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Every year, one of the most anticipated events and a cornerstone of American culture is Super Bowl Sunday. Every TV in America is tuned in to cheer for, or against, the final teams. As the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots prepare to play, they remember that their offense is only as good as their defense. The same holds true with credit cards.
There is so much concern for identity theft, fraud, liability charges, and more. It’s important to carry a card that offers zero fraud liability and other protections during travels or in case an emergency arises. That leads me to wonder, which credit cards are playing for my defense and will protect me from getting sacked?
Popular Credit Card Benefits
Not every credit card comes with added features and benefits. These benefits are different from what typical credit card offers like a rewards programs, intro APRs, or no fee balance transfer options. Additional benefits are the insurance options and protections that apply for the purchases made with that specific credit card. The most common added benefits are:
- $0 Fraud Liability
- Extended Warranty Protection
- Purchase Protection
- Auto Rental Insurance
- Roadside Assistance
- Travel Assistance
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement
It’s important to know the difference between each of these benefits, and to have a clear understanding of what protections they offer. For example, $0 Fraud Liability and Dispute Resolution may sound similar, but are completely different protection options. The same applies to Travel Assistance and Travel Accident Insurance. Travel Assistance is used for situations if you are abroad and need assistance with emergency situations such as lost passport. Travel Accident Insurance is coverage in case there is an accident while traveling.
Keep in mind, however, that these benefits only apply if you charged the purchase to the credit card with these protections. For example, you won’t receive protection if you did not book your airline tickets with the card that offers Travel Assistance or Lost Luggage Reimbursement.
Read the Terms and Conditions Carefully
Although some protections and benefits can sound the same, they may provide a completely different coverage. For example, Lost Luggage Reimbursement allows the card holder to be reimbursed for expenses when their luggage was lost while traveling. These types of items include clothing and toiletries, but come with limitations like only covering purchases made the first 2 days following the incident, placing a maximum value amount limit for reimbursement, and may even include specific items that cannot be insured.
It’s common for credit card companies to also have similar coverages, but are they may be labeled differently between, causing confusion to consumers.. Lost Luggage Reimbursement is also called Damaged Baggage protection, Baggage insurance plan, Baggage Delay Insurance, or Lost Luggage Tracking. If you don’t fully understand your benefits coverage, contact your card issuer to determine how you are protected.
The fortunate thing is that these benefits can save you money on insurance coverage costs because you’re already covered if you charge the purchase to that credit card. For example, Auto Rental Insurance provides coverage for damages that may occur from collisions or theft while you are renting a vehicle. Car insurance is required when renting, but if your current provider does not cover rental cars then you could be left with the bill if an accident occurs. Most rental companies try to sell renters on their added insurance coverages that can be quite expensive, so with the right card in hand, you’re already covered.
Most of these benefits are not marketed by credit card issuers like they do with 0% introductory APR offers, so you’ll want to do the research yourself. Oftentimes the wording can be difficult to understand, or just unclear about the services you are entitled to receive.
Your Defensive Line Up
Many credit cards offer several variations of protections and insurances, The following list of credit cards are our favorite that provide the the most benefits that will provide coverage for you wherever you go, whatever you buy, and whatever you do.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card- This cash rewards credit card is part of the Visa Signature program. Cardholders will also enjoy 0% intro APR for purchases and balances transfers for 12 billing cycles. There is no annual fee, and you can earn 3% and 2% cash back on certain purchases, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card- Another Visa Signature credit card, this card also comes with 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and you can earn 1.25 miles for every purchase.
Citi Prestige® Card- This prestigious credit card is tied to the MasterCard World Elite program so you will get some top level benefits. Cardholders can get complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel, $250 Air Travel Credit every year, 3x points earned on Air Travel and Hotels, 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment, and 1 point per dollar spent. This credit card also comes with the chip based technology for added security and peace of mind.
Discover it® -18 Month Balance Transfer Offer - There are two different versions of this credit card; however, both provide all the great benefits you would expect as a cardholder with good-excellent credit. Both credit cards offer an introductory APR for a certain period of time, come with no annual fee, no over limit fee, and no foreign transaction fees. The Discover it is tied to a great rewards program that will earn you 5% cash back on popular rotating categories of purchases, and cardholders will have free access to their FICO credit score.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card- This is another card that’s tied to the Visa Signature program and comes with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months. Cardholders will also earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits on how much cash back you can earn.
Keep in mind that most credit cards for good-excellent credit come with some added benefits, but some programs offer more than other. For example, if you are carrying a card that’s tied to the Visa Signature or World MasterCard program, you can be rest assured that you’re getting excellent benefits. Some of those cards include:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Bank Americard Travel Rewards
- Bank Americard Visa Card
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- United Mileage Plus Explorer Card
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
- NFL Extra Points Credit Card
- Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
- Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
- Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
- BuyPower Card from Capital One
- Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
- Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard
- The Platinum Card from American Express
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
Know the Game Plan
It’s extremely important to check the terms and conditions of your credit card or check with your card issuer to determine which protections apply to your credit card prior to needing the coverage, so you don’t find yourself in a bind. Some banks have detailed specifications about how to file a claim, when to file, if you need to check with other insurance providers prior to making a claim, or how many days following the incident that you have to file a claim.
The best defense you can have is to know your credit cards, know which protections you have, and avoid paying for services that are already available to you.
* Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.