August 11, 2022

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

Do you have credit card perks you don’t know about? Getty Images Most of us…

5 credit card perks to consider (one saved this pro 9 on an Apple Watch fix)

Do you have credit card perks you don’t know about?


Getty Images

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, reimbursement or repair for certain stolen or damaged goods up to a certain amount of money and for a specified duration 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 couple of years ago,” says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

In fact, sometimes Rossman says it even makes sense to pay with a card that offers superior buyer protections and lesser rewards. “I only earned 1% cash back on my Apple Watch purchase, and I could’ve gotten 2% on a different card, but that didn’t have purchase protection so leaving extra rewards on the table made me eligible for the repair coverage which ended up saving me $299,” says Rossman.

Cell phone protection

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

TSA Precheck/CLEAR Reimbursements and other travel perks

If you love to travel, but don’t love the hassle of airports, some credit cards offer credits towards TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and CLEAR. The TSA PreCheck program offers expedited security screening and shorter lines; Global Entry offers airline passengers expedited clearance upon arrival in the United States; and CLEAR quickly identifies travelers at touch-less kiosks using biometrics so you can quickly move through security. Money saving expert Andrea Woroch calls out 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 TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees as long as you pay with that card. 

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

Price drop protection

There’s nothing like buyer’s remorse when you purchase something one day and the next day it’s been marked down significantly. With price protection, cardholders receive a refund if an item bought with the credit card that has the perk drops in a specified period which typically ranges from 30 to 90 days. Capital One even offers this feature for some flights that are booked through the issuer’s travel portal.

Trip protection and no foreign transaction fees

Many credit card issuers offer trip protection, which is essentially travel insurance, which covers costs that might come with flight delays, trip cancellation or interruption and lost, damaged or stolen luggage.

To find out what perks and special rewards your credit card offers, check your credit card’s website, call customer service or read the fine print that accompanies your card. There are also websites like CompareCards and CreditKarma that compare credit cards and these perks.