It’s no secret that I’m a fan of chasing credit card rewards. But there are other ways to get extra bang for your buck by using your credit card. In addition to rewards, your card might also offer extra benefits. It’s not cash back or travel points, but other little perks that your card offers as incentive to use their card. Common benefits include rental car insurance, travel insurance, or extended warranties on purchases made with the card. I’ve made good use of a benefit offered by both my Citibank MasterCard and my American Express Card: pre-sale concert tickets. (It’s always helpful to have one of each of these cards if you are an avid music fan!). And another benefit that I had never even heard of until recently just made me change which card my cell phone is billed to. There are a couple of credit cards (including the Wells Fargo Visa I already happened to have) that offer cell phone insurance if you auto-pay your cell phone bill with that card.
I’ve never purchased cell phone insurance. I’m careful with my phone and keep it in a case, so I’ve never seen the need to protect it with insurance that will cost me a monthly fee to my cell phone provider each month. But if the insurance is free? I see no reason not to take advantage of that. Simply by switching the card I auto-bill to, I was able to pick up $600 worth of protection against damage or theft (but not loss), subject to a $25 deductible. Do I think I’ll ever need to take advantage of that? Probably not. But it doesn’t cost me anything and it does offer me a layer of protection I didn’t have before.
I’m not saying that you should go out and apply for a bunch of different credit cards in order to get these benefits (as a matter of fact…please don’t!). But if you already have some credit cards (and most people do), it’s a good idea to do a little research into what benefits those cards may offer. You may find that you have options you didn’t even know about.