Many of us have probably overlooked the fine print at sometime or another, whether its in regards to a return policy or even something more serious like our car insurance policy. You should consider paying close attention to that find print when it comes to your credit card and the additional services most cards offer. The reason is because many of our credit card companies offer us protections and if don’t know about it we might just be missing out.
The fine print in cardholder agreements often includes a number of protections so taking a minute to understand them could help you decide when to use credit instead of cash or debit. If you can’t locate a copy of your cardholder agreement or find the language doesn’t make a bit of sense, call customer service to ask about the benefits that interest you or check their website. Here are five protections your credit card might offer you:
- Extended Warranty
Its common when purchasing items like electronics you will be asked if you would like to buy an extended warranty. It often sounds like a good idea, especially if you are making a big purchase. You might not realize this, but many credit cards offer extended warranties on purchases made with the card. Card companies often extend coverage on purchases for up to one year depending on the terms of the original warranty. For example, American Express gives an extra 90 days of coverage on a 90-day warranty. In general, the cardholder to their card company. Some banks let gift recipients make claims as long as they have all the necessary documentation, such as the store receipt, a copy of the appropriate credit card statement and the original warranty. One thing to consider is the extended warranty the store provides might be more comprehensive or last longer than the one offered by your card issuer.
- Price Protection
The price protection feature could definitely come in handy this holiday season. In the event you make a purchase just to see a few days later that same item has been reduced in price, your cards price protection could help you get a price adjustment. Most stores have a price adjustment policy and if for some reason they won’t credit you back the difference, your credit card company might. The Chase SapphireSM card allows cardmembers to get the difference back for up to 90 days. If you know anything about price adjustment policies then you will know 90 days is far more than most retailers allow. That’s far more than most retailers allow. In addition to the original receipt, however, you’ll need proof of the lower price, such as a sales circular or printed advertisement.
- Purchase Protection
Purchase protection is for an item you purchases that breaks or is even stolen. Usually the purchase protection is in place for a couple months after you make your purchase. Depending on what takes place with the item, your card company will either replace the item, pay for the repairs, or credit you back for the purchase. Don’t be surprised if there is a cap on the amount the card company will reimburse you for because most likely there is. If the item is stolen you are probably going to need a police report for documentation. Keep in mind, if the item is stolen and it can be covered by your homeowners insurance or your car insurance, then the card company might require you to use that coverage first.
- Return Protection
If you want to make a return for a purchase you make and the return deadline has passed, your card issuer still might allow you some extra time for the return. Many card issuers will returns for 90 days after purchase as long as the item is still in new condition. Again, there are generally caps on the value the card company will accept. For example, American Express refunds up to $300 per purchase and cardholders are capped to $1,000 a year. The cardmember usually has to ship the item to the card issuer, which then sells it online or elsewhere through a third party. Refunds are generally credited to the account within two weeks or less if all the information is provided.
- Car Rental Insurance
A common protection offered by many card companies is rental car insurance. This could have you covered in the even your in an accident. Renting a car is already expensive enough, so calling your card company to see if they offer this protection could save you some money. Here is something to look for, the insurance provided by a card issuer may not be as comprehensive. The insurance may cover against collision or theft, but not accident liability if you’re sued. Double check the coverage type and maybe in the process you can save yourself some money.