8 Credit Card Perks that Can Help You Save Over The Holidays
Credit cards often get the blame for spending beyond our means, but when used properly, they can offer tremendous value throughout the holidays. Here are eight surprising ways credit card perks can help you save big during the most wonderful—and the most expensive—time of the year.
1. Price Protection
Is there anything more frustrating than buying an item at full price only to find out it went on sale a few days later? Luckily, there's a credit card perk called "Price Protection" that crosses that particular annoyance off of your holiday shopping list.
With Price Protection, if you find the same product at a lower price within 60 days after your purchase, the difference will be refunded to you—to a maximum of $500. Not many Canadian credit cards offer the product, but the MBNA World Elite MasterCard is one of them.
2. Purchase Protection
You receive a tearful call from your mom on New Year's Day: At some point during the previous night's celebrations, someone stole the chic new bag you bought her for Christmas. The good news? If you bought the bag with your credit card, you're likely covered to some extent. Many credit card perks include “Purchase Protection,” insuring most items (but not all), against theft or damage for 90 days from the date of purchase.
3. Extended Warranty
You're shopping for a new tablet, TV or digital camera for your spouse. The salesman starts up-selling you—hard—to get the extended warranty. Despite the added cost you relent. Bad decision! Many credit cards automatically extend the manufacturer’s warranty by up to a year, completely free. (That's if you make the purchase with your credit card, of course!)
4. Travel Insurance
Many of us invest a significant amount of money into a winter vacation. However, if you cancel your trip at the last minute or have to return home unexpectedly, you can lose the cost of your entire deposit—or worse, the cost of the entire trip.
Booking vacations with a credit card offering free comprehensive trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay and baggage insurance is a smart way to protect your investment, and can literally save you thousands of dollars.
5. Travel Medical Insurance
As Canadians, we're fortunate to have provincial medical coverage. However, if you travel outside of Canada, you’ll only be covered for the amount it would have cost the province for any emergency medical treatment you receive. Travel to the United States where medical procedures can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, for instance, and you and your family could face financial ruin.
Fortunately, many of Canada’s best credit cards come with free out-of-country travel medical insurance. Just make sure to review your policy to ensure you’re adequately covered based on your individual needs.
6. Cash back rewards
If you know you're going to spend more during the holidays than at any other time of year, you might as well get rewarded for it. Instead of paying with cash or debit, which get you nothing in return for your spend, compare Canada’s best cash back credit cards and earn as much as 5% in cash back rewards.
7. Free flight bonuses
Travelling is expensive. However, there is a way to dramatically reduce the cost of your next vacation: Flying for free. Before you book your next trip, see if you can find a credit card that can get you to your destination and back at no cost. Many of Canada’s best Aeroplan credit cards offer superb sign-up bonuses with first year annual fee waivers, and free round-trip airfare to anywhere in continental North America.
8. 0% Financing
It's not rare to experience a bit of a cash crunch during the holidays. If you have to borrow a little money to make it through December, do so wisely. Shift all of your holiday credit card debt to one of Canada’s best balance transfer credit cards, offering rates as low as 0% for 12 months.
Marc Felgar is a credit card expert & insider. He is the CEO and founder of GreedyRates.ca, which helps Canadians find the best credit card through online comparison tools, filters, credit card reviews and the latest deals and offers in the marketplace.
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