Understand all the services your card provides
Did you think your credit card was just a convenient way to pay for things? Chances are it entitles you to a range of protections and services that could save you time, hassle and money.
Depending on your card, services include fraud and identity theft protection, purchase protection, travel assistance, and rental car insurance. Some come free with your card, while others require additional fees. Check with your credit card issuer to find out what type of protection you can receive.
Credit card security
The law limits your liability for fraudulent charges to your credit card to just $50, and many credit card companies waive even that amount. All Bank of America consumer cards are covered by the Total Security Protection® package, which provides reimbursement for any fraudulent credit card transactions up to the amount of the loss. You can also opt for the Photo Security® feature, which allows you to put your picture on the front of your card – and provides an additional layer of credit card fraud protection.
The federal Fair Credit Billing Act allows you to withhold payment on damaged or poor-quality goods or services purchased with a credit card, as long as you have attempted to solve the problem with the merchant. This type of credit card protection is subject to certain limitations, but many issuers have gone far beyond the legal requirements.
Many cards offer extended protection against theft or damage, or may even reimburse the difference if you find the same item for a lower price. Check with your card issuer for the deals offered by your card.
Managing Credit Tip #20
Be sure to read your credit card statement as soon as it arrives each month. If you see transactions you don't recognize, call the merchant to verify the charges.
Travel assistance and rental car insurance
Many credit cards offer a variety of services for travelers including flight insurance, baggage protection and roadside assistance. The major credit card companies also offer emergency assistance to travelers, typically through a hotline open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Most credit cards also offer a rental car loss and damage insurance plan if the rental is paid for with the card, notes CreditCards.com, a card news and information site. Even if you have auto insurance, your credit card may cover the deductible. Check with your credit card company to find out the rental car policies of your card.
So the next time you shop for a new card, don't just look at the interest rate on balances. Dig deeper and compare the many additional protections and services that are offered by various cards.
What's next? How to keep your credit card safe