4 Credit Card Tips to Help You Use Them Wisely

By Sara

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Last Updated: January 23, 2023

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You probably aren't using your credit cards to their maximum potential.

Using a credit card to purchase something and get cash back is just the icing on the cake when it comes to credit card perks.

Every credit card has different perks, from rental car insurance, travel insurance, and even theft protection.

Of course, you'll need to do some research to see if your card has any of these perks, but here are four of the top credit card tips to help you use yours more wisely. 

 

 

4 Credit Card Tips to Help You Use Them Wisely

1. Rental car insurance.

When you get a car rental for a work or personal trip, you usually have to get some type of insurance to cover you from damages or thefts. This can be an added cost to a car rental.

Some credit cards offer free rental car insurance if you pay for the rental car with that credit card. The coverage you get can be added insurance or replace the insurance that the rental car company offers. 

If your credit card provides free rental car insurance, make sure to use the credit card for the rental. Then, decline the rental car company's insurance. You don't want to pay for the rental car company insurance because this isn't the one that your credit card will cover.

They have their own rental car insurance that will be used if you get into an accident or the rental car gets stolen. 

Make sure to read the terms and conditions of your credit card's rental car insurance. You will want to know the level of coverage that is provided and if there are any restrictions.

For example, some cards offer basic damage and theft insurance, while other cards also cover liability. Some cards don't allow free car rental insurance on luxury or exotic cars. 

 

2. Travel insurance.

When you've taken time off of work and saved up all year for a dream vacation, you want to make sure that you've protected yourself from anything that could happen. Travel insurance is a great protection if, for some reason, you cannot attend your vacation. In addition, you won't lose money on your trip. Travel insurance is an extra cost that not everyone can afford, but if you use the right credit card, this can be provided to you for free. 

When you book a hotel or flight, pay for checked luggage, or anything related to your vacation, make sure you use whatever credit card will give you travel insurance. For example, credit cards can cover trip cancellations, trip interruptions, baggage loss, and emergency medical coverage. 

Make sure to read the terms and conditions of your credit card. Every card will offer different levels of coverage and different requirements to activate that coverage. For example, certain cards may offer travel insurance on hotels but not on cruises or flights, so always read the fine print. 

 

Purchase protection

If you've recently bought something, you may have a type of purchase protection on that item. For example, certain credit cards offer purchase protections on all of your purchases or eligible items. This will give you peace of mind that if you buy something expensive, you can get credit for that item if they are lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed. 

Certain credit cards will offer different levels of purchase protection, so read the terms and conditions. You may only get theft and accidental damages on one card, while another card may cover loss or destruction. Depending on what you need, decide what card is the best. You also need to note any items that the card's purchase protection will not cover. Some cards do not allow electronics or jewelry to be covered. 

 

Extended warranties

Warranties on expensive electronics and appliances can seem like a good financial decision, but many times they are unused. If you want to save money and still have an extended warranty, see if your credit card will give this to you for free. Certain credit cards will give you a free warranty on certain types of products. 

To get this extended warranty, read your credit card's terms and conditions. Then, use that credit card for the purchase of that item. You may get the warranty without any action, or you may have to provide proof of purchase. Certain cards may allow all items with an extended warranty option to be covered, while others only cover appliances or electronics. 

 

Final Thoughts 

If you're planning on making a large purchase, look into your credit cards to see if you can get any added bonus on that purchase. These are the four most popular insurance, warranties, and protections credit cards offer, but there are even more benefits. You can find out if your credit card offers any of these benefits online or by calling them. Always read the fine print because certain purchases may be excluded or only certain types of coverage are provided.

Photo by Ivan Samkov

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