title:Credit Cards ? Other Benefits author:Rudy Hadisentosa source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_4577.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

Credit cards are here to stay for the multiple benefits associated with them. We already know that credit cards act as a convenient payment mode for shopping, they are safer to carry as compared to cash, they help build a credit rating which can be used for getting fast approval on loans etc, and they are there to help when you need credit. However, there are other benefits too which one should be aware of as well. Let?s check what these other benefits are:
1. Travel Insurance
A lot of credit cards have travel insurance built into them as an inherent feature. So if you are one of those who travel frequently, this benefit could be a real boon. However, you should always check if this travel insurance is enough for you. Also check the terms and conditions associated with such insurance. Loss of baggage is something which is almost invariably covered with such insurance.
2. Discounts for travelers
A number of credit card companies have tie-ups or association with various hotel chains, car rental agencies and airlines etc. For frequent travelers, this is sometimes one of the main criterion or deciding factor in choosing a credit card. These discounts are sometimes pretty attractive and your credit card may become a cash saver for you. Sometimes an airline might offer a credit card too (a co-branded credit card for example) where-in the benefits would be more travel oriented than other cards. This could include things like earning additional miles for payments made using their credit card or some kind of preferential treatment etc.
3. Discount for shoppers
If you are one of those who likes to shop at some particular shops (retail chains) which are your favorites, then you might like to check if you have some additional benefits available on your credit card. These could be there as a result of partnership or affiliation links with the retail chain. Whenever you pay for your purchases using your credit card, you either get a discount or additional membership rewards points. Some of the retail chains float their own co-branded credit cards too and it could be good to consider them too.
4. Membership Rewards
Most of the credit card suppliers run membership rewards programs too. Some of these are free to join whereas others might have a small fee associated with them. The ones with fee obviously offer more attractive rewards as compared to the free ones. So once you subscribe to a membership program (either explicitly or implicitly) you start earning reward points on whatever payments you make using your credit card. As you accumulate points, you become eligible for rewards which are based on the number of membership reward points you hold on your credit card. You can barter these points for attractive gifts. If you are a heavy user of your credit card, you will accumulate the points faster. Watches, bags, wine and a whole lot of good stuff can be bought using these reward points. So keep track of your reward points.
5. Cash back
Some credit card companies provide you with cash back option too where-in you might get a certain percentage of money back, if you spend more than a certain amount on your credit card. These are really good offers. Nothing can match a thing like cash back.
So, read all the benefits being offered on your credit card. You never know when one could become handy.

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