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Many people think of credit cards as the ultimate convenience item. Others use credit cards because of rewards, or to allow them to pay for items over time. What most people don’t consider when they use their credit card is the protection they’re given on purchases and fraud. Here’s a quick look at some of the top benefits you can get from using your credit card to make purchases.
Credit cards offer great fraud protection, which can be great if an identity theft gets a hold your personal information or credit card information. If your credit card is used to make fraudulent charges you’ll be able to have the charges refunded almost automatically.
Here’s another credit card benefit few people take advantage of: price protection. If you purchase an item that goes on sale shortly afterward there are some credit cards that actually offer you price protection, allowing you to receive a refund for the price difference. Usually you’ll provide proof of the new price to your credit card company for an item you purchased with your credit card to receive the refund. If this interests you, look at Chase and Citi credit cards, the two biggest providers of price protection.
Never waste money on extended warranties when you buy with your credit card! When you purchase an item such as a television or camera with your credit card you can usually decline the extended warranty because most credit card companies give you a one-year warranty extension for free. World Visa and American Express in particular offer extended warranties, although this is a common service in the credit card industry.
Have you ever tried to return something without a receipt? Most likely your request wasn’t honored because you couldn’t prove you purchased the item at the store. If you make a purchase with a credit card, on the other hand, you merely have to show the merchant your statement to provide documented proof of the purchase. This makes refunds and returns easy and stress-free!
Online shopping made worry-free
Online shopping is more popular than ever but it’s not without it’s problems. When you purchase goods online you have no way to test or inspect them before buying. If you end up with a broken or defective item from a store that doesn’t offer refunds you’re often out of luck–unless you made the purchase with your credit card. If you report the defective product to your credit card company within 30 days you’ll usually be reimbursed the full cost of the transaction.
Credit card companies also frequently offer protection and insurance on items you purchase with your credit card, protecting you if the item is stolen or damaged. These insurance plans often give you tens of thousands of dollars in protection, keeping you covered. While regular credit cards may offer a good amount of insurance, for the best coverage you should stick with a Gold or Platinum card. As long as you can provide proof of your purchase and proof of the damage or theft you’re usually good, although dates and witness statements are often recommended.
Reservation guarantees, rental car insurance, and misc travel benefits
Travel credit cards also offer a wide range of travel benefits to cardholders, including guaranteeing your reservations for hotel bookings and airplane tickets. You can also get free rental car insurance, luggage insurance and roadside assistance, among other benefits.
Always read the terms and conditions of your credit card accounts to make sure you understand and utilize all of the benefits your credit card offers you. Take advantage of all the benefits and you’ll see why having a credit card can be a great thing!