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5 Simple Ways to Use Your Credit Card Better

Aug. 31, 2021
5 mins
A customer uses their smartphone to pay with their mobile wallet

Paying for everyday purchases has become effortless with the use of plastic cards — debit, credit, gift card, you name it — especially since the invention of contactless payments like tap and mobile wallets.

But paying from a distance isn’t even the best part, particularly when it comes to credit cards. Whether you carry it around in your back pocket or load it onto a device, your credit card may offer impressive perks that can save you money and safeguard your purchases. However, many people overlook the added benefits of their cards and miss these savings.

Here are five unique ways you can use your credit card better.

1. Price protection

Price protection is a valuable perk. Suppose an item goes on sale a week after you bought it. In that case, the price protection service on your credit card may reimburse you the difference if you claim it within a specific number of days. Typically, the rebate is capped per purchase, up to a total value per year.

For example, when cardholders of the MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® buy a new eligible item in Canada and the price drops within 60 days, the price protection service can pay the difference up to $500 per item, up to $1,000 in claims annually.

The KOHO Premium card provides users with Price Match, a similar feature. Cardholders send KOHO their receipts for recent purchases and KOHO does the work. If the item goes on sale or is cheaper through another retailer, the difference is credited to the account. Only items with the magnifying glass icon within the transaction history are eligible for this benefit, as KOHO works with the store’s matching policy (usually 14, 30, or 60 days).

That means your credit card can save you money and stop you from being peeved at your full-price purchases.

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2. Mobile device insurance

Quickly swiping through your smartphone, you realize two things — how much information you are storing and how often you use it to stay connected. On a personal level, your device is probably worth more to you than a dollar figure; however, since phones are so expensive, having insurance coverage can help, too.

Some credit cards now feature mobile device insurance.

For example, if you charge the full price of a new smartphone or tablet to the Tangerine World Mastercard®, it may cover up to $1,000 if your mobile device is lost, stolen, damaged, or has a mechanical failure. Devices on a payment plan may also be eligible when you charge all the monthly bill payments to the card.

3. No foreign transaction fees

Taking a trip over the border or abroad usually calls for a stop at the bank or foreign currency exchange to grab spending money. Credit cards typically charge a foreign transaction fee of 1.5% to 3% of purchases made in a foreign currency. That is on top of the regular exchange rate.

However, some credit cards charge 0% foreign transaction fees, which can keep more money in your wallet.

The Home Trust Preferred Visa* has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Plus, it rewards cardholders with 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.

4. Travel insurance

Most rewards credit cards with an annual fee offer some travel insurance coverage. Cards without an annual fee may also include insurance, though generally of lesser value.

Top credit cards, like the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*, provide extensive travel insurance coverage, including:

  • Purchase protection - 90 days
  • Extended warranty - 1 year
  • Travel accident - $500,000
  • Emergency medical - 15 days
  • Trip cancellation - $2,500
  • Trip interruption - $2,000
  • Flight delay - $500
  • Baggage delay - $200
  • Lost or stolen baggage - $750
  • Hotel burglary - $750
  • Personal effects - $750
  • Rental car theft
  • Rental car accident - $200,000
  • Rental car personal effects - $1,000

Whether your bag gets lost at the airport or you suffer a medical emergency while vacationing, your credit card can have your back. Typically, the full cost of your trip or a specific percentage of the expenses must be charged to the card to be eligible for coverage. Read the insurance certificate that accompanies your credit card for more details.

5. Roadside assistance

Having roadside assistance can not only provide you with peace of mind on the road, but it can also lower your auto insurance premium. Some credit cards have roadside assistance as an optional add-on feature, while others include it in the perks.

Sometimes, roadside assistance kicks in if you pay for part of the services with your credit card. Read the full details of the coverage to ensure you understand what is included.

The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card provides cardholders with a free Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership for 24/7 roadside assistance — saving cardholders $79 a year.

Take advantage of all the credit card perks

While the above benefits offer substantial savings, more minor credit card perks can be just as valuable.

For example, the Tangerine World Mastercard® sports Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®*, keeping cardmembers connected with access to more than a million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide. This key feature can help you connect your devices while travelling or avoid having to be a paying customer in a café to join the internet quickly.

Understanding the perks and benefits included on your credit card can save you money year after year and trip after trip. You may seldom use the more unique perks, but they can save you money when you need them.

Rates, product information and reward estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. This post was not sponsored. RATESDOTCA may receive a referral fee from our partners or affiliate links featured on the site; however, our editorial choices are objective and free from bias. The opinions expressed in this article are purely those of RATESDOTCA; thus, the credit card issuers and partners are not responsible for any editorials or reviews that may appear. Please visit the associated website for complete and current terms and conditions on any product or service mentioned. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of this posting, August 31, 2021. Read our full disclaimer.

Hayley Osmond

Hayley Osmond is an editor and writer in the personal finance space, where she uses her eight years of media and marketing experience to bring content to life. She specializes in money products, including mortgages, home and auto insurance, and credit cards. Hayley holds a Broadcast Journalism diploma from Sheridan College and was awarded the Shaw Media Journalism and Media Award for graduating at the top of her class. Her work has appeared in Global News and diverse digital corporate training materials behind the scenes.

Hayley is passionate about making complex subjects, such as home buying and financial literacy, concise and intriguing. Her work has garnered media coverage from The Globe and Mail, blogTO, Yahoo! News, and CityNews 680 and has been syndicated across other publications.

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