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How A Credit Card Can Save You Money

When you think of saving money, your thoughts may not go immediately to credit cards, but there are a lot of perks you might be overlooking that can save you a great deal of money.

Before you choose a credit card, research thoroughly to choose the best one for you. As an example, if you travel a great deal, a credit card that offers free air miles or other travel discounts may be a better fit than one offering free merchandise. Everyone's situation is different, and it is up to you to shop around and find the best card that fits your lifestyle whether you're looking for cash back, rebates on gas or discounts at different retail locations.

There are some other perks of a credit card which can save you money that may have escaped your attention. Call your credit card company and ask to speak to a benefits manager. Ask them to send you a benefits brochure, and really take a good look at it when you receive it. There could be a lot more in the fine print than you realize, such as:

1. Extended warranty coverage. You can finally say no the hard sell when buying appliances or electronic equipment, because if you've used your charge card you may have extended warranty coverage already at no extra charge.

2. Price protection. There's nothing more aggravating than making a major purchase and finding out too late someone else had the same thing for a lot less. If you have charged it, your credit card company may refund you the difference with evidence such as the original receipt, the credit card statement and the ad with the lower price displayed. Typically you would have to do this within 30-60 days and there may be a cap per item and per year.

3. Return guarantees. You may have purchased an item and decide later it's not really what you were looking for. It might be past the store's return date policy, or maybe you've lost the receipt. Check with your credit card company – they may take the item back themselves with proof of purchase.

4. Travel perks. In addition to rewards programs your credit card company may also provide trip cancellation coverage and a variety of travel assistance such as translator services.

You really don't know what's available until you sit down and really scrutinize all the credit card offers. These perks can often save you a lot of money, but you have to know they are an option. Take the time to study your credit card company carefully to get the most of what they provide.

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