Think a credit card is only good for building up your credit score and helping you borrow money when times are tight? Think again. Credit cards these days come with more rewards and perks than many people realize, and we’re not just talking about cash back and points. Here are five credit card perks you might not know you have.
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1. Rental Car Insurance
Do you know whether your credit card provides rental car insurance? It’s a good idea to check before the next time you rent a car for a vacation. That way, if you have adequate coverage you can turn down pricey insurance offers from the rental car company when you pick up your vehicle.
It’s important to remember, however, that not all rental car insurance through credit cards is created equal. Some cards offer primary coverage, which would cover your medical expenses as well as damage to the vehicle, and would kick in immediately. Secondary car insurance, on the other hand, only kicks in after you’ve submitted a claim to your main car insurance provider. Secondary coverage also generally comes with a deductible. If you want to avoid submitting with your insurance company (or you don’t have primary insurance because you don’t have a car), it might be a good idea to shop for a credit card that offers primary coverage.
2. Roadside Assistance
These days, many credit cards come with roadside assistance. Knowing you have the perk will save you money in the event that you have to call a tow truck or garage while stranded by the side of the road. Keep in mind what your credit card does and does not cover, though. With many cards, only the roadside assistance itself is covered. Your card may not cover the cost of, say, ordering replacement parts for your car or the labor costs of a repair.
3. Return Protection
Want to return an item that the seller won’t refund? Depending on your credit card, you may still be able to get a refund for the item. Some credit cards come with return protection that extends the timeline for a full refund and gives you money even when a seller won’t accept your return. However, return protection is a perk that’s only available for a certain period after purchase. Your credit card won’t refund you for a laptop you’ve been using for a year, for example. As with all the perks on this list, it’s a good idea to read the fine print so you can take advantage of the offer.
4. Extended Warranty
Some credit cards extend the warranty of items you purchase using the card. Take a look at the terms and conditions of your card to see if you have this perk. If you do, make a note of the timeline for the extended warranty. Does it provide you an extra year of warranty coverage? An extra three years? Make sure you’ve checked the details before approaching your credit card company to submit a claim.
5. Price Matching
Hate the feeling of seeing a lower price for something you already purchased? Well, depending on your credit card you might have a way out of the frustrating feeling that you haven’t gotten the best deal. Some credit cards offer price matching. For example, if you use a credit card to book a hotel and then find a lower rate on the same room, your credit card may refund you the difference between what you paid and the lower price you found elsewhere.
Reading the fine print on the terms of your credit card is no one’s idea of a good time, but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the perks you’re getting from your card. That way, you can take advantage of what the card offers and avoid paying for services you could be getting for free.
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