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What are credit card benefits and how to use them

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    When you think of credit card benefits, rewards and travel perks usually come to mind. But there are plenty of other advantages cards offer as well, from theft and damage to fraud protection.

    So, when you shop for a credit card, think about what kind of benefits you would most value and fit your lifestyle:

    What are credit card benefits?

    Here are some not-so-obvious benefits you can look out for:

    Travel insurance 

    Besides points for flights and hotels, many travel cards also offer travel insurance for flight cancellations, rental car collision/damage coverage and help abroad for emergency care. Be sure to check your credit card benefits to find out what insurance coverage comes with your card and the terms, conditions, limitations and claim filing instructions.

    Travel upgrades

    Some travel credit cards also offer hotel room and flight upgrades, complimentary in-flight meals and hotel breakfasts, as well as free checked bags and yearly travel credit. In order to take advantage of travel upgrades, keep an eye out for loyalty programs you can participate in and look for opportunities to use reward points, miles or cash back points for upgrades.

    Theft and damage

    Some credit cards offer certain purchase protection in the event of theft and damage. For example, if you purchased a laptop but don't have insurance through the retailer, and that laptop gets damaged beyond repair, you might be able to file a claim and receive some reimbursement. Contact your credit card company to learn more about eligibility requirements and information on how to file a claim.

    Fraud protection

    Some cards offer fraud protection, enabling you to dispute or report unauthorized purchases. Contact your bank or credit card company to find out more about the fraud protection features available to you and what you should know when reporting suspicious and/or unauthorized activity.

    Which credit card is best for me?

    When signing up for a credit card, be sure to look over the credit card's benefit offerings to learn about the perks and features available to you. With the many variations out there, you can choose the card that is made for your lifestyle.

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