Slowly but surely, we are learning to appreciate credit card perks like cashback, bonus points, statement credit, and free miles. Some of us even work with several banks to make sure we use the credit card with most perks in every situation.
For starters, the credit cards with most perks are not available to those with bad credit. If you have bad credit, you should work on improving it and monitor your progress with Credit Sesame, otherwise, you will be missing out on a lot of benefits.
Then, most people settle for low-interest rate credit cards and do not take the time to read all the terms and conditions. As you are about to discover, credit card perks can easily compensate a small difference in interest rate.
Believe it or not, the best credit card perks are not the cash back that Bank of America has been offering since 2009 or the flyer miles some banks offer by partnering with various airlines.
There are many more valuable rewards hidden in the terms and conditions. They can help you save a lot of money, and we will help you uncover them in the following lines.
1. Price Protection
You surely know how frustrating it is to buy a product and see its price drop on the following week.
Some stores offer price adjustments over a short period of time, usually two weeks, but what if you didn’t shop at one of those stores or the price dropped after the adjustment period?
Until recently, if you had a Discover or Chase credit card, you benefited from price protection for up to 90 days. However, they discontinued this benefit, Citi’s Price Rewind 60 days protection remaining one of the few options available.
2. Purchase Protection
Imagine buying a home appliance or some gadget and having it break down or stolen. If it was a malfunction, the warranty should cover it, but what if you simply dropped or misused the item?
Unless your credit card perks include purchase protection, you can kiss your money goodbye. If they do, you’re saved.
For example, if you own an American Express SimplyCash Plus Business, you benefit from up to 120 days of purchase protection covering accidental damage and theft.
The protection period is the same with Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is probably the personal card with most perks.
3. Extended Warranty
When an item you buy breaks down during the warranty period, you know you will have it repaired or replaced.
This is especially true for electronics, which seem programmed to break down just when their warranty expires.
Luckily, some credit cards, like American Express BlueCash Preferred will extend the manufacturer’s warranty with up to two years, saving you money and headaches.
4. Credit Card Return Protection
Each store has its own returns policy that many buyers fail to read. Quite a few find themselves wanting to return a product after the return period has just expired.
That will not happen to you if you own and use a credit card that offers return protection. While the terms differ from one bank to another, most will extend the return period, giving you more time to reverse the transaction and recover your money.
Some will allow you to return products if you’ve lost your receipt or damaged the original packaging. Others will set price and overall value limits.
For example, with Amex EveryDay, you get 90 days return protection, subject to limits of $300/item and $1,000/year.
5. Travel Insurance
If you travel a lot, you’ve surely been offered insurance, so you know how expensive it can get.
What you may not know is that some credit cards offer the same coverage for free, so owning one of them could save you a great deal of money.
If you own a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, for example, you benefit from coverage in any or all of the following situations:
- Trip canceled or interrupted due to factors out of your control, like sickness or bad weather, etc. – The coverage reaches $10,000/person and $20,000/trip and includes passenger fares, hotel stays, and tours.
- Trip delayed – The coverage refers to trips delayed for more than 12 hours or requiring an overnight stay. The cardholder and their family can recover unreimbursed expenses with lodging and meals of up to $500/ticket.
- Rented auto collision damage – The coverage applies to rental vehicle theft and damage up to the actual value of the vehicle.
- Baggage delays – The insurance covers essential purchases such as clothing and toiletries in case of baggage delays exceeding 6 hours. The expenses cannot exceed $100/day and can only be granted for 5 days.
- Travel and emergency assistance – Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card holders can receive travel and emergency assistance from a Benefits Administrator (referrals for legal, medical, and other services) but will be responsible for any related costs.
6. Phone Coverage
Dropping, losing, or having your phone stolen is one of the worst things that can happen to you on any given day. Having phone coverage among your credit card perks will surely help to relieve the pressure.
Offers vary by bank and credit card offers. Some will cover only theft while others will help pay your coverage or insurance deductible.
It is up to you to discover which credit card has the best phone coverage plan. Just keep in mind that, in order to benefit from any credit card perks, you will have to prove you paid for your phone and, probably, phone bills with the respective credit card.
Among the banks offering the phone coverage, you’ll find American Express and Wells Fargo.
Keep in mind that each bank has limits to the coverage they provide and will require that you pay your phone bills with their credit card.
7. Roadside Assistance
Depending on what type of auto insurance coverage you have, you may not care about credit card perks such as roadside assistance. But what if you don’t have roadside assistance included in your coverage?
Imagine yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere with no one to call to bring you a spare tire or tow your car. Then imagine calling your credit card company and getting immediate help.
Sure, you’ll still pay for the services, but you can at least be sure you’ll obtain it and, possibly, pay less. Many credit card companies have negotiated preferential rates, so you could still save some money.
The American Express Gold Card is one of the few offering some roadside assistance services for free. They will change your flat tire, jumpstart your battery, or tow you over a distance of up to 10 miles for free but no more than four times a year.
8. Identity Theft Services
Identity theft is a real threat. Many Americans find themselves charged for loans they never took or owing money on credit cards they never used.
If you want to make sure this will never happen to you or you’ll be protected if it does, look into credit cards offering identify theft protection.
Some banks, like Citi, will help you monitor your credit history and score with TransUnion and assist you with formalities like forms, police reports, and communication with creditors.
Others, like Discover, help you monitor the dark web for use of your Social Security number and alert you if new accounts appear on your Experian credit report.
Capital One monitors credit reports and Social Security number and email use on the dark web.
9. Special Tickets and Events Deals
If you like going to concerts, festivals, or sports events, you should look for a credit card that eases your access to such events.
Some credit cards let you buy tickets in the presale stage or at preferential prices. Others give you higher cashback on purchases in this category.
There are also credit cards that offer you seat upgrades, access to private events, or concierge services that will help you obtain what you want.
Some of the best credit card perks when it comes to events and entertainment are available with Citi Private Pass, Visa Signature, and Chase Sapphire credit cards.
Just read their terms and conditions carefully to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.
10. Free Memberships and Admissions
Imagine what it would be like to be able to visit museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, science centers, and other venues without paying entrance fees.
Better yet, imagine receiving free access to a paid service that offers free shipping and returns with your favorite retailers.
You can, if you know where to look. For starters, you should check the credit card perks offered by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, American Express, World Elite, and Mastercard World.
11. Free Currency Conversion
You’ll only care about this credit card perk if you travel abroad but, if that is the case, it can help you save a lot of money.
Carrying cash around can be dangerous, and exchange bureaus charge high fees or have unfavorable exchange rates.
It makes more sense to pay with your credit card whenever necessary, as long as you don’t pay foreign transaction fees.
To find the best deals, start with Discover and Capital One. Check the terms of the credit cards you already have, as some banks waive the fees as part of their travel credit card perks.
Drawing the Line on Hidden Credit Card Perks
These are just some of the perks you can enjoy as a credit card holder. You probably already have some of them, and you can obtain the rest of them by applying for one of the credit cards that offer them.
Just remember that some credit card perks are worth more than others, while others come at a high price, consisting of high fees and interest.
In order to have access to the best credit card perks, you will need excellent credit. If you don’t have it, you should work on improving it.
As you already know, you can always check your credit score with Credit Sesame or Credit Karma. If you don’t like what you find out and you need money fast, BadCreditLoans.com can help you find some affordable loan offers in order to build or improve credit.
If you are a student, Credible might be a better alternative. It lets you find and compare loan offers suitable for your credit score, saving you time and trouble.
Now that we’ve gotten the credit score issue out of the way, it is time to review the most important aspects you should consider when choosing the best credit cards for you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Credit Cards to Apply For
- APR – This aspect is very important if you cannot pay off your purchases on time. When you carry a balance, you pay monthly interest, so you need a credit card with low-interest
Most credit cards have 0 APR during the first months from signup, between 6 and 18 months. It goes without saying that you should look for those with the longest APR exemption.
- Annual fees – Some credit cards have no annual fees, while others have fees that exceed $100. The fee may be worth paying for some, especially since credit cards with a fee usually offer more benefits.
However, it helps to be aware of the costs from the beginning and plan for their timely payment.
- Balance transfer and cash advance Fees – As you may already know, credit cards are for paying your purchases. If you use them for cash or balance transfers, you could pay quite steep fees.
It helps to be aware of those fees before owing them, so make sure you know what credit card you choose and how you use it.
- Installment plans – Some banks allow you to create payment plans in order to pay out your balance. These can help you save a lot of money on interest and late fees, so, if you know you’ll end up carrying a balance, make sure you can pay it in installments.
- Rewards types – Some credit cards offer huge rewards on some purchase categories (gas, restaurants, travel, hotels, and more). It helps to choose credit cards that offer perks compatible with your needs and lifestyle and use them in such a way as to obtain the maximum rewards.
- Saving and investing components – Some credit cards will round up your payments and deposit the difference in a savings account. You could use it in parallel with Acorns to maximize your gains.
Which Is the Credit Card with Most Perks in Your Opinion?
Now you have a better idea of the credit card perks you could obtain. You also know what to take into account when looking for the best credit card.
You will surely find a couple of offers suitable for your needs. When you do, don’t hesitate to share your findings with us.
What credit card perks are you most interested in and which credit card do you use to benefit from them? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!
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