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This article was last updated Feb 14, 2012, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
Did you know you have credit card perks beyond just being able to make purchases? Every year, I receive the same letters from the credit card companies that you do – they come in a white envelope. Inside you'll find the terms and conditions pamphlet. You know you're not going to read it and you assume the company is not going to take advantage of you so you toss it in the trash.
A mistake indeed because that pamphlet includes all of the perks you probably didn't know you had.
What's Really in Your Wallet?
Credit card perks are not often mentioned by the companies unless you are comparing credit card offers. They throw these in to sway you into signing up for their card over another one. The problem is, once the card arrives in the mail, you are using it and you forget all about any promised perks.
The following are some of the best credit card perks out there. Keep in mind these can change from time to time depending on the type of credit card you own.
Rental Collision Protection
Did you know that some credit card companies offer an auto rental collision damage waiver? If you are involved in an accident with a rental car, this coverage steps in and pays your deductible from your personal insurance policy as well as other fees. Did you know that when you signed up for that expensive insurance policy at the rental agency? Limitations apply (like the type of car you can rent), but generally, it can save you about $10 to $20 a day in coverage costs and thousands if you get into an accident.
Extended Warranty Credit Card Perks
Purchase something with your credit card with this perk and you could be in line for an extended manufacturer's warranty of up to one additional year, but some types of products are not covered. This one hit home because after purchasing a popular tablet computer with my credit card last year, I was sadly disappointed to find out I was exactly six days over the repair limit from the manufacturer. Then, the customer service clerk asked if I used a credit card to pay for it and slyly suggested I find out if the policy covered the cost. It did. That was more than $300 in my pocket in savings.
Chances are good other credit card perks can help you too. Additional quality perks to mention are"
- Luggage Reimbursement – Some companies offer a lost luggage reimbursement perk so if your luggage is damaged, your card issuer will step in and pay the costs associated with it. Policies differ widely.
- Purchase Protection – The purchase protection perk is a good one, too. If you buy something that is damaged or stolen within 90 days of the purchase, you get a refund of the total price paid. There are numerous exclusions and limitations, but it is worth checking out.
- Roadside Assistance – Roadside assistance is another solid credit card perk. This one gives you help when you break down. This can save you that $80 a year you spend on AAA membership.
It is always a good idea to read your credit card policy for the perks you have. You may never realize you have some outstanding benefits like the ones above. Remember though, the issuers are not giving you these services … they're factored into the interest rate and fee structure you agreed to so you might as well use them