We've all heard about platinum credit cards with VIP benefits, but chances are, you have a credit card right now in your wallet with lucrative perks and benefits that you are not using. Many cards available with no annual fee to consumers with excellent credit ratings have little-known perks for travel, security and protection. Members of some cards might have access to exclusive golf courses or airport lounges, but beyond vacations and tee times, you are also most likely missing out on money saving benefits such as return protection for items not accepted by a retailer for return, or primary rental car insurance at a reduced rate. The caveat for most of these perks is that you must use your credit card to pay for your vacation, rental car or whatever other purchase is associated with the benefit.
If you don't know about the perks offered through your credit card, you aren't alone. People are sometimes so distracted by flashy card offers, such as a mega welcome bonus, that they don't even notice other money-saving benefits offered by the card.
Here are four ways to find out what credit card benefits are available to you:
How do I find out my credit card benefits?
1. Check your credit card website
While many consumers simply log on to their credit card company's site only to pay their bill, it pays to visit the website for your specific card to see the perks listed. Since travel offers and experiences are sometimes available for a limited time, be sure to check the site often. Many sites also allow you to sign up for emails alerting you to cardholder opportunities. You'll also be able to sign up for the events or discounts directly on the website, but be sure to read the fine print for restrictions.
2. Call customer service
If you prefer to speak to someone directly, you may find calling the customer service number for your card to be the most straightforward way to get an answer. However, this route works best if you have a specific question, such as "Does my card offer price matching?" or "What are my benefits for rental car insurance?" If you are interested in special promotions, ask the representative to help you find where the specials are listed online or get help finding current promotions meeting your needs. If you find that that the representative who answers your call is not knowledgeable about the perks, ask for a manager or the specific department specializing in benefits.
3. Read the fine print
While nobody wants to read pages of legalese, sometimes pulling out the paperwork you received with your card can be the quickest route to finding out what is available to you. Often you can find information about where to find the perks listed online and the details about purchase protection, rebates and other consumer type benefits.
4. Visit a credit card compare site
Websites like CardRatings.com exist to help consumers learn about credit card offers. Features like our credit card comparison tool or our best credit cards list make it easy to view top credit card offers and compare features and perks. Whether you're searching for a new card or just want to check the details of an existing card, you can find these details in our card reviews and elsewhere across our site.
So before you plan your next trip or buy a new appliance for your home, take a few minutes to see what perks and benefits your credit card company is offering. Instead of a hitting a local restaurant for a special occasion, you may find yourself sipping wine in a Sonoma County vineyard instead.