Credit cards have their good qualities, like convenience, ease of use and their ability to establish your credit history. Credit cards also have their bad qualities, like how easy unwise use can lead to serious financial problems. Clearly, one of their best features is the many credit card benefits issuers provide to get you to select and use their card.
Credit card issuers offer some common benefits that are widely available. Some benefits, however, are unique to a specific credit card which may make it a great choice for you. Below are some common and not-so-common benefits. Check the details on individual cards if there are specific credit card benefits critical to you and your spending habits.
Purchase protection: If something happens to a new purchase, like it is stolen or broken, your card may cover the replacement. This feature is usually limited to the first 90 days after your purchase.
Extended product warranty: Many cards provide an additional year of warranty protection if the product comes with at least a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. So, if you buy a computer or television using your credit card, you’ll end up with an extra year of warranty protection.
Auto rental insurance (collision damage waiver): Credit cards often provide collision damage coverage when you rent. Always check the details, but car rental insurance can easily cost you an extra $10-20 a day.
Return protection: If for some reason the retailer won’t take back a product you purchased, the credit card company may refund your purchase price. Again, this coverage is usually limited to the first 90 days.
Price protection: If you purchase something and find it on sale shortly afterward for a lower price, the card issuer will refund the price difference.
$0 liability – Most cards will protect you in the event your card is stolen or compromised, meaning you are not responsible for unauthorized charges.
Flight accident insurance: Your flight goes badly – really, really badly. An insurance payout in the event of a crash won’t help you, but it would help your family.
Trip cancellation insurance: Coverage varies; in the event of a last-minute trip cancellation, some credit cards will cover the cancellation costs.
Spending reporting & analysis: Various credit cards offer annual reports on where you’re spending your money, which can help you with your budgeting.
Credit score reporting: Selected cards offer ongoing credit score updates. That means you can avoid paying for additional reporting from other third-party sources.
Concierge services: Offers vary widely, from basic assistance to special ticket availability to concerts, shows and events.
Travel & Emergency services – On the road and need some help? As a card owner, you can call to receive assistance.
Cash advances – Find a nearby ATM to get a cash advance against your card. Remember, though, you’re likely to be paying a cash advance fee and interest charges begin to accrue immediately.
Purchase Alerts – Various alerts are available to help you stay on top of your credit card activity. Alerts can keep you aware of your spending, as well as providing fraud protection.
Credit card benefits are often overlooked when comparing credit cards, but many have real value. When you’re shopping for cards, review our list of credit card benefits and see what’s most important to you. Then, keep those key benefits in mind when you’re making your final decision.