Lets face it credit cards, whether you love them or hate them, they are here to stay, but did you know that there are hidden, often times unknown credit card benefits and perks that have been built in for you. You may think to yourself, why are the hidden or unknown, fair question, but one we may never know the answer to, but suffice it to say, these hidden gems are worth their weight in gold, or in at least money.
Factors to Consider
How do these things or credit card benefits work and what are their advantages and disadvantages? Lets look as some of the perks that you may have on some or all of your cards right now that you may be unaware of. Some have been recent developments and some have been there since the beginning, but rest assured there are there and you should use them. Why let them go to waste, especially if you are paying for them in some way already.
Rental Insurance for Cars
When you travel you are probably using your card for most of the trip, if not all, why not check and see if your card offers car insurance. There may be caveats that you have to follow, such as you cannot get additional insurance offered through the rental company, or you can only rent certain types of cars and not others, and it most certainly will not cover exotic and top of the line rentals or other types of conveyances, such as boats or aircraft, or even off road vehicles.
Pre Order Purchases
Did you know that you may be able to get certain things before they go on sale to the general public if you use your credit card. This is especially true of concert tickets and pre sale accounts, you may be able to get them high demand tickets before everyone else if your card offers that perk, check, you may be surprised. You may need to go through a preferred offering company but, what the heck, if you want to almost guarantee a seat in the event without shopping with the common folks, go ahead and get on board.
Just like car rentals, you can and often should decline the extended warranties offered by the retail outlet, because most cards, if you purchase the whole thing on the card will offer an extended warranty for one year on appliances and other purchases. But check with your card company there may be exclusions and time limits, and it may not cover routine wear and tear. Some cards are better than others so if you have a few of them, check and compare each before you use a card, and use the one with the best protection and warranties.
Cancellations and Returns
Some cards will offer protection for a canceled trip, if some emergency comes up or other travel reason, you can get protected if you purchase the whole trip, or ticket on your credit card, as opposed to the company you purchased the trip through, as they may not refund, or if they do will charge you a premium up front for that contingency plan.
Same too with returns on products, there is extended time frames for returns and if you use a credit card and nothing is ever shipped you have that company behind you when you dispute that charge, and more times than not the company will have its fraud team get to work on the vendor and recoup that money from them, so it is a good ideal to use a card when purchasing whether it be in store or online.
So, now that you are aware of the many secret credit card benefits that you can get, there seems to be less of a stigma attached to the use of those cards. Sure you are paying a high interest rate, and the terms are onerous, but with these baked in protections how can you really loose. To be honest though, these protections also protect the card companies too, they give them the option to and power over retailers and can make the purchase streamlined and easy. Many times these card companies have relationships with the sellers already, so the use of them in a particular store is a sure thing, but you would always want to read the fine print of your contract to make sure you fit into the specific categories. Guessing that and hoping for protection is a sure fire way to loose your purchase or your perk. Keep the factors in mind and look at the specific areas of protection to see where your cards fit the best, some may be good for one thing, and not the other.