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Credit cards better than debit cards – sometimes

Credit cards have important advantages over debit cards – if you use credit cards wisely. Here are seven advantages:

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4. Extended Warranty Protection

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This protection extends the length of the free repair period under the original manufacturer's US warranty up to one additional year. The warranty must be three years or less.

Capital One doubles the original warranty time period and duplicates the coverage of the original manufacturer's warranty up to a maximum of 12 months on most items you purchase. If you fail to properly register the original warranty as required by the manufacturer, the extended warranty will only double the actual warranty time period that you received from the manufacturer.

To receive extended warranty protection, you must submit the store receipt, the credit card receipt, and a copy of the manufacturer's warranty.

5. Common Carrier Lost Luggage Coverage

If you purchase your common carrier tickets with your credit card, lost luggage coverage will cover you and your dependents for permanently lost, stolen, or damaged bags while checked with your carrier. Coverage is secondary to the carrier's liability and applies after that coverage has been exhausted.

Coverage varies by issuer. Citi's coverage for checked bags is up to $3,000 per occurrence per covered person. American Express' coverage is up to $1,250 for lost, stolen or damaged carry-on baggage, and up to $500 for checked baggage (coverage is more for Platinum members). This is in excess of the Common Carrier's liability and includes up to $250 of coverage for high-risk items, such as computers, jewelry and electronics.

6. Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Coverage

To get the coverage, you must purchase the trip entirely with your credit card. If certificates, vouchers, or frequent flier miles are used, any remaining charge for the trip must be paid entirely with the credit card. Coverage is typically limited to the lesser of $1,500 per calendar year or the original cost of the ticket.

If your trip is interrupted for a covered reason, you will be reimbursed for the travel on the carrier to your return to your destination or to join your group at their current location. Exclusions include: pre-existing medical conditions; participating in bodily contact sports; non-emergency treatment or surgery; pregnancy and childbirth (except for complications). Coverage is limited to the amount not covered by another insurance or indemnity. Some cards offer this coverage for free while others may charge a premium.

7. Roadside Assistance

Some cards offer roadside assistance for gas delivery, tire changes, jump-starts, etc. The fees for the services are usually pre-negotiated and will be billed to your account. If you have a rental vehicle, call the car rental agency before you call your credit card company because many rental agencies have special procedures regarding emergency road service.

Some cards offer extras benefits:

Medical Prescription Replacement Assistance

If medications are lost or forgotten, some card issuers will help in obtaining new prescriptions.

Doctor Referral/ Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance

If you or another covered family member becomes injured or ill while traveling, your issuer can provide a global referral network of general physicians, dentists, hospitals, and pharmacies. It can also help arrange transportation to the nearest appropriate medical facility, and set up and coordinate the transport. You are responsible for all costs associated with medical care and transport. In the case of a death, the benefit administrator can make arrangements for returning the remains of the deceased home.


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