You chose your credit card because of its benefits. You might have chosen a travel rewards credit card because you like to travel or it could be your needs included a business credit card; regardless, it was the perks that likely played a deciding factor. But here are a few facts you might not know about that plastic in your wallet. While each credit card company varies, odds are, you’re missing out on some of the best features.
There are few things more frustrating for the world traveler than to realize his luggage didn’t make the trip with him. While complaining might make you feel better, you should also check with your credit card network to see if there are additional protections available. This isn’t only limited to credit cards with travel perks, but most any credit card has some additional protection above what Aviation Consumer Protection Department guarantees. Even better, you don’t have to choose one or the other guarantee – you may claim the government’s limits along with what your credit card offers.
Skip the Warranty Fees
Those extended warranty contracts are quite tempting when we’re making an expensive purchase. After all, we want to protect our investments – whether it’s a new home theater or a new vehicle. Before you cave in and agree to a costly extended coverage deal, you should check the terms and conditions of the credit card you use to make the purchase. There’s a big chance your warranty is extended by a year or more over and above what the retailer offers. In other words, if you purchase an additional year via the purchase protection plan, you may have just purchased something you’re already protected from.
Drive Me Crazy
We often include the auto rental liability perks in our credit card reviews – and for good reason. Accidents happen, even with the most cautious drivers. That fear of the unknown is often what determines whether a consumer will agree to the costly waivers offered by the rental car agency. What you might not know, however, is that many credit cards have this built into the benefits. Others who don’t will offer it at a much lower rate than what the agency will offer. It’s definitely worth the few extra minutes to check with your new credit card network.
Spend Today or Save Tomorrow
Few things are more frustrating that to find those expensive speakers you bought over the weekend are this week’s half price item. There’s a good chance the retailer will happily credit you the difference, but that’s not a sure thing. It’s one reason the credit card networks like American Express and Visa have an automatic price protection. And speaking of protection, most credit card offers include some type of return protection. For instance, your retailer may offer a thirty day return policy, but your credit card may cover you for another thirty days or sometimes even sixty days or more.
As you can see, this is one reason you should carefully review your terms and conditions before you apply for a credit card as well as throughout the course of your account. The terms and conditions change and evolve over time, and as you can see, for the most part, those changes benefits the consumer. The best way to know whether you’re protected is to stay current on your rights and responsibilities.
A Final Note on Terms and Conditions
It’s not uncommon for card holders to learn about changes to their accounts until after it’s affected them in some way. Often, stories of rate hikes that were “unannounced” surface, only to learn the changes were announced in an updated terms and conditions that companies are required to provide to consumers.
If you’re not current, every time you use your credit card, you’re taking a risk of an unwanted surprise via next month’s statement. That said, anytime something just doesn’t look right or if you have a problem with any changes to your account, contact your card company right away. Their goal is to keep their customers satisfied.