Some Credit Card Benefits Can Save You Money
Credit card companies are in the doghouse with many consumers and legislators these days because of some unfair and deceptive practices. However, some credit cards may still offer a few valuable perks for users, according to a Consumer Reports article. Here's what to look for in new and existing credit card contracts.
Credit Card and Debit Purchases
It's important to read the fine print of all credit card terms to see what benefits you may be entitled to receive. You should have received the credit card terms and conditions when you signed up for a card. However, most credit companies also post that information on their Web sites. Not all credit cards are the same so make sure you read through the terms of all your cards.
You've probably made a purchase at some time and been offered an extended warranty, but it often pays not to buy extended warranties. That's because some credit card purchases are automatically given extended warranty protection. Some cards double manufacturer warranties up to an extra year if you spend up to $10,000 on a purchase.
Damaged and Stolen Products
Other goodies to look for in your credit card contract include purchase protection for damaged, stolen, or lost products. If you buy a defective product with your credit card, you may be able to get it repaired or replaced if you don't get a refund. Generally you still need your own insurance, so the coverage provided by credit card companies will probably be secondary.
In some cases if a retailer won't let you return an item, your credit card company may give you a refund. Most card issuers that offer this benefit cap the amount of each refund and have a $1,000 annual limit.
Getting the Best Bargain
Being a savvy shopper means hunting for the best prices when making purchases. Despite comparison shopping, sometimes items go on sale after you've purchased them, or another retailer offers them for lower prices. If that occurs, some credit card companies may reimburse you for the difference in price within 60 days of purchase. You need to have proof of the lower price, such as a printed advertisement. Many credit card companies won't cover purchases made on the Internet.
Be smart about credit card use. If you carry a balance you're likely paying a lot of interest and some fees. Make sure you know exactly what your card has to offer so you can get your money's worth.