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Top credit card benefits you don’t know you have


We recently saved $2,500 when I remembered a little-known feature of many credit cards. A quick call and my thought was confirmed. All of us have benefits we aren’t using because they are often buried in the fine print.

Here are a few common ones:

 Travel insurance. Your card may cover a trip delay or cancellation, or lost or delayed luggage.

 Rental car insurance coverage. Technically not insurance, but some cards cover you for damage due to collision or theft.

 Purchase protection. One woman bought an Apple watch, then dropped it two days later. Her credit card covered it.

 Jan Schroder, The 100 Companies

We were watching TV one night and our TV just went black. No amount of button pushing, cursing or adjusting brought it back to life. We declared it dead and thought about whom to call. Who repairs TVs these days? Usually you buy a new one before your old one dies, right?

Three calls and two repair visits later, we were told we needed to spend $2,500 for a part. (Yes, this was a big TV. Apparently my husband subscribes to the rule that your TV needs to fit the entire space, and for the wall above our fireplace, that turned out to be 75”.)

Now, this TV was not even two years old. I remembered exactly when we got it because it’s when our house was struck by lightning. By now you may be thinking our home may be under a bit of a curse. I’ve had the same thought and may need to investigate hiring a house exorcist. Or at least burning some sage and running around every room. But the possibility of setting my house on fire seems too great given our history. And I could just picture making that call to the insurance company.

Being reimbursed for delayed or lost luggage is a benefit some credit card companies offer.

As we were close to despair I remembered that many credit cards have extended warranties that go beyond what the manufacturer offers you. You don’t have to do anything to activate it – it’s automatic at the time of purchase.

My husband called American Express and we found out they do double the warranty, so for us that extended our TV warranty from one year to two. He sent American Express the receipt, a proposal from the repair company and a form they asked him to fill out. Within a few weeks there was a $2,500 credit on that American Express. Even better, he was able to find a better TV for around $1,700, so we actually came out ahead.

One other benefit many credit card companies offer is price protection. If you buy an item with your card and the price drops within a certain amount of time – usually within 30-90 days – then you can get a refund. It’s hardly worth it for a bag of Kit Kats at Target, but if you’re buying a big-ticket item, it can pay to keep the receipt and keep your eye on advertised sale prices.

If you’re traveling, renting a car or buying a big item, check out the fine print. It can really pay off.

– Jan Schroder, The 100 Companies

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The North Carolina 100