Getting the most out of your credit card

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You might think we’re anti-credit cards at Map My Plan. And for the most part, I suppose we are. Credit cards fuel overspending and can trap people in a cycle of bad debt. However, when used correctly, credit cards can be useful for more than just spending money you don’t have.

The potential perks of credit cards (beyond rewards schemes):

  1. Return protection on goods: most credit cards allow you to dispute a purchase if the goods never show up, and some will even give you return protection if what is delivered isn’t what you ordered.
  2. Extended warranty: don’t waste money on store warranty deals. Most credit cards offer an extra year’s warranty on purchases as standard.
  3. Theft, breakage and loss protection: some credit cards will refund the purchase price of items you accidently break or lose.
  4. Travel incentives: finding a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees can save you a bundle. They also sometimes cover things like trip cancellations and car rental insurance, and even travel insurance.
  5. Price protection: if you buy an item then see it on sale for 10% less the week after, your credit card company might be able to refund the difference.
  6. Star treatment: access to airport VIP lounges, concierge services and more can all be offered through credit card providers.

Of course, you need to check that any benefits you get outweigh annual fees and interest rates on purchases. This Mozo tool is great for comparing rewards credit cards.

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