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This article was last updated Nov 30, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Anyone with a credit card in their wallet knows it comes with basic benefits. Depending on the card, it may include things such as sign-up bonuses, cash back or points, credits for fees, travel insurance, purchase protection, rental car insurance and ways to buy the best seats at concerts or sporting events. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.
But you may want to take a second look at what else might be available to you on that credit card. You could be missing out on some undervalued perks. Below, we take a look at 10 unique card benefits, along with the credit cards offer them. The below mentioned credit card benefits are accurate as of the date of publishing.
- Referral bonuses. You may be able to earn cash back or points from certain credit cards when you refer your friends and family for their own card and they’re accepted, with limits. Some examples:
- American Express: Click here to check referral offers based on the card you hold.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Get $100 cash back for each friend — up to five — who gets approved for the card.
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card: Earn 20,000 bonus points for each business owner — up to five — you invite who gets approved the card.
- Discover: Get a $50 credit for each person — up to 10 — who applies and is approved for a card. Terms may apply.
Check out our roundup of credit cards offering referral bonuses here.
- Wi-Fi access. If you travel regularly, you’re probably carrying a combination of a smartphone, tablet and laptop. And you need to be able to get internet access in the air and on the ground. There are credit cards that are ready to help you with both.
If you have the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® card, you get 12 free Gogo® in-flight Wi-Fi passes a year on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Rouge and Air Canada. The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express come with a free Boingo Wireless global membership, valued at $468. It covers four devices that you can use at 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world with no roaming fees. Having in-flight Wi-Fi access can be a good thing if you need to work in the air. But have a Plan B in place in case the connection isn’t reliable or not available on your flight.
Check out our roundup of credit cards that offer free Wi-Fi access here.
- Hotel/motel burglary insurance. Every time you stay in a hotel or motel, there’s a chance of theft. If you have a World Elite Mastercard® — such as Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®*, HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card or HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card — and you pay for your room with it, this insurance reimburses you for any personal property that is stolen.
- Virtual credit cards. An estimated 33 million Americans may have experienced card-related fraud in 2017, according to a CompareCards survey. It also found that 69% of the victims surveyed said someone tried to make an online purchase with their account information, even though their card was in their possession when the fraud occurred.
Credit card companies have stepped in to help. Programs such as Protect Your Citi® Card Number, Capital One’s Eno℠ and Mastercard SecureCode® allow customers to generate unique random numbers attached to your card account to use whenever you shop online. With this benefit, you at least get some protection when shopping online.
- Free museum admission. The U.S. is home to 35,000 museums, 385-plus science centers and dozens of botanical gardens. Under its Museums on Us program, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit or debit cardholders can get access to more than 200 museums, science centers, botanical gardens and other venues in more than 120 cities on the first weekend of each month for free. Places covered under the program include the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Fla., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.
- Tee time. Holders of Visa Infinite credit cards — such as Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card and UBS Visa Infinite credit card — get a free gold membership in the Troon Rewards® program.
That membership includes the chance to play at participating Troon Privé private golf clubs for only $99 a round, per person. Clubs covered include the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., and Hawaii’s King Kamehameha Golf Club. You’d normally pay $189 and $225 a round, respectively, to play at these two courses.
- Coverage for stolen or broken cellphones. If your phone is stolen or needs repairs, there are credit cards that will give you up to $600 (after a deductible) to cover it, as long as you use the card to pay your monthly bill. Cards with this benefit include Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Uber Visa Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. You may also be covered if your card comes with purchase protection, provided you purchased the phone with that specific card.
- Shopping deals. For those on the hunt for shopping, travel and dining deals, your credit card may be able to help. American Express and Bank of America have dedicated web portals where you can snag discounts — and earn points — when you use their cards to spend at a rotating group of merchants. With Amex Offers, BankAmeriDeals® and Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you check the sites regularly to click on merchants offering discounts and coupons tailored for you. When you spend there, you’ll get discounts automatically. The deals can’t be used for American Express corporate, gift and prepaid cards.
- Wine time. Connoisseurs have another way to find that perfect bottle if they have Visa Infinite or Visa Signature cards such as the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or the Wells Fargo® Visa Signature® Credit Card. With them, you get special access to 50 U.S. and Canadian wineries.
Once inside, you get the following: buy one wine tasting with your card and get another one free; preferred pricing on non-wine purchases over $50; savings on same-day wine purchases in tasting rooms; and savings on reserve tastings and special wine-and-food pairing events. Participating destinations include Clos du Bois, Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Rodney Strong Vineyards.
- Points for online streaming and downloads. Are you addicted to “The Crown” on Netflix? Has Amazon Music become your go-to to hear the latest songs? Can’t wait to read best-selling books on your Kindle? Itching to compete with other gamers on Steam? Uber Visa Card* offer you extra points when you use them to pay for your monthly memberships for these and other services.
Uber Visa Card offers 5% back in Uber Cash on Uber rides, Uber Eats, and JUMP, 3% in Uber Cash on restaurants, bars, hotels, and airfare, and 1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases You can also earn up to a $50 credit for digital music, video and shopping subscription services after spending $5,000 on the card every 12 months you have it.
The bottom line
Whether your card is new or you’ve had it for a while, it’s always a good idea to regularly check on the benefits it comes with since card companies frequently tweak their programs. All credit cards have links on their websites where you can read your benefits guide, either online or downloaded as a PDF. Be sure to check the guide’s date to make sure you’re reading the most recent version.
The guide not only covers the general benefits that come with your card, but it also offers details on ones you may not know about, including those outlined above. You can also read the fine print to see any caveats that may come with your perks.
*The information related to the Uber Visa Card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.