Your credit card’s best-kept secrets

These are some hidden benefits of plastic

by: Nancy Mann Jackson

Sure, credit cards can be problematic if you carry big balances and don’t pay them off. But when managed properly, credit cards can actually save you money through valuable benefits.

But many cardholders don’t use — or even know about — the valuable perks their cards offer. Understanding your benefits can help you make better choices about when to use them and how to save on all kinds of products and services.

Here are six secret benefits you might already have.

Price matching

Some cards, including Citibank, Discover, and MasterCard, offer a “price rewind” service, which allows cardholders to take advantage of sale prices for items they recently purchased, Graw says. That means when something goes on sale after you already bought it, the credit card company will reimburse you the price difference.

“Such policies have important details to be aware of,” says Sean Graw, spokesperson at BradsDeals.com. “You’re able to price match only within a certain amount of time, and the lower-priced item must be the exact same as the one you bought.”

With Citi’s plan, cardholders just have to register the purchased item with the card company “and they will do the searching for you for a lower advertised price,” adds Matthew Coan, owner of financial website Casavvy.com.

Extended warranties

Even if you’ve saved the cash to pay for an expensive, fragile item like a new cell phone, laptop, TV, or sunglasses, you may get more for your money if you purchase the item with a credit card (you can still pay it off immediately). That’s because many credit cards offer extended warranties for purchases or replacement services.

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