Credit card companies usually highlight their showier benefits, like cash back rewards or airline miles, to draw in new business. But many credit cards provide much more than that, offering a full suite of valuable benefits to their customers.
If you’re only aware of your credit card’s surface level perks, you might not be getting the most value from your card. You should check your credit card’s benefits guide; it might be full of benefits you’ve never even used.
Here are six credit card benefits you might not be using:
1. Purchase Protection
Purchase protection covers damage and theft of purchases that were made on your credit card. If an item is damaged or stolen within a certain time frame (typically 90 to 120 days) you can submit a purchase protection claim to have your purchase repaired, replaced, or reimbursed. Certain types of damage and certain types of purchases aren’t covered, so be sure to check your credit card’s policies.
In the case of damage, you may be expected to pursue warranty coverage or refunds through the seller before purchase protection kicks in, so save all your receipts and documents related to the transaction and follow-up.
2. Extended Warranties
Some credit card companies will automatically extend the terms of eligible warranties for purchases made on your credit card. This means your purchases are covered for service or replacement for a longer period of time. Certain purchases are ineligible, so you’ll need to check your credit card’s benefits guide. The extended warranty will likely mirror the terms of the original warranty.
Your credit card’s extended warranty won’t kick in until the original manufacturer’s warranty expires. Make sure to save your receipts, original warranty documents, and any paperwork related to repairs. When you submit an extended warranty claim, you will need to provide this information.
3. Travel Insurance
Weather, illness, and other unexpected circumstances can cause a trip to be delayed or canceled entirely. When this happens, you may be on the hook for nonrefundable expenses like airline tickets, hotel reservations, or the cost of alternate travel arrangements.
Travel delay insurance and trip cancellation insurance can come in handy in these scenarios. Travel delay insurance reimburses you for the cost of lodging, transportation, and other expenses incurred when your trip is delayed. Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you when your trip is cancelled for a covered reason and you can’t secure refunds from the travel providers. You will have to provide documentation related to the trip itinerary, the reasons for delay or cancellation, and correspondence with the travel providers.
4. Auto Rental Insurance
When your credit card provides auto rental insurance, you can decline that additional coverage offered at the rental counter. Auto rental insurance covers theft, damage, and other losses to your rental car when you use your credit card to pay for it in full. These policies only cover certain types of cars, so check your benefits guide.
5. Online Rewards Portals
If you use your credit card to earn cash back or travel rewards on purchases, you should check if it offers an online shopping portal. These are online storefronts that feature hundreds of national retailers, and purchases will earn additional cash back, miles, or points. It’s a great way to supercharge your rewards, especially if you already do a lot of online shopping.
6. Concierge Services
Concierge services are typically available via phone 24 hours a day through the credit card company. They can help you book travel, make dinner reservations, and even get tickets to local events. It’s an underused service that can really come in handy when traveling.
Want to know what benefits your credit card provides? Your best source of information is your credit card’s benefit guide. It will tell you what policies your credit card offers and provide important information including the terms of your benefits and how to go about using them. Remember, many of these policies require you to provide documents including receipts, travel itineraries, and other information – so save all your paperwork.