Did you know that using your credit card when you travel can save you money? Not just with rewards. But little perks that save you from buying insurance add ons or other potential travel expenses.
Traveling is supposed to be fun, an adventure, a chance to escape your normal life if even just for a week or two. But there’s nothing fun about losing your luggage. And getting into an accident with your rental car? That’s not going to make too many post-vacation slide shows, either.
Fortunately, your credit card — even if you own a basic, no-frills card — can provide you with protection against these travel disasters.
You might not know it, but your credit card probably comes with such perks as free emergency roadside assistance and insurance that protects you should your airline lose that suitcase packed with all of your tropical shirts and flip-flops.
The next time you schedule a trip, whether in a foreign country or at home in the United States, make sure to read the fine print of your credit card agreement. You might be surprised at the perks that you never knew you had. And these perks might help make your trip a less stressful one.
Credit Card Perks for Travelers
In no particular order, here are our top five credit card perks that you need to be taking advantage of when traveling.
1. Car rental insurance
Here’s a secret: You probably don’t need to pay for any extra insurance from the car-rental agency. Instead, rely on the secondary insurance that most credit cards already provide you.
If you get into an accident with your rental car, you can tap into this insurance — offered free with most major credit cards — to pay for any damages.
2. Lost luggage insurance
It’s every traveler’s nightmare: The airline lost your luggage. Now you’re in Hawaii with only the jacket and sweat shirt that you wore when you left your home in Chicago.
Fortunately, many credit cards offer lost luggage insurance. By tapping into this, again free, service, you can ease the sting of lost or delayed luggage.
The better credit cards will reimburse you anywhere from $300 to $500 or more to help you cover the expense of buying an entirely new wardrobe once you arrive at your destination.
3. Roadside assistance
A growing number of credit cards provide you with free roadside emergency assistance when you travel. This, too, is a nice perk that too few cardholders even know they have.
If your rental car breaks down on an unfamiliar street late at night, there’s no need to go hunting for the phone number of the nearest towing company. Instead, call the customer-service number printed on the back of your credit card.
4. Trip cancellation insurance
Sometimes life gets in the way of a good vacation. That’s where trip cancellation insurance comes in.
With this insurance, offered by many credit cards, you can get reimbursed for any unexpected expenses that come up when you suddenly have to cancel a planned vacation.
Most times, you’ll receive a sum of cash to make up the difference between what a vendor refunds you after an emergency cancellation and what you originally paid to that vendor.
5. Airline incidental fee allowances
As airlines struggle to make money in this challenging economy, many are hitting travelers with an ever-growing number of new fees. Today, travelers have to pay extra for everything from in-flight peanuts to a pillow for their heads.
Many credit cards provide travelers with airline fee allowances. This usually comes in the form of $100 or so that travelers can spend on anything from checking bags to ordering headphones for the in-flight movie.
Want More Perks?
Why stop with these travel related perks. Check out this article to learn more about the great perks your credit card offers. And start taking advantage today.