Marketers know that it’s much more cost-effective to serve your existing customers rather than spending a ton of money to acquire new customers. Cost-effective, yes, but it’s sure sexier to spend money on Superbowl ads and stupid social-media spends.
The same is true of our personal finances. You could spend 10 hours per month moving your money from one high-interest account to another to eek out an extra 0.5% interest, or you could just take advantage of what you already have. One way to start is with your credit cards.
A lot of people ask me why I use my credit card for 95% of my spending. I do this for three reasons: Convenience (easily downloadable, trackable, categorizable), to build credit history, and huge consumer benefits.
Yesterday I got this list of perks in the mail, and it included a few I didn’t even know about. These perks are standard on most cards, so call yours to find out what you have.
I’ve copied the best ones below. Did you realize you got all (or most) of these perks with your credit card?
You have our dedicated concierge staff to assist you.
The 24-hour personal concierge service will make your dinner reservations, purchase tickets to events, coordinate business arrangements worldwide and locate hard-to-find items. Your concierge can assist you with gift selections as well as other requests to simplify your life.
Car rental insurance
Provides up to $50,000 in secondary coverage against collision or theft when you reserve and charge your car rental to your card and decline the car rental company’s collision, loss/damage waiver insurance.
Retail purchase protection
Protects most purchases made on your card against theft, fire and accidental breakage of up to $500 for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
If you buy something with your card and then see it advertised in print for less within 60 days, you will receive a refund for the difference up to $250. (Excludes internet purchases and certain items.)
$0 liability for unauthorized purchases, online or off
Complete protection against the unauthorized use of account.
Coverage duplicates the terms of the U.S. manufacturer or store warranties of one year or less up to a maximum of 12 months on most items you purchase and is limited to the lesser of the amount charged to your card or $10,000.
Trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage
If you are prevented from taking or continuing a trip you billed to your account, you are eligible to receive up to $1,500 in Trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage
Lost luggage coverage
You are eligible for up to $3,000 in lost luggage coverage for you and your dependents when you charge your entire common carrier fare to your Citi World MasterCard. This benefit covers permanently lost, stolen or damaged baggage or personal articles checked with a common carrier.
If your car breaks down, help is just a phone call away.
My take: If you’re already spending on your credit card, you might as well use as many perks as possible. And consider that with one use of the perks for roadside assistance or purchase protection or extended warranty, you save more than you would with stupid 0%-balance-transfer/bank-transfer games.