When you’re ready to apply for a new credit card, you may only consider the obvious perks – rewards programs, sign up bonuses, introductory interest rates, no annual fee.
These are definitely factors to take into consideration when choosing the best card for your wallet. But credit card perks don’t stop here.
“Most cards have a fairly robust list of card member benefits or perks that come along with the card, and most consumers are entirely unaware of them” says Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com.
Some perks aren’t advertised as heavily as others, and like many consumers, you may not search the fine print to learn benefits available to you. However, skipping this section of the application can cause you to miss out on big savings.
1. Loss or theft protection.
Some credit cards feature purchase protection, which is supplementary insurance that protects purchases made with your credit card.
“Purchase protection is a type of insurance that is offered as a benefit on some credit cards,” according to Nessa Feddis, vice president and senior counsel for the American Bankers Association. “It gives people peace of mind, especially for an important purchase.”
If you drop your tablet and it breaks, or if someone swipes your cell phone from your purse or pocket, file a claim with your credit card company, and you may be eligible for a replacement. Restriction apply.
2. Price protection.
It’s happened to just about everyone. You purchase an item at one price, and then you see the item cheaper a week later. Some people may simply count this as a loss and move on. But if you purchased the item with your credit card, your credit card company may refund you the difference between the two prices. The rules vary by credit card company. Call your issuer for details.
3. Roadside assistance.
AAA is a good service to have, but you might end up paying for services you never use. Rather than shell out money every year just in case your car breaks down, check and see if your credit card offers roadside assistance.
With this perk, your credit card company will send roadside assistance to help if you’re locked out of your car, run out of gas or experience other trouble on the road. It’s not free, but you’ll receive services at a discounted rate, which your credit card company charges directly to your card.
4. Car rental insurance.
Adding insurance to your car rental can provide peace of mind, but the extra cost – about $20 a day – can significantly increase your total rental cost.
If you already have auto insurance and you’re booking your car rental with a credit card, you can skip this supplementary insurance and save.
However, coverage varies by credit card company. Therefore, you’ll need to contact your issuer directly for detailed information on coverage and restrictions. Typically, car rental insurance provided by a credit card company “kicks in after your auto insurance to cover things like deductibles and fees.”