credit card benefits http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12161/all en-US 4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000085038729.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most people understand that rewards credit cards offer points, miles, or cash back for their purchases. But credit cards often come with a whole package of purchase protection benefits as well. In fact, many cards now offer extensive coverage of new purchases against theft, damage, defects, and even price drops.</p> <p>Here are the purchase protection benefits that could save you big on your next purchase if you use your credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">The Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>Theft and Accidental Damage Coverage</h2> <p>This policy will protect your purchases in the event they are stolen or accidentally damaged. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review">Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card</a> offers $1,000 of coverage per item (up to $50,000 per year), for eligible items purchased with your card. If your item is damaged, theft and accidental damage coverage will pay for the cost to repair it. However, this coverage does not cover all purchases so it's important to check with your card issuer in advance. Terms and limitations apply.</p> <h2>Extended Warranty Coverage</h2> <p>Many credit cards offer an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranty policy</a> that adds one year to an existing manufacturer's warranty. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Capital One Venture card</a> comes with a policy that will add up to a year to any manufacturer's warranty that is up to three years long. This policy covers up to $10,000 of coverage per item and $50,000 per year, for eligible items purchased with your card. In fact, this policy can save you money even if your purchase never breaks, as you can rely on it to avoid purchasing a retailer's expensive extended warranty coverage typically offered at the time of sale. As with other purchase protection policies, there are restrictions and exclusions that you should review before making your purchase.</p> <h2>Price Protection</h2> <p>Don't you hate it when you realize that something you recently purchased is now available at a lower price? If you use the right credit card, you can receive the difference back when a covered item experiences a price drop. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Double Cash Card</a> from our partner Citi will refund the difference up to $300 per item on eligible items within 60 days of your purchase. The best part about Citi&rsquo;s Price Rewind program is they do the search for you and <em>automatically</em> apply the price difference. Other cards offer price protection too, but you have to submit a claim. Going out of business sales are excluded, and there are some excluded types of purchases that aren't eligible, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.</p> <h2>Return Protection</h2> <p>With a return protection policy, you can file a claim with your credit card issuer if a retailer fails to accept a return for any reason. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers">Discover it card</a> will protect your purchases against denied returns for up to $500 per eligible item. The protection is valid for 90 days after purchase and can save you from being stuck with an item you don't want or can't use simply because you didn't return it in time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-credit-card">How to Choose a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-credit-card-perks-checklist-benefits-you-dont-know-about">Ultimate Credit Card Perks Checklist: Benefits You Don&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money">7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card benefits Mon, 11 Apr 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Jason Steele 1669316 at http://www.wisebread.com Primer on VISA Signature Credit Cards: All the Benefits That Come with Your Card http://www.wisebread.com/primer-on-visa-signature-credit-cards-all-the-benefits-that-come-with-your-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/primer-on-visa-signature-credit-cards-all-the-benefits-that-come-with-your-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-couple-494372809-small.jpg" alt="credit card couple" title="credit card couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Different credit cards have different rewards and perks. However, did you know that <em>all</em> Visa Signature credit cards come with their own set of benefits? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>Visa allows credit card issuers to market their own card products under the Visa Signature brand. It doesn't matter where you get your credit card; if it is a Visa Signature card, it comes with more than 100 extra discounts, experiences, and upgrades. Not only that, but you can also suggest perks to the Visa Signature program. If enough card users want the same perks, they might be added to the program.</p> <h2>General Benefits</h2> <p>There are a number of benefits that come with the Signature program. More often than not, cardholders are unaware of these services, so here is a list of those great benefits.</p> <h3>Concierge</h3> <p>Easily one of the favorite benefits on the card, Visa Signature cardholders have exclusive access to Visa's free concierge service. You can call in and get help with everything from restaurant recommendations and entertainment planning to ticket and hotel reservations. It's practically like having your very own travel assistant everywhere you go.</p> <h3>Lost/Stolen Card Reporting</h3> <p>If your Visa Signature card is ever lost, damaged, or stolen, simply call Visa's customer service hotline, and a representative will be on hand 24/7 to immediately help you handle the matter. You can also give them a call if you ever have any questions or problems with your card.</p> <h3>Emergency Card Replacement and Cash Disbursement</h3> <p>In scenarios where your card is lost or stolen and you need money right away, Visa can arrange to have either an emergency cash advance or a replacement card sent to you within one business day. You can then pick up the money or new card from the nearest branch of your card's issuing bank.</p> <h3>Zero Liability</h3> <p>Every Visa Signature card carries a &quot;Zero Liability&quot; program, and under this program, you will never be required to pay for any fraudulent charges made on your card. In addition, Visa will also automatically monitor your account and warn you of any suspicious activity. They can even freeze your account if they suspect that your card is currently being misused.</p> <h3>Year-End Summary Statements</h3> <p>For the frequent budgeters and financial planners out there, Visa provides its Signature cardholders with a comprehensive year-end expenditure report, so that you'll always have a record of all the activity that occurs on your account every year.</p> <h2>Shopping Benefits</h2> <p>Shopping will probably be the one activity where you will be using your Visa Signature card the most, and Visa definitely offers plenty of incentives to make that choice a rewarding one.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Shopping Discounts</h3> <p>If you want discounts on shopping from some of your favorite merchants, all you have to do is go through the Visa Signature site and choose from their incredibly vast selection of shopping deals. There are also &quot;VIP savings&quot; opportunities, in which you print out a voucher to take to a shopping center. You are then given a book full of discounts that you can use throughout the shopping center.</p> <h3>Purchase Protection</h3> <p>Shopping enthusiasts will be very happy to hear that eligible purchases made on their Visa Signature card are protected from damage and theft for 90 days after the date the purchase was made. That means Visa will replace, repair, or reimburse you for your purchases if they are stolen or damaged by fire, accidental water discharge, or certain weather conditions (up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder).</p> <h3>Price Protection</h3> <p>If an item you bought with your Visa Signature card goes down in price within 90 days, you may be able to get the difference reimbursed. You can submit the claim by showing a printed retail ad or a non-auction online ad. You are limited to $500 per item and $2,500 a year.</p> <h3>Return Protection</h3> <p>If a merchant refuses to accept a return that you are disatisfied with, Return Protection will allow you to be reimbursed if it is within 90 days of your original purchase. The benefit is limited to $250 per item and $1,000 annual maximum.</p> <h3>Extended Warranty Protection</h3> <p>Visa also offers you extended warranty protection on all of your eligible purchases. You get an extra year after the manufacturer's warranty if it is three years or less. You can claim up to $10,000 per claim, and $50,000 maximum per Account.&nbsp;</p> <h3>No Pre-Set Spending Limit</h3> <p>Need a bit more spend on your Visa Signature card? Visa won't hold you down with a spending limit, and they can easily adjust your card's current limit so that you can get a bit more flexibility on your next big shopping trip or vacation. All you need to do is ask (and also be in good standing).</p> <h2>Travel Benefits</h2> <p>The Visa Signature card is especially ideal and handy for frequent travelers, as it not only offers a number of great travel discounts but also plenty of travel protections that will keep you safe no matter where in the world you travel to. Here is a list of all the terrific travel benefits you can receive just for being a Visa Signature cardholder.</p> <h3>Travel Discounts</h3> <p>Get discounts on airfare, rental cars, cruises, and hotels with the help of Visa Signature. You can access discounts and upgrades for luxury travel, as well as get offers for low-cost travel. Visa Signature even offers you access to discounts on airport parking rates with certain brands.</p> <h3>Travel and Emergency Assistance Services</h3> <p>If you ever find yourself needing assistance while you're traversing the globe, Visa has got you covered in that department as well. The following are just a few things Visa Signature cardmembers can get help with on their travels that only require a simple phone call:</p> <ul> <li>Medical and legal referral assistance</li> <li>Emergency transportation assistance</li> <li>Ticket replacement</li> <li>Lost luggage locator</li> <li>Translation assistance</li> <li>Prescription assistance</li> </ul> <h3>Travel Accident Insurance</h3> <p>If you use your Visa Signature card to pay for all of the &quot;common carrier&quot; fares on your trip, which includes train, bus, taxi, and airport limo costs, you and the eligible dependents traveling with you will automatically receive Accidental Death and Dismemberment travel insurance from Visa that covers a minimum of $250,000.</p> <h3>Lost Luggage Reimbursement</h3> <p>Visa will reimburse you up to $3,000 per trip if any piece or pieces of your luggage goes missing on your flight. This reimbursement will generally cover the difference between the amount the airline reimburses you and the net worth of your belongings.</p> <h3>Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver</h3> <p>If a car you rented gets damaged in an accident, Visa will pay up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for the resulting damages. Just to note, the car must have been rented from the cardholder's native country to be eligible for the waiver, and this waiver only reimburses the costs not covered by your auto insurance company and the rental company.</p> <h3>Roadside Dispatch</h3> <p>Visa Signature cardholders also have access to Visa's 24-hour, referral dispatch, which can be used to get you emergency roadside assistance no matter where you are, including towing, lockout service, tire changing, and fuel delivery. So there's no need to fret the next time your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.</p> <h2>Entertainment Benefits</h2> <p>If you are planning on taking a trip, or just enjoying an outing, you can use your Visa Signature card to enhance your entertainment options by providing you with discounts. You can get discounts for entrance into aquariums, amusement parks, and even movies.</p> <h3>Signature Events</h3> <p>Visa offers what they call Signature Events. With these events, Visa will cover certain costs when you meet the conditions of the deal. This might include concert tickets, or buy-one, get-one movie tickets on Friday nights. You can also use your Visa Signature at participating sports venues, where you can get exclusive ticket offers and upgrades.</p> <p>Signature Events include various food-related events, such as wine tastings and food tours, where they cover the costs or offer you an incredible discount if you are eligible for the deals. Currently, they're offering complimentary wine tastings at Sonoma County Wineries. If you are a foodie, I definitely recommend that you see what's available on the Visa Signature website first.</p> <h2>Dining</h2> <p>Feeling a little hungry? Visa Signature can help with that. You can get discounts with certain restaurant chains (such as $5 off when you order Pizza Hut online), specific restaurant locations, or even Restaurant.com gift certificates. In some cases, you have to make reservations at the restaurants in question, and mention the offer, in order to take advantage of the discount &mdash; or the free meal.<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <h2>How to Use VISA Signature Benefits</h2> <p>For the most part, you will need to check the Visa Signature website for dates and redemption requirements, and choose your offers from there. It doesn't take very long, though.</p> <p>Your Visa Signature benefits are best used in conjunction with other programs and upgrades. Look at the rewards and perks offered by your card issuer, and then add the Visa Signature perks to those. You can also consider stacking when possible (it might not always be possible, though) to get even bigger discounts.</p> <p>The most valuable benefits come for luxury travel and for shopping. However, you can make the most of what's available almost anytime, depending on what you are looking for. What you shouldn't do is use the Visa Signature perks as justification to spend more than you had originally planned. Your best bet is to figure out what you want to buy, or plan out your trip, and then visit the Visa Signature site for special deals and discounts, or even upgrades. This way, you actually spend less, and you can bank the savings. If you can use a card that offers generous cash back rewards on top of it, you'll do even better.</p> <p>Lastly, always read up on the terms and limitations of the benefits you are counting on taking advantage of. Besides the monetary limits, there are often other types of requirements to claim the benefit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/primer-on-visa-signature-credit-cards-all-the-benefits-that-come-with-your-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card">4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-credit-card">How to Choose a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-credit-card-perks-checklist-benefits-you-dont-know-about">Ultimate Credit Card Perks Checklist: Benefits You Don&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card benefits visa signature Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:30:57 +0000 Miranda Marquit 1160476 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Credit Card Benefits Every College Student Must Have http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-card-benefits-every-college-student-must-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-credit-card-benefits-every-college-student-must-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college-student-credit-card-Dollarphotoclub_18681440.jpg" alt="college student credit card" title="college student credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is a place for many firsts. One of these firsts is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-getting-your-first-credit-card-0">first credit card</a>. Since the Credit Card Act in 2009, many protections have been created to shield students from the dangers of credit cards. However, it's still necessary to enter into this new realm of financial responsibility with the tools and knowledge to start off on the right foot.</p> <p>Parents and students should be looking for these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">credit card benefits</a> to build a good credit history. The length of credit history is a large component of a credit score, so it's best to get started with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=inarticle">healthy credit habits</a> as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>1. Limited Credit Line With Room for Growth</h2> <p>Look for a credit card that has a low credit line (some can be as small as $500) that can grow over time if you make monthly payments on-time. Keeping a card for a long time will boost your credit score, so be picky about which credit card to sign up for first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">How to Use Credit Cards to Your Improve Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>2. Strong Fraud Protection</h2> <p>While most cards carry strong fraud protection if the card is lost, stolen, or compromised, that's not true for every card. Make sure to seek out a card that offers it. Some credit cards will watch for suspicious activity and alert you immediately. Another way to monitor your account for fraudulent activity is to review your statements carefully. Make sure you recognize each of the transactions, and promptly contact your credit card issuer if you see a charge you did not authorize.</p> <h2>3. Payment Due Alerts</h2> <p>Many cards allow you set up a variety of alerts via text or email that let you know when a payment is almost due or you are nearing your card's credit limit. The payment reminders are especially important because it's easy to miss a payment date when you're busy (or just not used to paying bills). A late payment on a card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score?ref=inarticle">negatively impacts your credit score</a>, so take every advantage to make those payments on time.</p> <h2>4. Free Roadside Assistance</h2> <p>Whether you're driving an old car or you're driving a long distance to get home for the holidays, knowing you have roadside assistance provides peace of mind. Many credit cards carry this benefit (though often you must pay for any service charges if you need them.)</p> <h2>5. Cash-Back When and Where Students Need It Most</h2> <p>There are many options today when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back rewards</a>. You can have rewards automatically deposited into a savings account, redeemed for gift cards at specific retailers, or simply as a statement credit to help pay the bill. Decide what types of rewards would be most helpful. Then, seek out a card that offers the right redemption opportunities.</p> <p>A rock solid start to your credit history is the basis for a bright financial future. Learning to use credit cards responsibly is the best way to achieve that.</p> <p><em>What common credit card benefits have helped you? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-card-benefits-every-college-student-must-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer">10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi Double Cash Rewards Card Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card benefits responsible borrowing rewards student finances Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 1267188 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-credit-card-shopping-505623027-small.jpg" alt="woman credit card shopping" title="woman credit card shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the words of Anna from Frozen, &quot;Wait! What?&quot; Credit cards can actually save you money? Yes, they can if you know how to use them correctly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>Here are seven ways your credit card can save you money.</p> <h2>1. Travel Benefits</h2> <p>You know how little travel expenses add up and how much can go wrong in the course of travel. When you book your trip and while you travel, your credit card can do a lot of heavy lifting to make sure you get the most out of your travel dollars. Some cards carry airport lounge and destination lounge benefits. For example, while I was visiting Disney World, my credit card gave me access to a lounge at Epcot that was well-stocked with drinks, snacks, pumping air-conditioning, and comfortable seating that saved me money and made my 95-degree day at Epcot much more enjoyable.</p> <p>Other travel benefits many cards offer include free checked baggage, priority boarding, zero foreign transactions fees, travel and luggage protection, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>2. Purchasing Benefits</h2> <p>Ever buy an item and accidentally break it shortly thereafter? Many cards provide <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">purchase protection</a> that will reimburse the cost of a broken or stolen item. They may also have return protection, so if a retailer rejects a return I attempt to make, my card issuer will refund the purchase price directly to my card. Of course, there's also the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranty benefit</a>, which doubles the manufacturer warranty. There are restrictions and limitations, of course, but I've found these benefits to be extremely generous and they've saved me hundreds of dollars a year.</p> <h2>3. Rewards Programs</h2> <p>If you regularly shop at a specific retailer or in a particular category, it's worth investigating cards that offer rewards for those purchases. Whether it's a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck">store-branded credit card</a> or cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">extra rewards for gas</a>, you might find that you can rack up savings without doing anything extra besides swiping the right card at checkout. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fraud Protection</h2> <p>Unfortunately not all the purchases we make live up to their hype. Even the smartest shoppers can occasionally get stuck with a lemon or be a victim of this type of fraud. For example, when I left D.C. for Virginia to go to business school, I hired movers. When they had moved all of my stuff out of my apartment, they threatened to leave it all in the middle of the street unless I authorized an additional $300 charge that wasn't in the contract. I immediately phoned my card issuer's customer service. The service agent advised me to give them my card number and then dispute the charge. I followed the agent's instructions and my credit card fought the moving company on my behalf. The charge was completely refunded to my card.</p> <h2>5. Cash Back Benefits</h2> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">cash back rewards programs</a> have a tiered system. For example, some offer double or triple points for spending in categories such as groceries or gas. If a lot of your spending occurs in these categories, these cash back programs are an excellent value for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Rewards Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <h2>6. Tax Time Organization</h2> <p>No one enjoys sorting receipts during tax time, especially business owners and freelancers. To make it easy on myself, I put as much business spend as possible on a credit card. At the end of the year, I get an itemized annual statement that I turn over to my accountant who does my tax return. My year-end statement also gives me a lot of information that shows me an annual view of my spend by purchase category. I use this information to figure out areas where I can cut spending the following year.</p> <h2>7. Special Offer Benefits</h2> <p>Credit card companies occasionally have special offers just for cardmembers. This could include presale tickets for special events like theater and concert tickets, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers">shopping bonuses or discounts at specific retailers</a>, and members only sales and coupons. Sometimes these are ongoing benefits on the card and sometimes they're limited time offers. You will typically receive an email blast or a notification in your monthly statement so make sure to stay alert to those so you don't miss these opportunities.</p> <p>Credit cards get a bad rap by many consumer advocates. If used wisely, they can protect you and your budget. Have your credit card benefits ever saved you money? Please share your stories in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Does your credit card save you money? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-avoid-debit-or-credit-cards">7 Times to Avoid Debit or Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card benefits saving shopping spending Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1260295 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Choose a Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-choose-a-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-choosing-credit-card-iStock_000012807667Small.jpg" alt="choosing credit cards" title="choosing credit cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the economy continues its slow recovery, credit card issuers are ready to start enticing consumers with the promise of great terms and easy money. The Federal Reserve and J.D. Power and Associates have both reported an increase in credit card spending for 2012.</p> <p>With credit cards are becoming popular again and creditors loosening their standards a little bit, you are probably seeing more credit card offers in your mailbox. For best results, you need to be a little picky.</p> <p>Before you sign up for a credit card, evaluate the offer to ensure that you are getting the best deal for you. Here are 10 things to do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-credit-card-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">6 Awesome Credit Card Tricks That Will&nbsp;Save You Money</a>)</p> <h3>1. Avoid Independent Marketers</h3> <p>You might be surprised to learn that some credit card offers come from independent marketers. These offers come in very plain envelopes that, rather than being branded with a bank&rsquo;s logo or name, bear generic return addresses to &ldquo;Credit Card Administration&rdquo; or &ldquo;Processing Center.&rdquo;</p> <p>These card offers are rarely your best choice. Many of them attempt to charge you for an application or come with other fees. Instead, choose from credit card offers straight from the issuer.</p> <h3>2. Choose a Rewards Program You Will Use</h3> <p>Many credit card issuers try to lure you in with the promise of a rewards program. Before you decide, make sure that you will use the rewards. Don&rsquo;t get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">miles card</a> if you are more interested in cash back.</p> <p>Also, pay attention to the terms of the rewards. Some cards advertise that you can get 5% cash back, but then you find out that you only receive that amount on certain categories, rotated throughout the year. Miles programs are notorious for making you feel as though you are receiving a lot, but then you find out that you need 40,000 miles in order to redeem your rewards for a flight.</p> <p>Finally, make sure you understand redemption fees, blackout dates, and expiration policies. Also, some cards will zero out your rewards if your card is inactive for a certain period of time.</p> <h3>3. Evaluate the Annual Percentage Rate</h3> <p>Next, look at the annual percentage rate (APR). Consider the purchase and cash-advance APRs. Understand what you will be charged for each type of transaction. Your purchase APR is the rate you pay on regular purchases made with the card, and your cash advance APR is the rate paid for cash withdrawals at the ATM.</p> <p>You should also pay attention to the default rate. This is the rate you are charged if you are late with a payment or go over your limit. Often the default rate is as high, or higher than, the cash advance rate &mdash; which is often much higher than the purchase rate.</p> <p>When possible, choose a credit card with a lower interest rate. The purchase rate is often the most important charge to consider, but you should also be aware of the other rates you could be charged, especially if you plan to use your credit card to access cash.</p> <h3>4. Pay Attention to Introductory Periods</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to get drawn in by a 0% introductory rate. It seems like a good deal, since you can make purchases without having to worry about the interest charged. Make sure you understand how long the period lasts, though. Some credit cards only offer an intro period of 3 months, while others offer 18 or even 24 months.</p> <p>Understand, too, that you might get an introductory period on a balance transfer, but not on a purchase. Or you might receive the low intro rate on your purchases, while paying interest on any balances you transfer. Sometimes there are different intro periods; you might receive 6 months on a balance transfer, and 12 months for purchases.</p> <p>Look for a longer introductory period, but also make sure you understand what is covered in that intro period. Try to find a card that gives you an intro period on both balance transfers and purchases.</p> <p>Also plan to pay of balances before the intro period ends. Otherwise you could end up paying the higher regular rate. Make sure you find out whether the interest is &ldquo;capitalized&rdquo; at the end. While most issuers don&rsquo;t do this, some will add up all the interest you would have paid, and then add it at the end of the intro period if you still have a balance.</p> <p>Finally, don&rsquo;t forget that your intro period can end abruptly if you are late with a payment or go over your limit.</p> <h3>5. Watch Out for Balance Transfer Fees</h3> <p>Many credit cards come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">balance transfer offers</a>. It&rsquo;s important to carefully evaluate balance transfer offers &mdash; especially if you are trying to reduce your debt faster. A balance transfer can help you put more money toward the principal of your debt rather than reducing your payment&rsquo;s effectiveness with interest payments.</p> <p>However, before you transfer a balance, make sure that you are ready to meet the terms. Most cards have a balance transfer fee of between 3% and 5%. So even though you might pay 0% interest for six months, you could still pay a hefty balance transfer fee.</p> <p>Run the numbers and make sure that your interest savings during the intro period will more than offset your balance transfer fee. Even better, look for a credit card that doesn&rsquo;t charge balance transfer fees.</p> <h3>6. Pay Attention to Balance Computation</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s one of those fine-print things, but the way your balance is computed makes a big difference in how much interest you pay. If you pay off your balance each month, this isn&rsquo;t such a big deal, but if you carry a balance, it does. There are two options:</p> <p><b>Average Daily Balance</b></p> <p>Each day, your credit card balance is figured. At the end of the billing cycle, all of it is averaged. Interest is charged on your average balance.</p> <p><b>Adjusted Balance</b></p> <p>With this method, the issuer takes the balance at the end of the last period, and subtracts any payments that you have made during the current cycle. This is considered advantageous to consumers, since it gives you the chance to pay part of the balance without interest during the next billing cycle.</p> <h3>7. Understand How Often the Interest Is Compounded</h3> <p>Another small item to consider is how interest is calculated. Your credit card represents compound interest, meaning that when you are charged interest, it is added to your balance, and you pay interest on the total. Essentially, you pay interest on your interest.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most credit cards compound interest daily. This means that at the end of each day, your interest is added to the balance. Because you are charged interest more often, the bill is slightly bigger by the end of the month.</p> <p>There are some credit cards that compound interest monthly, but those are few and far between. It doesn&rsquo;t hurt to check, though, since the difference can matter if you plan to carry a balance.</p> <h3>8. Consider the Annual Fee</h3> <p>Find out whether or not <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-avoid-rewards-cards-with-annual-fees">the card has an annual fee</a>. In some cases, the card materials make a big deal of not having an annual fee, but when you look closer, you can see that there is an annual fee &mdash; it&rsquo;s just waived for the first year.</p> <p>You can also determine whether that annual fee is worth paying. In some cases, the rewards program and other perks are so generous that they more than make up for the annual fee. If you know that you will use the credit card enough to offset the fee, it might be worth it for the other perks and rewards.</p> <h3>9. Watch Out for the Minimum Finance Charge</h3> <p>Read the terms to find out whether or not your credit card comes with a minimum finance charge. This is the minimal amount you will have to pay each month &mdash; no matter how small your balance. If the minimum finance charge is $15 a month, and you happen to have just a small amount on the card, like $10, you might still have to pay the minimum finance charge.</p> <p>If you have a large balance that you carry regularly, the minimum finance charge probably doesn&rsquo;t matter. However, it can make a big difference if your balance is small, since you could be paying a little extra due to the minimum finance charge. If you do have a card with a minimum finance charge, you are better off keeping tabs on the balance, and paying it off in its entirety.</p> <h3>10. Look for Other Fees, Terms, and Conditions</h3> <p>Make sure that you look at other fees and conditions. One of the biggest items to pay attention to is the dispute resolution process. You might be subject to binding arbitration, meaning that rather than resolving the issue in court, you have to abide by the decision made by an independent third party.</p> <p>Other conditions might include additional fees for various services, as well as qualifiers that indicate that you might not receive the advertised interest rate. Carefully read the fine print. Credit card issuers include information on the complete terms and conditions, and you can also usually find the information online.</p> <p>Before you commit to apply for a credit card, double check the offer. Compare offers, and then choose the one that is likely to provide you with the greatest benefit.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card">4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-credit-card-perks-checklist-benefits-you-dont-know-about">Ultimate Credit Card Perks Checklist: Benefits You Don&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money">7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card agreements credit card benefits Fri, 25 Jan 2013 10:48:37 +0000 Miranda Marquit 955322 at http://www.wisebread.com Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/first_class_flight.jpg" alt="Woman in first class" title="Woman in first class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Picture this &mdash; two travel reward credit card holders are saving up for an airline award ticket. Over a year or two, one of them charges $40,000 to his reward card affiliated with a major domestic airline, yet has trouble finding a round trip domestic award in Economy class for the 40,000 miles he earned. The other cardholder charges the same $40,000, but she ends up with a Business class award from New York to Milan, spending several nights visiting in London, Paris, and Barcelona along the way.</p> <p>How is this possible? The first cardholder used a typical credit card associated with an airline, which offers one mile per dollar spent, and domestic economy class awards for as little as 25,000 miles. In contrast, the second cardholder used a credi card that offers <em>two </em>miles per dollar spent, and for the 80,000 miles she earned, she sat&nbsp;in Business class, visiting as many as four different cities along the way. This is a dramatic illustration of how choosing the right credit card, and redeeming the ideal award can make a dramatic difference in the value a credit card holder receives in return for their continued loyalty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Top 5 Travel Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Why You Should Use Your Reward Credit Cards for Premium Awards</h3> <p>Using a reward credit card is all about maximizing your return on each dollar spent. I hold credit cards that return up to 6% cash back on certain categories of spending and at least double miles on all other purchases.</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s look at how most airlines price their tickets in miles and in dollars. A domestic round trip award ticket in economy class can require as little as 25,000 miles, but those tickets are very hard to find. Most likely, any award available at the lowest mileage rate will sell for about $250-$500, with rare exceptions. Therefore, I am only receiving only about 1&ndash;2 cents in value for my domestic economy awards. A typical economy class ticket to Europe sells for between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on the destination and the time of year I am traveling, yet the award will only require 50,000 miles at the lowest levels. Now I am receiving a more substantial 2-4 cents in value per mile spent. The same ticket in Business class will cost between $4,000 and $8,000, yet most domestic carriers will charge only 100,000 miles for the award. All of the sudden, I am earning a remarkable 4-8 cents in value for each mile redeemed, and by extension, each dollar charged to the typical <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards" title="Credit Cards">rewards credit card</a>.</p> <h3>How to Maximize the Miles You Earn</h3> <p>Cardholders can further increase their returns by using a card that earns extra miles. Many cards offer mileage bonuses on broad categories of transactions, like double points on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries" title="The Best Credit Cards for Groceries">gas and groceries</a>. In addition, nearly all <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards" title="The Best Sign Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards">airline cards</a> offer double miles for purchases with their affiliated carrier. When I use my credit card to earn double miles, and those miles are redeemed for premium class international awards, I end up with an astonishing 8-16 cents in value returned per dollar spent.</p> <h3>Earning the Right Miles</h3> <p>Why bother earning miles with one airline when some credit cards earn flexible points in a system that will allow you to transfer your points to miles in any one of several different airlines? American Express&rsquo;s Membership Rewards and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly/ref=inarticle">Chase&rsquo;s Ultimate Rewards</a>&nbsp;can be redeemed for miles with many different airlines or points in various hotel chains. I&rsquo;ve transferred points to miles with a dozen different airlines, each time earning the right award for my particular travel needs.</p> <h3>Finding the Best Awards</h3> <p>I could write a book on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-maximize-the-value-of-your-frequent-flier-miles" title="How to Maximize the Value of Your Frequent Flier Miles">how best to redeem your airline miles</a>, but if I had to sum it up in one word, it would &ldquo;Partners.&rdquo; Remember the example above? That traveler never had to set foot on a flight to earn her award. Instead, she simply redeemed her miles for an award on flights operated by its partners. Consider the possibilities of earning flexible reward points, and transferring them to the mileage programs of one of many airlines for travel on any of those airline&rsquo;s many partners. Only then will you begin to realize the endless permutations of travel awards that are offered.</p> <p>The confusing part is that each airline has its own partner award chart and its own rules. While some airlines allow travelers to visit three cities on an award ticket, others only allows one stopover (a stopover is usually defined as a change of planes with more than 24 hours in the same city).</p> <p>Ultimately, finding the most valuable awards means studying each airline&rsquo;s award chart the way you might look for great deals in your Sunday paper. It takes some effort, but I will get you started &mdash; I recently booked a Business Class partner award on Delta to Africa. It required 120,000 miles, which is merely 20,000 miles more than their Business class partner award to Europe. I will only be visiting Kenya and Uganda, but with the same award, I could have had a free stopover in Europe, continuing on as far as Madagascar or Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with their partner Air France.&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite customer&rsquo;s frustration <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-frequent-flier-program-has-the-best-awards-availability" title="Frequent Flier Program With the Best Awards Availability">redeeming frequent flier miles</a>, there are still many great values out there. By using your credit card to earn the right miles, and by finding the best value in rewards, you can still find premium travel awards that are far more valuable than mere cash back.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"><strong>Back to the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles credit card benefits travel rewards Wed, 04 Jan 2012 11:36:15 +0000 Jason Steele 852968 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007864786Small.jpg" alt="Woman with credit card at computer" title="Woman with credit card at computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No amount of credit card reform is going to help if you don't spend the time to make your credit cards benefit you. As with many things, credit cards can be wonderful if you are disciplined, but they can also backfire and create a huge financial hole for you to dig out of. (If the latter is more likely for you, may I suggest measures such as freezing your credit card?) Here are six ideas for how to benefit from your credit card.</p> <h3>1. Eliminate Annual Fees</h3> <p>You likely looked into this before you applied to your current card of choice, but is your credit card still free to own? Many institutions started charging annual fees, and there's a chance that yours does now as well. With companies likely adding the annual fee as a line item on one of your monthly bills, it may go unnoticed &mdash; so double check to make sure. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fees-hidden-and-otherwise">Credit Card Fees: Hidden and Otherwise</a>)</p> <h3>2. Pay Your Balances Off Each Month</h3> <p>I contemplated whether to put this one in, because it's obvious. But it's so important that everyone needs to hear this again and again. Don't use a credit card unless you can pay it off each month. Got it? Now go read it again, and follow the rules.</p> <p>If you don't believe that it's possible to live without borrowing, just remember that people were fine before the invention of debt! If you can't afford it, just don't buy it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">How Much Does Your Credit Card Debt Cost You</a>)</p> <h3>3. Stick With Cash-Back Rewards</h3> <p>There are zillion different ways to redeem your credit card rewards, but it's probably best to stick with getting cash (or perhaps a statement credit) unless you were going to need to use it anyway. For example, getting a free airline ticket is good if you were going to buy the exact same ticket for the exact same price, but getting a $50 gift card and ending up buying $73.28 worth of useless junk is not worth it.</p> <h3>4. Know All the Benefits You Are Getting</h3> <p>It's always a good idea to know every benefit that your card is providing. In addition to reward points, some cards get you into airport lounges, while others will double the warranty of a product. By knowing all the benefits, you won't be paying extra for something that you can get for free. For example, one of my credit cards provides rental car insurance.</p> <h3>5. Write Down Why You Applied for the Card in the First Place</h3> <p>A good way to remember all those benefits is to actually write them down in simplified form somewhere, so you can look at it once in a while to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perform-a-credit-card-rewards-annual-review">refresh your memory</a>. I know it is a bit of work, but I applied for one of my cards eight years ago. Would you remember all the details from eight years ago? Or let's say you applied for a 0% balance transfer credit card. Now that the introductory 0% APR period is over, do you still need to keep it?</p> <h3>6. Use Credit Cards Whenever Possible</h3> <p>This is only for those who can pay off the balance of course, but remember to use your credit card every chance you get! I know there are many people who like to make fun of those who use credit cards for the smallest purchases, but did you know that it is actually easier (and faster) for both the buyer AND the seller when small purchases are paid using a credit card? When you don't even need to sign for a purchase at some of these stores, using a credit card is a no-brainer.</p> <p>There are many more ways you can save with a credit card, but if your credit card isn't working for you yet, start with the tips up above.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-services-you-don-t-usually-need">6 Credit Card Services You Don’t (Usually) Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">25+ Easy Ways to Save Money But Still Get What You Want During Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card">4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer cards cash back rewards credit card benefits credit card fees Wed, 23 Mar 2011 11:00:08 +0000 David Ning 508477 at http://www.wisebread.com Ultimate Credit Card Perks Checklist: Benefits You Don't Know About http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-credit-card-perks-checklist-benefits-you-dont-know-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ultimate-credit-card-perks-checklist-benefits-you-dont-know-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5871437920_326c390453_z_0.jpg" alt="credit cards" title="credit cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I consider myself pretty well versed in credit card benefits. I have two credit cards that I use for most everyday purchases &mdash; one gets me 5% cash back on groceries and one between 1-3% cash back on everything else. I always use a card when renting a car to get car rental insurance protection. And I felt exceptionally card savvy when I compared card warranty benefits to decide which card to use to get a free extended warranty on a new fridge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow">7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <p>There are all sorts of other credit card perks &mdash; perks above and beyond <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards" title="The Best Cash Back Credit Cards">cash back</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-type-of-rewards-credit-card-is-right-for-you" title="Which Type of Rewards Credit Card Is Right for You?">rewards points</a>.</p> <p>For instance, some credi cards offer buyer protection, which means that if you accidentally spilled red wine and permanently stained a new pair of khakis, you can get reimnursed. Some offer return protection, which means you can get a refund if you bought a pair of boots on closeout and the store won&rsquo;t take them back. Some even offer price protection in case you find a lower price on an item within a certain amount of time, you can get the difference credited back.&nbsp;</p> <p>I put together this Ultimate Card Benefits Checklist. It lists different perks that your credit or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-limit-no-interest-whats-the-deal-with-charge-cards">charge card</a> may offer that you probably didn&rsquo;t know about.</p> <h2>Travel Benefits</h2> <ul> <li>Baggage Loss Protection</li> <li>Car Rental Insurance</li> <li>Car Rental Discounts</li> <li>Passport/Credit Card Loss Protection</li> <li>Roadside Assistance</li> <li>No Transactions Fees Abroad</li> <li>No Baggage Checking Fees</li> <li>Free Airport Lounge Access</li> <li>Lost Luggage Tracking Assistance</li> <li>Emergency Translation/Interpretation for Medical Emergencies</li> <li>Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance</li> </ul> <h2>Purchase Protection</h2> <ul> <li>Extended Warranty</li> <li>Return Protection (return an item even if the store won&rsquo;t allow returns)</li> <li>Buyer Protection (if you lose/damage an item, get a refund/replacement)</li> <li>Price Protection (if price drops get a refund)</li> </ul> <h2>Special Access</h2> <ul> <li>Early Ticket Access</li> <li>VIP Ticket Access</li> <li>Concierge Service</li> <li>Discounts/Coupons</li> </ul> <h2>Personal Finance Management</h2> <ul> <li>Free Credit Scores</li> <li>Year End Summaries</li> <li>Financial Management Software</li> <li>Identity Theft Protection (including assistance in notifying credit card bureaus)</li> </ul> <p>Know that the majority of the best benefits only come with cards that require an annual fee or cards with no cash back or rewards points. The cards with the highest cash back rewards usually have few of these benefits, while cards with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-avoid-rewards-cards-with-annual-fees">higher annual fee</a> offer more.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used any credit card benefits? What was your experience?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-credit-card-perks-checklist-benefits-you-dont-know-about">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card">4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-credit-card">How to Choose a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money">7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card benefits Fri, 28 May 2010 12:00:04 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 99638 at http://www.wisebread.com