Read Your Credit Card Agreement

When the booklet containing my credit card agreement came in the mail recently I did something I’ve never done before. I read it.

I didn’t just flip through it. I read it…cover to cover…and I learned about some benefits provided at no cost just for charging purchases on my card.

Here’s what I learned:

No need to purchase insurance when renting a car. Instead by simply charging the rental on my credit card Auto Rental Collision Damage Protection is included. However, the credit card protection is void if I agree to the insurance provided by the rental agency.

No need to purchase trip insurance. Charge airline tickets, hotel rooms, and tickets to events and all are protected in the case of Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption. They even claim to offer refunds on accommodations that are unsatisfactory and cover problems relating to delayed flights.

Lost Luggage…covered. The benefit reimburses for the cost to repair or replace baggage and the personal property contained. Even Baggage Delays are covered at the rate of $100 per day for the purchase of clothing, toiletries, and charging cables for cell phones.

Travel and Emergency Assistance Services are available by calling a toll free number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes medical or legal referral assistance as well as emergency transportation or ticket replacement assistance.

The Travel Accident Insurance includes a $500,000 benefit.

There’s also Return Protection which will reimburse me for the cost of an item purchased if I’m dissatisfied with the item.

A Price Protection guarantee provides reimbursement for the difference in price on a purchased product when a printed advertisement at any retail store advertises it for less within 90 days. Looks like something to keep track of for Christmas purchases.

The Purchase Protection covers replacement or repair of purchases in the event of theft, damage or accident.

Finally, it offers Extended Warranty Protection which adds one additional year to the warranty of products.

I can think of a several times I could have used these benefits…a stolen computer, a damaged piece of luggage, a vacation cut short due to the illness of a relative.

I’ve added the toll free number for the credit card to my contacts in my cell phone so that should the need arise I’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits provided.

Do yourself a favor. Read your credit card agreement!