Paying for everyday purchases has become super easy 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. All you need to do is hover over the point of sale device or scan your screen, which is convenient.
But being able to pay from a distance is not even the best part, particularly when it comes to credit cards. Whether you carry it around in your back pocket or load it on 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 card and miss out on these savings.
Here are five unique ways you can use your credit card better.
1. Price protection
Price protection is a valuable perk. Often, cardholders can claim a reimbursement when the price of an item they purchased goes on sale 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 Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card buy a new eligible item in Canada and the price drops within 60 days, the Price Protection Service can pay the difference up to $100 per item, up to $500 in claims annually.
The KOHO Premium card provides users with Price Match, a similar feature. Cardholders send KOHO their receipts for recent purchases and they’ll do 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 on your transaction history are eligible for this benefit.
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 are now featuring mobile device insurance, which may also include your tablet.
If you charge the full price of a new cell phone, 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 bill payments to the card.
Similarly, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card offers $1,000 in mobile device insurance.
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. These costs can add up.
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, no foreign transaction fees, free emergency roadside assistance up to four times a year (in North America), and 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, generally of lesser value.
Top credit cards, like the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*, provide extensive travel insurance coverage:
- Out of province/country emergency medical
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption/trip delay
- Flight delay
- Baggage and personal effects benefits
- Common carrier accident insurance
- Car rental benefits
- Trip assistance
Whether your bag is lost at the airport or you suffer a medical emergency, your credit card may have your back. Typically, the full cost of your trip or a specific percentage of the expenses must be charged to the card.
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 premiums. Some credit cards have roadside assistance as an optional add-on feature, while others include it in the perks.
Sometimes, the 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.
Having a roadside assistance package on your credit card can save you roughly $79 a year.
Take advantage of all the credit card perks
While the above benefits can save substantial chunks of money, smaller credit card perks can be just as useful.
For example, the Tangerine World Mastercard® sports Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®*, keeping cardmembers connected with access to over 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-over-year and trip-over-trip. The more unique benefits may have your back in select situations, but they can save you money when you need them.
This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this article are purely my own. The product information was accurate as of the date of this posting, October 20, 2020.