Some credit card benefits are obvious.
You can carry a balance if you need to purchase something you can’t afford to pay off in one month (although this isn’t necessary recommended). They also offer rewards like hotel points, airline miles, and cash-back.
But did you know about all the other benefits your credit card probably offers? There are a lot of them, and many people don’t take advantage of these benefits because they aren’t aware. From better fraud protection to rental car insurance, here are some of the lesser known benefits offered by most credit cards.
- Price protection
Some credit cards offer price protection. When the price drops on an item you purchased recently, your credit card issuer refunds you the price difference. Credit cards usually offer 30 day, 60 day, or 90 day price protection, meaning they will refund the difference if the price drop occurs in the first 30, 60, or 90 days after a purchase.
However, the refund doesn’t happen automatically. You have to notice the price drop and file a claim with your credit card issuer, which usually isn’t worth it over a couple dollars here and there. Luckily, there’s a browser extension called Earny that will track any price drops from online retailers you shop at like Amazon and automatically file a price protection claim for you.
All you have to do is wait for the money to show up in your account. This can end up saving you a good chunk of change, especially if you do a lot of online shopping. It’s worth noting that most issuers do have limits on the amount of money you can be refunded, and some limit the amount of claims you can file each year as well.
- Purchase protection
Not the same as price protection, purchase protection offers to protect items you’ve purchased if something happens to go wrong with those items. This can include receiving a faulty model or having the item lost or stolen. Purchase protection is only valid for a short period of time after your purchase, usually 90 days.
Good purchase protection is usually a perk offered by premium cards that come with a significant annual fee. It can really come in handy if, for example, you purchase a laptop and it’s stolen from you just one month later. You can file a claim with your credit card company and have the money you spent on the laptop reimbursed. There are certain restrictions. If you already have an insurance policy that would cover the purchase, you cannot use the purchase protection from your credit card. Furthermore, the theft can’t have been partially your fault, so if you left your front door unlocked and someone broke in and stole your laptop, you’re unlikely to be reimbursed.
- Fraud protection
Many people don’t realize that their credit card offers much better fraud protection than any debit card. This is because there are federal laws in place limiting consumer liability in the case of fraud on credit cards, while there are no such laws in place for debit cards.