Credit cards come with a cornucopia of rewards and benefits that reward shoppers with every purchase. These rewards can make all the difference between a simple credit line and a perk-laden cashback card. And because these cards have themselves become a type of capital—providing a range of remunerations in the form of cash rewards as well as airline miles—most consumers shop for cards solely based on these characteristics. If you are one of those people, you are missing out on some of the best potential rewards being offered.
But, it turns out there are several cards on the market that pride themselves on providing users with rewards and benefits that fall outside of the standard monetary returns on purchases. Not only offering great cashback options, these cards give customers way more for their money. Here are some of the additional benefits some credit cards offer. Remember, to be eligible for these rewards you’ll want to read the fine print in your card agreement and use your card for all associated purchases.
Rental car insurance
It remains one of the most enigmatic fears of the open road: To get the rental car insurance, or not to get the rental car insurance? That is the question. Well, with this credit card, the answer is a firm, but polite, ‘No.’
While there are a number of different forms of protection a card can give you when renting a car, the Discover It card stands out for offering primary protection. What this means is, if you get into an accident on the road, this card will stand in for your insurance company. So you won’t have to file a claim for damage to the rental car and you won’t see your premium go up.
Many other cards offer this protection as well, including the Costco credit card from Citi (although coverage is secondary to your personal car insurance in the U.S. and primary internationally). And the Costco card goes even further with some of the travel perks it offers. You’ll also receive trip cancelation and interruption protection as well as travel accident insurance and travel emergency assistance.
There are a number of other card companies that offer similar coverages. Finding the best combination of these below-the-radar perks can make the difference between a good and a great credit card. It is certainly worth reviewing your current credit card companies’ policies to see if they offer this or similar coverage already.
Trip cancelation coverage
Another fretful calamity that has the power to destroy not only those precious memories and selfies, but also your bank account if you’re stuck footing the bill, is the cancelation of a booked trip—flight, hotel, and all. Fortunately, there are cards out there willing to take the financial blow if unforeseen events get in the way of your travel plans. The Costco card mentioned above has great trip cancelation coverage.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also offers great trip cancelation coverage. It covers the standard options like death in the family or severe illness, but it also takes thing a step further by providing insurance for trips canceled by bad weather. The Sapphire card provides up to $10,000 in coverage for flights, lodging and even tours/expeditions planned during your stay. On top of this, if you are stuck mid-trip for more than 12 hours, and have to find accommodations, Chase will cover up to $500 for meals and lodging per ticket during that time.
These rewards also come with the excellent cashback rewards that Chase offers, but note that is does require a yearly membership fee of $95 after the first year the card is open. Considering the coverage Sapphire provides, and the gracious cashback rewards included in the card, it may be worth the extra yearly cost.
While the other benefits listed in this article feature specific cards found to offer the best deal within the given reward category, the extended warranty benefit seems to be fairly ubiquitous across all major credit card companies.
American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover all offer extended warranties of at least one year on manufacturer’s warranties for most products aside from cars and computers. This means no more expensive store warranties.
According to the website NerdWallet, American Express stands out as the company with the best extended warranty offers, providing an additional year on warranties up to five years, and including replacement on products suffering from wear and tear.
The form of reimbursement differs between companies, but will fall within one of two categories: Statement credit or check in the mail. It is also important to note that these warranty bonuses are accepted only if customers can provide several important documents to show that they have a warranty and that they have replaced the damaged product. Typically, a store receipt, bank statement, and a copy of the warranty are needed in order to receive reimbursement, so be sure to hold on to your paperwork. But, what’s a little extra space in the filing cabinet compared to an expensive replacement purchase?
Zero foreign transaction fees
This is something that most folks don’t consider when choosing a credit card. But it’s important if you like to travel outside of the country. Those foreign transaction fees can add up quickly on a 10-day trip to Europe. Capital One is an issuer that has zero foreign transaction fees on any of their credit cards. The Chase Sapphire card we mentioned above also gets a check mark on that front.
While a credit card with great reward benefits is always a must have, it’s important to consider how else the card can be of value when making purchases. While the list provided here touches on a couple of rather valuable reward features, it wouldn’t hurt to check into what other credit cards can offer beyond the standard rewards package.
Some other interesting rewards we’ve seen offered are lost luggage reimbursement, lost wallet assistance, roadside assistance and airline fee credits. The key with opening a credit line is to find one that fits your spending. So consider your unique interests and buying habits when you are perusing a potential credit card in order to optimize your credit card perks.
Read more: Best ways to improve your credit score