Do people even know that these exist?! Sometimes, I’m not so sure. But here they are, some of the most valuable (and unknown) credit card benefits I always make sure to use.
Aside from the extraordinary opportunities to travel for cheap/free, many many credit cards out there offer some incredible benefits that are seldom (if ever) used. I must assume that this is due to lack of awareness? Because otherwise, there is no logic sufficient enough to justify passing these life pro tips up.
*Please note: first and foremost (!), taking advantage of these are really only fun if you have your debt squared away (future blog post link here). Otherwise, please stop reading this article, walk away from your computer, cut up your credit cards and go start tackling that debt.
So here they are (in no particular order):
1 – Roadside Assistance
If you have this, ditch the AAA subscription! When my wife’s car broke down due to a cracked radiator, I simply called the back of my credit card that I knew had this benefit, and they sent a tow truck out right away. This was perhaps the fastest tow truck response time that I can recall – and the best part was, it’s for free! This typically also includes other services like tire changes, jump-starts, and other basic roadside services
2 – Trip Delay Reimbursement (Insurance)
Now I’ll hold a pig’s head in a briefcase for this one, because it’s a sweet deal. Some cards out there (typically those with annual fees) offer trip protection in the chance that weather, sickness, delayed flights, or another similar event interrupts, prohibits, or cuts short your trip/vacation. For example, my Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers up to $500 (per ticket) for reasonable lodging and meal reimbursements for flight delays over 12 hours (terms here).
3 – Price Protection
Have you every finally decided to go for it and get that item you have been mulling over forever, only for it to go on sale days after you purchase it?! Yeah, so this safeguards you against that. Typically, most cards that offer this benefit will reimburse you for the difference (your purchase amount – on sale amount) if your purchased item goes on sale within 30 days of your purchase date. This takes a little more vigilance to monitor, but can definitely be a game-changer for any purchase.
4 – Return Protection
Similar to #3, we’ve all been in those situations where we order the wrong size shirt, the incorrect light bulb, or the wrong Swiffer pads and, before you know it, the return window has passed and you are stuck with a useless item. (Come to think of it, I believe my wife has a brand new pair of jeans that have long since passed the return window.) Well worry no more! Credit cards such as the American Express Platinum card will reimburse you the full amount of the purchase price within 90 days of your purchase date if the associate merchant will no longer accept returns.
5 – Partner Discounts
This one is perhaps the most card-dependent (and thus variable) untapped benefit, but it typically has some pretty cool offerings. Credit cards are partnering with other companies ALL of the time, offering great deals to attract new cardholders. For example, my Capital One Quicksilver card offers 50% off of a Spotify Premium membership just for being a cardholder. Similar deals also include a multitude of online ‘Offers’ (like those of American Express) featuring promotions of “5 times the rewards points for every dollar spent at Marriott hotels” and similar.
Do you have any favorite card benefits that nobody knows about? Comment below and let me know!