Five Credit Card Benefits You Probably Have But Don’t Know About

A few days after buying a sweater from Macy’s, Erin Chisman came back to get the same one in a different color, only to find it was 50% off. Seeing the new price, the Wisconsin business owner was determined to save.

So she turned to the cards in her wallet. “I looked at my terms and noticed there was price protection,” she says. “Within three days I received a check in the mail” for the difference of $ 30.

Price protection, a benefit that pays off the difference of a lower advertised price, has largely disappeared from many credit cards in recent years – but many other side benefits remain, and your card may even have added new ones. Here’s what you need to know about these benefits so you don’t miss a thing.

Benefits Are Not All Created Equal

If you don’t know all the benefits your card offers, you are not alone. Only 36% of cardholders said they fully understand their additional benefits, according to the 2019 JD Power Credit Card Satisfaction Survey.

This can be difficult to follow as offers vary widely, depending on the bank issuing the credit card (American Express AXP,
+ 0.24%,
Chase JPM,
-0.07%,
Citi CIT,
-1.60%,
etc.) and, often, the payment network on which it runs (Visa V,
+ 0.19%,
MA Mastercard,
-0.39%,
AmEx or Discover DFS,
-0.64%
).

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But if you spend time with your card’s terms and conditions – or with a customer service representative online or over the phone – you can find out about the benefits of your card and how they can help you. Consider some of these examples and the potential savings they offer.

Cell Phone Protection

A credit card cell phone protection advantage can cover a stolen or damaged cell phone for up to several hundred dollars per loss. To qualify, you’ll need to pay the monthly phone bill with the qualifying card, and a deductible usually applies.

Chisman relies on the cell phone protection offered by his business credit card to avoid paying the cell phone company for coverage on the phones of four employees at his music school. “The savings over there [are] between $ 20 and $ 40 per month, ”she says.

If your card’s coverage is primary, that means you don’t have to go to your own insurer. If it’s secondary, it can supplement what your insurer doesn’t cover.

Extended warranty protection

A card’s extended warranty protection can extend the original manufacturer’s warranty, sometimes by a year or more, depending on conditions. Whatever your purchase, the savings can add up.

According to a 2018 survey by Consumer Reports, the median price of an extended warranty on a major appliance was $ 131. For a small appliance, it was $ 19, but either way, it’s money your credit card can save you.

Some cards have stopped offering this benefit in recent years, but the ones that do get it usually cover what’s included in the original manufacturer’s warranty. To be eligible, the product must be purchased with the eligible card. Exclusions may apply for certain products such as cars and computer software.

Return protection

If a retailer’s return policy fails, this credit card benefit may refund the purchase amount to you. Only certain products are eligible and you will need to act within a certain window to file a claim.

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Shipping the item to an assigned address and paying for postage out of pocket may be required. Read the fine print to determine if it’s worth it for you.

Purchase protection

It’s disappointing when a new item is damaged or stolen, but less so if you paid for it with a credit card that offers purchase protection. This benefit has also been removed by some issuers, but it is not extinguished.

Depending on the conditions, the item will be replaced or repaired, or you will be refunded up to several hundred dollars per claim if filed within the required time frame.

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The process typically requires documentation, which may include a credit card statement, receipt, and other information.

Exclusive discounts

Depending on your credit card issuer, you may also be eligible for exclusive cardholder discounts. Some World Elite Mastercard holders, for example, can get $ 5 off every Postmates purchase of $ 25 or more (not including shipping, tips and taxes).

And qualifying American Express credit cards offer a free ShopRunner membership that offers free two-day shipping. Conditions apply.

So be sure to look beyond your credit card rewards rate and fully explore all the benefits that can help you save money.

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