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Three Credit Card Benefits You’re Paying For

I wrote about three credit card benefits you’re paying for but not using for GoBankingRates and BusinessInsider. Whether you pay interest on your carried credit card balances or whether you’re just subject to the natural increased cost of products due to retailers’ card processing fees, you’re paying for the cost of benefits that card issuers provide to their users. It’s not just cash back — benefits include extended warranties, purchase protection, and price protection. If you’ve never used these “free” features, you’re not taking full advantage of what you’re paying for.

  • Extended warranties, if your card offers this feature, can extend the manufacturer’s warranty, usually up to one extra year. While retailers often try to sell you extended warranties on products at the point of sale, the option from your credit card issuer is often “free” and automatic.
  • If your card offers purchase protection, you don’t have to worry about accidental damage for a period of time after the purchase. Even if you drop the item, the credit card might be able to replace it.
  • Purchase price protection will help you receive from the issuer a refund if a product you buy is advertised in print at a lower cost than the price you paid.

There are some caveats to the coverage, and not every card offers the same features. Read the article for more information.

Here are a few recent articles worth mentioning.

Donna Freedman has a new column at MSN: Frugal Cool. In the regular column, Donna will be extolling the benefits of living within a frugal lifestyle.

Sustainable Personal Finance hosted the 349th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. The edition included the shizennougyou Bank Switch Kit and Checklist as an editor’s pick. The Carnival includes a summary of many well-written personal finance articles from the past couple of weeks.

Don’t use your credit card in these four places. Free From Broke explains the riskiest situations for providing your credit card number. Identity theft and fraud are serious issues to consider, and providing someone your credit card number without some thought to your privacy could put you at risk.

Published or updated February 25, 2012.

About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of shizennougyou. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Ceecee

I just found another benefit in my credit card literature. If I buy something with the card and want to return it, but the store refuses returns, my credit card co will accept it and give me the money back. I thought that was pretty cool. I almost had to use this feature last month.

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avatar 2 Luke Landes

Ceecee, I’ve never heard of that before. That would certainly come in handy. I know I’ve tried to return unopened items before and have had stores refuse the return.

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I know that Amex gold and higher (not sure about lower cards) have this. I believe it covers up to $1000 per item; I don’t know if there is an annual or lifetime item or dollar limit. They will also help you out if you call them and explain the situation. I had an expensive laptop (near $2K) that a vendor would not accept a return on. So I called Amex, and the lady was very helpful and informed me that worst case I could use the up to $1000 protection and at least get some money back. Even better, she put in some kind of complaint and Amex dealt directly with the vendor and forced them to let me return for a full refund. Amex also immediately credited my account the full amount while they dealt with the vendor. This kind of service is rare any more and is why I’m a loyal Amex customer.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

A lot of the time your credit card with fight disputes over warranties, breakages, replacements etc for you so you don’t have to.
Nice tip about extending warranties, I’ll have to look into my card info!
Thank you

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Read the terms and conditions of warranty coverage by VISA very carefully – I tried to “register” several purchases (such as a refrigerator and washer/dryer) — all were excluded from coverage because they were “attached” to the home … by that definition anything electrical cannot be covered.

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I was pleasantly surprised when my credit card covered a lost pair of prescription glasses that were only 2 weeks old. My son left them at a hotel while on a school trip, I called the credit card company and explained the situation, they sent me a check for the full amount. Pretty nice benefit, $260 is nothing to sneeze at!

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avatar 7 qixx

I had one of my cards just add these features in the last month provided you opt-in. Free to opt-in but one way to limit the costs of managing the features i guess. They only added the first two features. I’ll have to look and see if any of my other cards have these features.

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