From helping build your credit history to receiving cash back, and from extended warranties to fraud protection, the wide array of perks and benefits associated with a credit card makes it much more than just a payment method. Nowadays, there are credit cards for nearly everyone, so whatever your interests and goals are, there may be a credit card that can help you achieve them.
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How to Find the Best Benefits for You
If you have an established good credit history, you can afford to be picky and choose a card or cards that can help you achieve your goals. The best credit card benefits are the ones you’ll actively use and enjoy. Here are some of your options:
Love to travel? There are airline co-branded credit cards that allow you to collect miles from your preferred carrier. Or there are hotel co-branded credit cards that you can use for free stays at your favorite hotel brands. Another option is a travel rewards credit card that lets you earn rewards that you can then use to pay for any kind of travel.
Do you prefer cash back? Even better. You can earn cash back on everyday purchases, plus some cards offer additional quarterly category bonuses when you use the card during certain times of the year. Some credit cards run online shopping portals where you can get elevated bonuses just for shopping via the portal, and that cash back comes in addition to whatever you earn for using the card.
Suppose you buy something and it breaks the day after your Manufacturer Warranty ends. A credit card benefit called Extended Warranty could take care of that.
Here is another example. Your new smartphone screen gets smashed. Or the phone gets stolen. Regular warranties may not cover losses like this, but a credit card could if it comes with a benefit known as Purchase Protection.
Is there a chance you might damage your rental car? There is a credit card protection benefit for that, too, called Collision Damage Waiver.
These are just some of the best credit card protection benefits people may not even think about until they happen to need them. But when you do need them, they are yours just because you used plastic instead of cash — and they cost you absolutely nothing.
How to Use Credit Card Benefits
You may need to take an extra step to take full advantage of some of your card benefits. Here are a few examples:
- To get all your elevated cash back rewards, such as quarterly category bonuses, some credit cards ask you to activate them in your account. It’s often just one click, but without it you won’t get this great benefit.
- To leverage your credit card insurance benefits, such as Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection, or Collision Damage Waiver, you’ll need to file a claim. And in the case of Collision Damage Waiver, check on the program details for your credit card to ensure you are familiar with how to use the coverage.
- To use Price Protection, you need to contact your credit card Customer Service and point them to the lower price you have found — otherwise, they simply won’t know.
- To start a dispute on a fraudulent charge, you need to contact your credit card Customer Service and fill out the dispute form.
Every credit card is different, so to understand the benefits you’re getting, read the Cardholder Agreement that comes with your card, check program details on your card issuer’s website and don’t hesitate to call Customer Service if there is something you don’t understand.
Then be sure to enjoy the perks and rewards your card provides.
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