Unlike credit card rewards, cashback or miles, many of the best perks of a credit card are rarely mentioned by credit card issuers. Instead, they are often buried under the fine print or overlooked. You might not know but your credit card might help in making life’s little emergencies a lot easier to handle. If the next time, you lose your luggage at the airport, drop your phone in swimming pool or discover an unauthorised transaction on your card, just know that your card could help you in ways you did not expect, provided you go by the rules. It’s always worth your time to go through the welcome kit of your new credit card or terms and conditions of your desired card to know the significant perks offered by that card. Most of your credit cards offer insurance covers such as zero lost card liability, lost luggage insurance, purchase protection, rental car damage insurance, trip cancellation insurance, travel insurance cover and much more.
The type of insurance benefits you get depends on your specific credit card, but here’s an overview of the standard insurance covers offered by various credit card issuers that may be available on your card.
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1. Travel Accident Insurance:
You can consider it as a miniature of a life insurance policy, which you get for free when you book your tickets with your credit card. If you meet with any accident, your credit card provides disability and death benefits to you and your survivors, whichever the case may be. But, don’t confuse accidental insurance with medical cover. For example, if you were to break your ankle during a skiing accident, your credit card issuer won’t be providing you with medical coverage.
So, before going on a trip, check what kind of coverage is provided by your credit card issuer. However, consider this only as a back-up as having a travel insurance policy is a must!
2. Zero Lost Card Liability feature:
Most credit cards offer Zero Lost Card Liability policy for fraudulent credit card charges. If your card gets stolen or lost, then by claiming lost card liability, you will not be held liable to pay for any transaction made on the card on a condition that you report the incident within 24 hours. If you notice unauthorized transactions on your account, then you can simply inform your card issuer and file a claim. In most cases, the bank issues a new credit card and conducts an investigation.
3. Rental car insurance
Many credit card companies offer rental car insurance as well so that you need not pay extra for damages, if any, out of your pocket. Most credit cards offer cover for your collision repair provided you don’t exercise the rental car company’s insurance. For example, if you get a dent in your rental car and submit the claim along with all the paperwork, then your credit card company might reimburse you in full for your damage. Usually, most cards offer secondary coverage which only pays for what your car insurance company does not cover. The extent of rental car insurance coverage offered by various credit cards differs from card to card. Some cards offer secondary coverage while some offer full damage coverage. The fine print on your credit card might be tricky, therefore, it’s important to contact your card issuer and verify the coverage policy in advance. Credit card companies have their own set of restrictions and they often refuse to pay some types of charges which are levied by the car rental companies.
4. Lost Luggage Insurance
If your checked-in luggage goes missing for good, credit card issuers will reimburse you for the items in your suitcase, on the condition that you book your tickets from their issued credit card. Usually, credit card companies offering this benefit maintain a bizarre list of items which they won’t insure including, traveller checks, glasses, and cameras. Hence, it is crucial to read the fine print carefully. You can simply call on the number given at the back of your card and depending upon your situation, your credit card company would put you in touch with an emergency travel assistance representative.
5. Purchase Protection
Suppose you are making a big-ticket purchase, say a mobile, then it is helpful to choose a card which could cover for the unexpected mishaps (such as dropping it in a pool) to your newly purchased goods.
Credit card companies offer purchase protection in the following ways:
- Price protection: If your credit card company offers you price protection then they’ll refund you the difference of the amount at which the product was bought initially and the reduced amount of the same product within a certain period of time.
- Purchase protection: If you have bought an item with your credit card and it gets stolen/lost/damaged then your credit card company will cover that item. This insurance is valid for a limited time period from the date of purchase.
- Extended warranties: With this feature, you can add up to a year of warranty to a product, in addition to the warranty provided by the product manufacturer.
So next time, when you choose a credit card then look beyond the rewards and joining gifts. This might take some extra research and time, but it can be worth it if you find an ideal credit card with features that will make your life easier.
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