I’m no fan of credit card debt. It’s just about the easiest way to ruin your life, financially speaking. However I am an advocate of using credit cards when they can benefit you financially. Believe it or not there are several ways that using a credit card for purchases can actually save you money. It only works however if you don’t carry balances over from month to month – otherwise all that money you saved by using your card will have just gone right back to your credit card company in the form of interest payments.
As I mentioned when you use your card for certain purchases it can actually save you money by providing coverage such as warranty extensions and insurance free of charge. Let’s cover just a few of these savings. As a disclaimer you may want to verify that your credit card offers these benefits. With that being said I have noticed that they are pretty standard benefits.
Skip The Car Rental Insurance
When was the last time that you rented a car? Did you pay for the extra car rental insurance? This “protection” usually adds a decent amount of money to your bill. Did you know that your credit card offers the same protection just by using your card to reserve and pay for the car rental? This insurance usually covers around $50,000 worth of damages caused by collision and theft. So next time you rent a car say no to the rental company and just use your credit card.
Watch Out For Falling Prices
Let’s say that after careful consideration you’ve decided to buy yourself a brand new HDTV. You’ve shopped around and found the lowest price and decide to spring for said TV. You’ve heard, however, that there is a chance that prices could be dropping on these types of TV’s in the next several months. Should you wait? You could. Why not just charge it on your credit card though? By doing so they guarantee that if the price drops they’ll refund you the difference (as long as it’s within 60 days). Of course there are limitations such as a maximum refund amount (probably $250) and it does not apply to Internet purchases, etc.
Don’t Buy The Extended Warranty
Let’s say that you go ahead and buy that HDTV that we talked about just a second ago. As you’re checking out the cashier asks you if you’d like to buy an extended warranty on the TV. The damage? It’s going to cost you $90 to do it. While I feel that these warranties can be useful for certain purchases they are most often just too expensive to justify the extra warranty. But did you know that if you use your credit card to pay for it that they will often double the manufacturers warranty up to a maximum of 1 year? So you can still feel peace of mind and save money by turning down that extended warranty offer from the store.
Travel (Or Don’t) With Peace Of Mind
Have you ever tried to get a refund from an airline company because you are unable to take the trip that you’ve planned due to an illness, death, layoff or some other issue? If you have then you know how frustrating it can be trying to get your money back. The airlines will do anything they can to avoid giving you a refund. Next time you book your tickets make sure you do it with your credit card because if you do your credit card company will refund your money up to $1,500 dollars if you are unable to take the trip. They provide trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage at no extra charge.
How many of these perks were you aware of? There are still several more perks that credit card companies offer, which are usually pretty standard. However you may want to check with yours before you try to take advantage of any of the perks I’ve listed.
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