terms and conditions for your credit cards to identify exactly how much coverage you may be eligible for.

Extended Warranties

Consumers are often encouraged by retailers to buy an extended warranty on high-ticket items like electronics and home appliances.

These warranties are usually pretty pricey. And why spend that money when many credit cards offer an automatic extended warranty at no extra cost?

American Express cards, for instance, are known for their extended warranty policy. If an item was purchased with your American Express card, then your card adds up to one extra year to the original US manufacturer’s warranty.

“Depending on the item being bought, it may not be worth purchasing a retailer’s warranty coverage since your credit card will most likely offer protection,” says Shteyn. “However, sometimes the retailer’s policy may offer a much longer coverage period than your credit card would.”

Accumulating Cash Back Rewards

While doing all of this holiday shopping, you might as well reap the rewards in the form of cold hard cash back.

Michael Foguth of Foguth Financial Group suggests using only credit cards that offer cash back while holiday shopping and eliminating the use of debit cards entirely, which offer no rewards.

“Find out which card gives you greatest cash back reward and use that,” he says. “Keep it simple . . . If you spend $10,000 on a card that offers 1% cash back, that’s $100. Some cards offer 1.5%. It’s free money for using your credit card.”

Airport Lounge Access

One last perk to keep in mind for the harried holiday season: some credit cards provide access to airport lounges.

It’s a feature that may come in handy as you travel back and forth to see family this season, and it can provide you a few peaceful, quiet moments away from the crowd and the hustle and bustle.

“When you need to fly during the holiday season, bring your credit card with you,” says Anna Wu, creator of the site FlightDealsHound. “A good variety of credit cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum Card, and Citi Prestige Card, to name a few, offer complimentary Priority Pass lounge access, which means you (and guests for some card holders) can access those exclusive airport lounges that offer free drinks, free gourmet buffet, and fast Wi-Fi connections.”

Not all airport lounges are created equal, but still, this is an added bonus that’s definitely worth keeping in mind as you travel.

Not sure what perks your cards have? Get in touch with a credit card representative and find out. If you want to get a new credit card with travel perks before the holiday season is over, make sure you check your credit first. You can check your credit for free at Credit.com.

Image: istock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team