Don’t Miss Out on These Lesser Known Credit Card Benefits

Don’t Miss Out on These Lesser Known Credit Card Benefits

By: Shannon Skopak, Assistant Vice President, Product Marketing, Affinity Federal Credit Union

You might have a natural (and usually beneficial) aversion to relying too much on your credit card. Credit card bills, after all, can lead to snowballing debt if you can’t afford to pay each month’s balance. But something interesting is happening right now: U.S. household credit card debt is plunging1. If you find that you no longer have a high balance, it might be time to start using your credit card again. Why? First of all, using your credit card allows you to build up your credit score, which is vital when you’re taking out any new loans for mortgages, autos or anything else. Secondly, many credit cards – including Affinity’s Pure Rewards® Visa and Cash Rewards Visa® Signature – offer rewards in the form of bonus points and direct cash back that you can use for more purchases (or to save or put toward paying off existing debt). This means that, if you have the right card, you effectively get a discount on any purchase that you would have already made.

people on subway smiling

But while the role of credit cards in building up your credit and various rewards are well-known benefits, there are often little-known perks, including:

• Cellphone protection: Some cards, such as Affinity’s Cash Rewards Visa® Signature, offer cellphone insurance, protecting against damage or theft, as long as you use that card to pay your phone bill. This has the benefit of allowing you to combine your phone bill and phone insurance policy, potentially saving money. With the above Affinity card, the protection is free!

• Extended warranty coverage: When you make a retail purchase, you’ll often be asked if you want to pay extra for an extended warranty on the item. If you have the right credit card (including Affinity’s Premium Visa or Affinity’s Pure Rewards® Visa when the warranty period is three years or less), you may qualify for an extended warranty at no extra cost, depending on whether it’s a participating retailer. Make sure you find out before you pay anything!

• Travel benefits: Planning to use your credit card to pay for a vacation this year? You may be in luck if you have a credit card that offers benefits related to travel. We all know travel can be hectic and stressful, so some of Affinity’s cards offer peace of mind in the form of Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance, Travel and Emergency Assistance, Baggage Delay Coverage and Free Concierge Service, which includes assistance with travel, hotel, restaurant, theater and sporting event information and reservations anywhere in the world. To find out what’s covered, explore Affinity’s credit card offerings.

As the world begins returning to normal, you’ll likely be wanting to splurge a bit this summer, whether on new furniture or on that vacation you had to put off last year. Remember that you can use your credit card to reap benefits of all types, so long as you have the right card and the ability to pay off your monthly balance.

                                                  

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.  

1 Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/06/business/credit-card-debt-plunges-driving-a-decline-in-overall-household-debt.html