Credit cards — we all have them. And unless we’re not in deep credit card debt or have a sky-high interest rate, for the most part, we all like them. After all, they present a convenient way to pay for both brick-and-mortar and online purchased items, it’s generally much easier to fight fraudulent charges made using a credit card as opposed to a debit card, and there’s also several fringe benefits attached to credit cards too. For instance, American Express cardholders are usually privy to certain concert tickets before they go on regular sale to the public. And almost every credit card has some sort of a rewards program or cash back incentive tied to its use.
Fringe benefits are great, but the truth is that there are many more perks that you may not be taking advantage of. That is, if you even know about them in the first place. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the credit card perks that you probably don’t know about, but definitely should:
Cell phone protection: Cracked cell phone screen? Don’t go running out to the repair shop or Apple store just yet, as there’s a chance that you may be privy to some sort of cell phone insurance — if you regularly pay your phone bill with your credit card that is. Often times, this insurance can be significant enough to cover the full cost of repair or even the replacement of the phone. Some might have a deductible that you have to pay first. Whatever the case, if your screen cracks or your phone breaks, it might be worth investigating whether or not you’re eligible for any coverage first before you order a replacement.
Retail discounts: Bonus points on certain purchases or item categories is one thing. But many card companies also have relationships with retailers where you can log in through a special link via the credit card company website and, so long as you’re using its credit card, be eligible for cash back bonuses or discounts on purchases made. If you’re curious about whether or not your credit card offers such benefits, log in to your rewards account and check things out for yourself.
Event access: We told you in the opening how carrying an American Express card can get you access to certain concert tickets before they go on sale to the general public, and other types of cards might be able to land you discounts or access to fine dining experiences or sporting events. MasterCard, for example, can help cardholders score discounted tickets to certain off-Broadway productions, while other cards have a partnership with OpenTable and other dining apps.
Late fee forgiveness: It’s never ideal to miss a credit card payment date, as it can negatively impact your credit score and cost you some money in late fees. But the good news is that most credit cards offer late fee forgiveness. With some cards, they’ll cover your first missed payment. Other cards, however, will cover late payment fees indefinitely. The bottom line is that you still want to avoid late payments for credit score reasons, but sometimes it’s nice to know that you’re covered if you accidentally miss one.
Free admission: If you’re a Bank of America credit card holder, you may be missing out on a benefit that you don’t even know about. That’s because Bank of America has a partnership with Museums on Us, which offers its cardholders free access to select museums on the first full weekend of every month. All you need to do is show your card at the ticket office to gain admission.
Incentives for good grades: Discover credit cards might not be the best credit card for college students, but they do come with some nice perks for those who maintain a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Specifically, for students that achieve the mark, Discover will award a $20 statement credit each school year for up to five straight years. Twenty bucks might not seem like a lot, but consider that college students likely have lower maximum limits, so something like this could go a long way.