Many consumers use their credit cards as a means of short-term loan because it is accessible and easy to pay. After all, the line of credit is revolving, it is already approved and can be used as a means of payment in any store, restaurant, hotel or e-commerce in the country. Those are the expected benefits, but there are some hidden benefits that credit card users should also be aware of.
With your card, you can also pay for your services, your mobile phone plan, monthly subscriptions (such as Netflix, for example), among others. It would even allow you to request cash advances or consolidate the debts of other of your credit cards through a balance transfer.
But, What are the hidden benefits of credit cards? Some are obvious (like rewards, points, and cash back) while others are less so. To find out what benefits you could get with credit cards, it would suffice to review the contract and the terms and conditions section.
Remember that although most banks will send you this document by mail, you can also find it online.
Note. To enjoy most of the benefits that we will discuss in this article, you must be the cardholder and make your purchases with this card and not with another means of payment.
For example, if you buy a washing machine for cash and the manufacturer’s warranty expires, you won’t be able to claim the issuer of your credit card to extend your warranty for an additional year. On the other hand, if you make the purchase with your credit card, this would be an option.
- 1 What are the hidden benefits of your credit cards?
- 1.1 #1 Shopping Insurance
- 1.2 #2 Extended Warranties
- 1.3 #3 Price Protection
- 1.4 #4 Luggage Protection
- 1.5 #5 Mobile phone insurance
- 1.6 #6 Free checked baggage
- 1.7 #7 Guaranteed returns
- 1.8 #8 Accident travel insurance
- 1.9 #9 Access to VIP lounges at airports
- 1.10 #10 Car Rental Damage Waiver
- 1.11 #11 Insurance for cancellation or interruption of trips
- 2 Make the most of the benefits of your credit cards!
Among the benefits or advantages that you could obtain when using credit cards, we could find the following:
- shopping insurance
- Extended Warranties
- price protection
- luggage protection
- mobile phone insurance
- Free checked baggage
- Guaranteed returns
- accident travel insurance
- Access to the airport VIP lounge
- Rental Vehicle Damage Waiver
- Trip cancellation or interruption insurance
Let’s look at all these credit card benefits in detail.
#1 Shopping Insurance
Are you a lover of online shopping? Well, you’ll be glad to know that many credit cards offer purchase insurance. How does it work? If you buy a product that arrives damaged, deteriorated, used or simply lost or stolen, then the issuer will refund the money or request the replacement of the item. This insurance also works if, for example, you ordered a new microwave or LCD TV with your credit card and you accidentally drop it while you’re installing it.
Purchase insurance coverage varies depending on the card. To find out what your insurance covers, consult directly the benefits in the bank or in your affiliation contract.
Note. A high-end credit card could offer you insurance for up to 120 days after purchase. The limits vary, although in the case of cards premium it is usually around $10,000 per claim or $50,000 annually.
#2 Extended Warranties
Every product or electronic device has a manufacturer’s warranty, right? However, this period (which is at least one year) can easily reach 5 years or, in some cases, up to 10 years. If you buy that product with your credit card, this warranty could be extended for one year or more as established in the original terms of the guarantee.
Suppose you buy a laptop with your credit card. If the product is eligible and meets the issuer’s conditions, then the warranty could exceed the manufacturer’s warranty by 24 months. This coverage is valid for both repairs and the cost of replacing the product.. Therefore, you could get the money it costs to repair it, a new laptop – if yours breaks during that period – or the full amount you paid for the product.
tip. Remember that the issuer may place certain price limits, especially for large or expensive items. Be sure to review your card policy and save both a copy of your purchase receipt and the manufacturer’s warranty. Otherwise, you will not be able to make the claim.
#3 Price Protection
This protection is no longer enabled on all cards (because it has fallen into disuse) but some of them still offer it.
What is it about? Of a benefit for the consumer that operates if the price of the product that he purchased fell in price. How does it work? In the following way. Imagine you bought a new computer for $1,000, but suddenly the price plummeted to $700. In this case, you can make a claim to the bank and, if valid, you would receive a refund for the difference.
This protection operates even if the store that lowered its prices is different from where you purchased the good.. Of course: you must take into account that credit card issuers condition the price drop. The claim can generally be filed within 100 days of purchase and covers any price changes that have occurred within that period.
Note. The enjoyment of this benefit falls on the consumer, since the bank does not monitor the prices of the products that you have purchased with your card. Therefore, if you want to claim it, you should frequently check several stores to see if your product has dropped in price or not.
#4 Luggage Protection
This is perhaps one of the most useful benefits, especially for frequent travelers.
If your luggage is temporarily or permanently lost and you paid for the check-in, or the plane ticket, with your card, the issuer will reimburse you for any expenses you may incur due to the delay. The maximum reimbursement limit is up to $100 per day and will operate until the company finds and returns your luggage.
If the luggage never shows up, the issuer will refund the value of everything you had in it. When credit cards are high-end, they not only protect the cardholder’s luggage, but also those of their family members, even if they are not traveling with them.
#5 Mobile phone insurance
If you buy your next mobile phone with your credit card, you could get insurance against loss, theft or loss.
This scenario could also apply to those who pay for their mobile plans with their card. Of course: the bank or issuer could condition the insurance. There are banks that not only require you to buy the mobile with your card, but also that the phone plans are affiliated with it.
Some policies may also include charging deductibles, for example $100, and a maximum limit on the amount of the claim, which is usually set at around $600 or less. Generally, the number of claims a consumer can make in a 12-month period may also be limited.
#6 Free checked baggage
Not all, but many credit cards (especially those that offer rewards and frequent flyer miles) They offer the consumer the opportunity to cover the cost of checked baggage, as long as the trip is paid for with the card. Some cards will even cover the cost of checked baggage for the cardholder’s fellow travelers.
#7 Guaranteed returns
You may already be imagining it, but a guaranteed return is nothing more than a reimbursement of money to the consumer. In what cases does it work? If you bought an item in a store and need to exchange it for another, but the store never made the withdrawal.
The details of this benefit vary from card to card, but most of them allow the claim for 90 days after the purchase and have a maximum limit of $300 per product or up to $1,000 per year.
#8 Accident travel insurance
Travel insurance is one of the best known benefits, but if you don’t know it, we present it to you!
Credit cards offer travel insurance for the consumer or his family if he pays for the plane ticket with plastic. In what cases does the insurance operate? If one of the family members or the consumer loses his life or suffers an accident during the trip.
this coverage can easily reach $500,000 (some even touch the million dollars) but the perceived benefit will depend on the injury suffered. For example, a typical accident travel insurance policy covers about $500,000 in the event of accidental death or dismemberment. But if the beneficiary loses a hand, foot, or sight in one eye, this amount could be cut in half.
#9 Access to VIP lounges at airports
There is nothing more annoying than waiting at the airport, especially if there are problems with the flight or if it is a trip with stopovers. In situations like this, the credit card could be the salvation: if you pay for the ticket with your credit card, or you are simply subscribed to a frequent flyer plan, you could access the airport VIP lounges without having to pay a single penny.
Some cards allow the holder’s travel companions to enjoy the benefits of airport lounges for free, while others charge a fee of about $25 or $50 per person.
#10 Car Rental Damage Waiver
The vast majority of credit cards that are included in the country’s financial catalog (especially those that offer rewards, bonuses, prizes and frequent flyer miles) extend special coverage for vehicle rental during the trip.
This insurance is in addition to any other coverage the consumer may have and will only pay if the primary policy does not fully cover the loss of the car. However, the scope of the policy may vary depending on the card. Therefore, before traveling and making the claim, it is best to read the terms and conditions that the bank or issuer has given you.
To give you an idea, high-end credit cards often provide coverage that may even pay out to the beneficiary before their own insurance or primary policy does. The coverage amount of this policy is about $75,000.
#11 Insurance for cancellation or interruption of trips
This insurance is activated if your trip or your next vacation is canceled or delayed due to bad weather, an injury you have suffered, sick leave or any other situation beyond your control. In order to access it, the trip must have been paid for with the card. Otherwise, you will not be able to make the claim.
Keep in mind that many hotel reservations or airline tickets lose their “refundable” status as the travel date approaches. Therefore, insurance like this could get you out of trouble. In general, the cards offer a refund of up to $1,500 per person (or a maximum of $6,000 per trip) as long as the airline or accommodation does not respond to the claim.
Our advice? Compare the benefits of all your cards and choose the one with the best plan to buy or reserve your tickets and accommodation.
Make the most of the benefits of your credit cards!
Although we have made a fairly extensive list, these are just some of the hidden benefits of credit cards. To find out more about the advantages offered by your particular card, check the contract, call the bank or visit any branch! It is possible that the website of your bank or issuer also has relevant information about the benefits.
Remember. You will not be able to claim any of these benefits unless the purchases and reservations are made with that credit card.