Credit card rewards are great, but getting those rewards requires a bit of research. You have to take time to compare rewards programs by reviewing annual fees, interest rates, and terms. You also have to decide which rewards (such as cash back, points, or airline miles) best fit your needs. However, there are some little-known rewards that are already built in to your credit card. You don’t have to sign up for a fancy program or know any special insider information in order to game the system. These rewards are given to you automatically, simply because you’re a cardholder. Here are five perks you may not have been aware of.
1. Return protection
If you bought an item and then later became consumed with buyer’s remorse, your credit card may have you covered. Generally, you can return an item to the store as long it remains in its original packaging and you have a receipt. However, if the item you purchased was discontinued or you happened to buy a final-sale item, you may not be able to return it. Luckily, return protection is here to save the day. With return protection, the credit card issuer may refund all or part of your purchase if the merchant won’t take your item back. Not all credit cards have return protection, so you’ll have to check with your issuer to see if you have this benefit. Some issuers that offer return protection are American Express, Citi, and Discover.
2. Purchase protection
If an item you purchased is damaged or stolen within a certain time frame (usually 90 days), you may be eligible to get a full or partial refund through your credit card issuer. Discover, for example, offers its customers coverage of up to $500 per purchase if an item is damaged or stolen within 90 days of the purchase.
3. Price protection
You’re likely familiar with that sinking feeling you get when you purchase an item and then see the same item for a much lower price at another store two days later. If you used your credit card to make the purchase, price protection is your best friend. If you’re lucky enough to have a credit card with this feature, you’ll be able to contact your issuer and ask them to refund the difference between the purchase price and the discounted price.
4. Rental car insurance
This coverage will definitely come in handy during the summer travel season. Before you spend the extra cash for collision insurance, check to see if your card offers this coverage. Know that if you plan on a long-term or international car rental, your card may not cover you. Also be aware that certain vehicles, such as pickup trucks and motorcycles, may also be excluded from coverage. Make sure to contact your credit card issuer so that you can learn more about any additional exclusions.
5. Trip cancellation coverage
Another perk that could be a lifesaver while you’re on vacation is trip cancellation coverage. With this benefit, you can receive reimbursement for a non-refundable flight if an emergency (such as death, accidental injury, or illness) prevents you from traveling. Contact your issuer for details.
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