As summer welcomes the warm weather, along comes the busy travel season. It is a time when credit cards will become more than just convenient payment methods, they also carry consumer-friendly protections that can save money and cure a few headaches that may arise during your summer trips and outings.
These are some of the handy credit card protections that could be at your disposal during this travel season. (Check your card benefits too see if you enjoy these protections before booking your summer trips. Card benefits, coverage amounts and eligibility policies may vary from card to card.)
5. Travel and emergency assistance. An emergency can derail an entire trip, so it is much relief that credit cards offer many forms of emergency assistance for distressed travelers. Medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation and lost luggage assistance are examples of how your credit card issuer can be of help.
4. Lost baggage and baggage delay coverage. It’s a major inconvenience when an airline takes forever to get your baggage to you or, even worse, loses your luggage, where you keep all your essentials. Baggage delay insurance will reimburse you when you have to purchase necessities because the airline took so long to get your baggage to you.
Lost baggage coverage reimburses you for damaged or lost luggage, up to a certain amount. Yes, it does become a hassle when you arrive to your destination without your luggage, and have to buy everything you need to proceed with your trip. But, at least you’ll be compensated for the loss.
3. Auto rental insurance. If you are going on a road trip with an auto rental, double check your credit card’s benefits. Don’t agree to a car rental company’s insurance coverage if your credit card offers auto rental insurance for free (the rental must be paid with the credit card). Coverage often includes collision damage and vehicle theft.
2. Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage. Sometimes, trips get canceled or a something prevents you from going on your trip. This perk tends to reimburse cardmembers up to a certain amount on prepaid, non-refundable travel costs. For instance, if your trip was canceled due to a bad storm, you’d be able to recoup some of the expenses that you already paid.
Many credit cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
The popular Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card also offers a trip delay reimbursement that will cover expenses, such as lodging and meals, in the event that a trip is delayed for more than 12 hours.
1. Personal concierge. Depending on your credit card, you may have access to 24-hour personal concierge service, which helps with travel arrangements, entertainment planning, shopping needs and much more. Concierge agents act like personal assistants to help cardmembers find services and things that they need, which is extremely useful when you’re on a trip and want to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Many travel credit cards, some World MasterCards and all Visa Signature cards offer complimentary personal concierge service.