My friend Paul Singh (of the productivity blog resultsjunkies.com) was telling me about some interesting perks from his credit card, so I asked him to write it up for everyone. I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about AmEx, but these are great examples of some of the benefits that your credit card probably offers — but you don’t know about.
Note: His annual fee is enough to make me stuff my head in a plastic bag and tie it closed with adamantium, but you have most of these perks on your credit card for free.
In case you didn’t know already, all AmEx cards come with something they call Return Protection:
- No More Shopping Regrets – Return Protection offers guaranteed product satisfaction on designated items purchased entirely with an eligible American Express® Card.
- 90 Days of Protection – If you try to return an eligible item purchased in the U.S. within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express will refund the purchase price.
- Up to $300 Coverage – You are covered for up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling, up to $1,000 annually per Card account.
I’m planning on using this for an iPhone I bought for my wife 2 weeks ago (assuming the new iPhone is available within 90 days of the purchase date). They’ve got a few other nice perks with their personal cards.
Also, I really like the free extended warranties – I used that on a $5K TV I bought last year and it’s nice to know that I’m covered for an extra year after the factory warranty runs out – for free. On top of that, all the travel coverages are awesome – I lost my card in Vegas last month and they overnighted me a new Platinum card. To make sure I could still party it up, they offered to have the hotel concierge drop off some AmEx travelers checks to my room within an hour.
The way I look at it, I pay $600 ($450 for mine and $150 my wife’s) per year for the Platinum Card – that’s $50/month. I get all the free coverages I talked about up above, some additional Platinum-level goodies (like airport lounge access, free complimentary airline tickets and more) and a 24/7/365 concierge that will do my bidding.
Remember, you don’t need to pay a huge amount to get these benefits. Most credit cards, including yours, come with standard benefits, including a complimentary extended warranty of an extra year on electronic purchases (e.g., iPods and cellphones — most people don’t know about this!). They also offer automatic car-rental insurance, plus the ability to dispute charges if you got a lemon from a retailer.