How to Use the Often-Overlooked Benefits and Perks of Credit Cards

Rachel Morey
November 7, 2017
Other Credit Card Benefits

Aside from being able to put off paying for large purchases and the various conveniences credit cards offer, there are a few perks and benefits that come with charging your purchase as opposed to paying cash or using a debit card. Many credit card users don’t read the fine print, so they don’t understand how to use the benefits that come with owing a specific card.

Shopping online may seem like stepping into a minefield where hackers are ready to steal your money at every turn. The incidents of theft online are serious, and they don’t seem to be going away any time soon. Using a credit card for online shopping offers an extra layer of security.

One of the most common places that credit card theft occurs is at restaurants. The fact that you must let your card leave your sight makes it easy to steal the numbers and use them before the card holder notices the charges. It’s a good idea to charge meals at sit-down restaurants to a credit card to take advantage of fraud protection.

Unauthorized purchases made with a credit card are limited to $50 by the Fair Credit Billing Act. While credit card issuers’ policies vary, they typically cover all unauthorized charges unless the card holder doesn’t report or notice suspicious activity for two billing cycles. To get the benefit of a zero-liability policy, simply read credit card statements each month and report unauthorized charges to the credit card company immediately.

Debit card users may be liable for up to $500 in fraudulent charges if they don’t report the suspicious activity within two days.

When traveling, credit cards offer additional protection in the form of free insurance against damage to rental vehicles, cancelled or delayed trips, and lost baggage. Those extra perks can save a vacation from turning into a nightmare.

There’s a lot that goes into planning a vacation, and choosing a credit card with the best travel perks is a smart thing to add to the to-do list. Cards designed specifically for travel often include perks like access to airport lounges, no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credits, preferred boarding, and free checked bags.

When making a large purchase, it’s a good idea to use a credit card to take advantage of purchase protection policies that protect the consumer even after the store’s policy for replacement or repair of a broken or non-working item has expired.

Purchase protection with a credit card often extends three to four months and covers things that the store won’t like theft, loss, or damage. Paying cash or using a debit card when buying expensive electronics or big-ticket items means you won’t get the extra short-term insurance offered by credit cards.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time learning the intricate details of credit card perks to understand that in some instances, the fraud protection, insurance against theft and damage, and travel perks that come with a line of credit make this a highly desirable method of payment.

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