5 credit card perks to consider (one saved this pro $299 on an Apple Watch fix)

Do you have any credit card benefits you don’t know about?

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Most of us are familiar with traditional credit card rewards like points, airline miles and cash back, but there are actually a bunch of unexpected perks that most people don’t even realize exist. . We asked credit card experts to share their favorite overlooked rewards.

Purchase Protection

This benefit allows customers to file a claim with their credit card issuer to receive a replacement, refund, or repair for certain stolen or damaged goods up to a certain amount and for a set period of time (often 60-120 days ), depending on the credit card. “I’m a big fan of purchase protection, especially after it saved me $299 on an Apple Watch repair a few years ago,” says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards. .com.

In fact, Rossman sometimes says it even makes sense to pay with a card that offers greater buyer protections and lesser rewards. “I only earned 1% cash back on my Apple Watch purchase, and I could have gotten 2% on another card, but this had no purchase protection, so leaving extra rewards on the table made me eligible for repair coverage which saved me $299,” says Rossman.

Mobile phone protection

If you are at risk of damaging or losing your cell phone, choosing a card with cell phone protection can cover the cost of repair or replacement. Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree, explains that Wells Fargo credit cards, for example, offer up to $600 in damage and theft protection if you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your card. “It doesn’t cover lost phones and the protection is subject to a $25 deductible, but it’s still a great deal,” Schulz says.

TSA Precheck/CLEAR Refunds and other travel benefits

If you like to travel, but don’t like the hassle of airports, some credit cards offer credits for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR. The TSA PreCheck program offers expedited security screening and shorter lines; Global Entry offers air passengers expedited customs clearance upon arrival in the United States; and CLEAR quickly identifies travelers at contactless kiosks using biometrics so you can get through security quickly. Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch calls this perk, which she got on her Chase United Explorer card (but is also offered with other cards) which offers up to $100 reimbursement for application fees TSA Precheck or Global Entry as long as you pay with this card.

Also, and probably more familiar to readers, is that many airlines and travel reward credit cards also offer the benefit of travel credits. These can help offset the cost of an upcoming trip by giving cardholders annual statement credits when they use their card to purchase things like plane tickets, hotel stays, timeshares, car rentals, train tickets, car services, parking and more. With the rising prices of travel, such as airfare, this can be a useful perk for families looking to take a trip this summer.

Price drop protection

There’s nothing quite like buyer’s remorse when you buy something one day and the next day it’s been dramatically discounted. With price protection, cardholders receive a refund if an item purchased with the credit card that has the benefit falls within a specified time period which typically ranges from 30 to 90 days. Capital One even offers this feature for some flights booked through the issuer’s travel portal.

Travel protection and no foreign transaction fees

Many credit card issuers offer travel protection, which is basically travel insurance, which covers costs that may arise from flight delays, trip cancellations or interruptions, and lost, damaged or stolen luggage.

To find out about special benefits and rewards offered by your credit card, visit your credit card’s website, call customer service, or read the fine print that came with your card. There are also websites like CompareCards and CreditKarma that compare credit cards and these benefits.