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3 credit card perks you have (but probably don’t know about)

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My friend Paul Singh (of the productivity blog 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.

Compare credit cards at, and check out my list of credit-card links.

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  1. Has Paul Singh used the feature?? Thats a different story all together. What usually happens is they OUTSOURCE these warranties or features to smaller companies who 7 out of 10 times will deny you.

    When you try to use these services, your CC company will ask u to call some 1-800 number where you wait for ages for your turn….this is a technique I believe to make you frustrated and give up. Then they will put you on hold for another 30 minutes, and then ask for for the ORIGINAL RECEIPT of something you bought 9 months ago and a credit card statement is NOT enough….well u get the picture.

    Trust me, I have had my share of ‘extended’ warranties by 3rd parties. They dont work. If they do, ur a lucky bastard.

  2. I like using an American Express card. Their services are actually worth paying for and they treat you like a real customer which makes the purchase worthwhile.

    I really like their protection plan. I used it outside of the U.S. and they helped me resolve an issue that I had when my wallet was taken.

    If you are going to use American Express overseas don’t be surprised if it isn’t accepted in many places. I found it very difficult to find a place where I could use it.

  3. I can’t speak from experience but the first comment may be true. While Amex has awesome customer service, some of their services are outsourced to less-than-helpful groups.

    I often check FlyerTalk to see what others’ experiences are.

  4. card replacement is not a perk in my believe. Its a must for them to keep me as a customer.

  5. A perk that my Visa card issued by Wells Fargo has is cell phone replacement insurance if I pay the entire bill with the card. Well i never use the card for anything except paying my cell phone bill. Wells Fargo is glad I use their card and I save $12 a month (4 cell lines x $3/month for AT&T insurance coverage) by not taking the insurance offered by the phone company.

  6. Using a credit card for pretty much any expense I possibly can earned me $600 last year. Didn’t have to do anything to get it, just use the card. Didn’t pay any interest, so it worked out pretty well. Being able to dispute a charge with a credit card is also fantastic (not exactly a perk, but it’s nice to put the burden of proving they didn’t screw you back on the retailer).
    There are a lot of benefits offered by credit cards, and I think they do it because they probably rarely get used – like the secondary insurance coverage on a rental car, an extra 1 year warranty, etc. If you need it, it’s awesome to have, but I’ve had the card for 5 years now and haven’t used any of the extras it offers (beyond the cash back and disputing charges, which aren’t really extras), because I haven’t had to.

  7. Cr$p! If only I had read this sooner and realized all my Amex could do. sigh. Now I’m stuck with an engraved titanium bracelet.

  8. Well I don’t have an AMEX,
    But I have applied for a student credit card…with a limit of around $300. So I don’t know if I will get all of these perks on my card. But great post….thanks

  9. Take a look at the contract fine print in reference to Return Protection. There are so many product exclusions that this perk is rendered useless.

  10. I’ve had the AmEx One card for two years, and rather then have to pay the annual fee last year, they sent me $35 for being such a good customer! I was also given $50 when I signed up.