I haven’t been blogging with any consistency recently (as you may have noticed). I’ll go 2-3 weeks without publishing a single article and then I’ll suddenly send out several posts without taking a breath.
I blame this inconsistency on two things. One, I have been traveling a lot for work. And two, I live in a bubble which sometimes isolates me from any worldly issue. I disregard every alarming consumer statistic and assume that everyone is making beaucoup bucks and driving lambos. Last week, however, a train ride forcefully popped this bubble.
Rather than pay for another $250 Uber ride from New York to New Jersey, I decided to be a frugal employee and ride the train for $9.00. While on the train, I overheard a child ask his mother:
“Mommy, what’s a credit card for?”
The mother kindly replied:
“It’s for when you don’t have money.”
At this moment, I saw some sort of sign light up the sky. Gotham authorities must have noticed this psychological destruction and sent the distress signal in search of assistance. Instead of quickly transforming from passenger to Batman and saving the day, I thought:
“Well, I’ll just blog about this on Monday.”
“Credit Card? You Got It.” – Kevin McCallister (Home Alone 2)
I have said this before and I will say it again. Credit cards are a spending tool, not a borrowing tool. If you use them appropriately, you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
…Rewarded with “points” that you can exchange for statement credits, gift cards or fun electronics.
…Rewarded with “cash back” that can be deposited directly into your checking account.
…Rewarded with “miles” that can cover your next plan ticket, hotel stay or complete vacation.
Regardless of which rewards program or redemption method you prefer, the benefit will likely fall between 1% – 5% of your total credit card purchases. If you put everything on your credit card, you will earn more rewards. It’s that simple.
Disclaimer: If the convenience or temptation of using a credit card causes your annual spending to rise by more than 5% then your credit card habits may be counterproductive.
Enough about rewards, though. Everyone knows about rewards. What sets one credit card apart from another, in my opinion, are the lesser known credit card perks. I have previously written about these Lesser Known Credit Card Perks which include Extended Warranties, Zero Liability and Purchase Protection. I also told you that I was in a Facebook fist fight involving credit cards and cell phone insurance.
As credit card companies continue to sweeten the pot, I will continue to blog.
Lesser Known Credit Card Perks, Part II
As I mentioned earlier, I have been traveling quite a bit recently. I have been booking plane tickets days (sometimes hours) before my trips. Because of this, I have paid re-booking fees with the airlines. I have had to cancel trips entirely. I have had luggage lost and hotel stays extended. If you can think of an inconvenience, common or not, I have probably experienced it. These inconveniences can also be costly, unless you’re using a credit card such as the one from Aeroplan partners. Here are a few of the lesser known credit card perks offered on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card (and found on some other travel cards):
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance
You’re covered if your trip is interrupted by illness, injury or death of a family member.
- Flight/Trip Delay Insurance
If your flight is delayed more than 4 hours, you’re covered up to $500 to cover reasonable hotel and restaurant expenses.
- Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
The Rent-A-Car sales people LOVE selling you insurance on your rental car. Rarely do they tell you that your credit card probably provides the same coverage FOR FREE.
- Avis/Budget Rent-A-Car Preferred Rates
Save 5% to 25% off the lowest rate.
- Priority Check-In and Boarding
Don’t worry about where to place your unchecked bags as you’ll be one of the first on the plane.
Remember, all cards are not created equally. Check the fine print of your specific credit card to discover which perks are available.
Which credit card perks do you take advantage of?