11 Overlooked Credit-Card Perks

By Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner…

Rewards points and cash back are only some of the benefits of paying with plastic. Here are 11 little-known benefits that cardholders can take advantage of — from extended warranties on items you purchase with your cards to free admission to museums. See what your card can do for you.

Extended Warranties

Before you pay extra to extend the warranty of a product you buy, check to see whether your credit card offers additional coverage free. The four major credit card networks — Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express — provide up to a year of extended warranty protection for some cardholders. To be covered, an item must be purchased with your credit card and must have an existing manufacturer’s warranty. Coverage typically is limited to $10,000 per item.

Price Matching

If you use a credit card to buy an item that later goes on sale, your credit card might pay you back the difference. For example, Citi cardholders who register purchases they make with their cards will receive the difference in price if Citi finds the same item for less within 60 days of purchase. Discover will refund the difference up to $500 if you find a lower price within 90 days; MasterCard will reimburse cardholders who find a lower price on an item within 60 days of purchase.

Coverage for Damaged or Stolen Products

Several card issuers will repair or replace items you charge to your card that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of credit card comparison site LowCards.com. And if a retailer will not accept a return within 90 days of purchase, some cards, such as Chase Sapphire and all Discover cards, will reimburse you for the cost of the item purchased with your card.

Rental-Car Insurance

Most major credit cards offer secondary rental car insurance, picking up costs that aren’t covered by your personal auto insurance policy if your rental is wrecked or stolen. Declining the damage waivers offered at the rental car counter could save you $15 to $25 a day.

Because coverage varies, even among cards within the same network, call your credit card issuer before you rent the car. In general, you must use the credit card to book the rental, and you must decline the collision damage waiver when you rent the car. Ask the issuer whether it will cover “loss of use” — the cost the rental car company incurs while the vehicle you rented is being repaired (or, in the case of theft, relocated). Be aware, too, that your credit card may not provide coverage in some overseas countries. For example, American Express excludes cars rented in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand.

Cell Phone Replacement

Replacing a damaged or stolen cell phone could cost you hundreds of dollars. Some credit card issuers will cover the cost of purchasing a new phone, as long as you use the card to pay your cell phone bills. First Citizens …read more

Read more here: 11 Overlooked Credit-Card Perks

Category: credit cards, economy, money, personal finance, rewards, spending

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