Financing a trip might be expensive but often that’s the easy part. The difficulties with money and travel come when it’s time to spend money while you’re away from home and on the road. Cash is easy to lose, and you might not have the funds to pay for once-in-a-lifetime expenses upfront. This is where your credit card might just save the day. From reward benefits to credit card rental car insurance, there are plenty of perks to be enjoyed if you use your credit card while travelling. Let’s consider just a few of them and delve into the topic a little deeper and see how you can save some money while on vacation this summer.
What the Figures Show
A recent survey revealed just how much credit card benefits matter while travelling. Over half of the people questioned reported that they valued credit card travel insurance more due to the pandemic and the uncertainty over travel that it caused. 60 per cent of people said that travel benefits were a bit factor that they considered when they were choosing and applying for a new card. Approximately one-third of people said they had experienced problems while trying to deal with their credit card’s customer service line while travelling – with this in mind, it’s shrewd to make sure you have all the information you need before you leave and notify the card provider of your impending trip. Additionally, 39 per cent of people said that a purchase had been declined while travelling because of suspected fraud. Again, if you can notify the card provider of your travel plans this can reduce the chance of this happening.
The Travel Perks of Credit Cards
The travel benefits of credit cards are wide and varied. The majority of travellers (34 per cent) stated insurance for accidents while travelling as their most wanted benefit. A further 33 per cent opted for trip delay and cancellation insurance while 23 per cent most wanted rental car insurance. The remaining 10 per cent selected airport lounge access as their most wanted benefit. Whatever benefits you’re looking for, you are likely to find one that suits you. You may find providers that offer trip delay insurance and trip cancellation which in the current climate of travel may be worth investing in. If you lose your luggage or need medical assistance while travelling, there are credit cards that can help with these too. Some high-end travel reward cards even offer coverage for roadside assistance and will send out help if your car breaks down. In some cases, you may need to pay for any of the services that are then required, but there are some cards that will cover the basic services with no extra cost to yourself.
Another great perk is that of rental car insurance. When you go to rent a car, you’re probably going to be asked if you want to purchase extra insurance. This will likely cost you an extra 15 to 30 dollars a day, adding up to quite a tidy sum by the end of your trip. If you can save yourself this extra expense, it’s worth looking into a credit card that will give you similar coverage. Therefore, it’s vital to understand how this coverage works and the limitations that may be involved.
What is Car Rental Insurance?
Even if you have car insurance that covers the car you own, you may not want to rely on that coverage when renting a car or it may not be valid when you are outside of the country. There are several credit cards now that include a form of coverage known as a collision damage waiver. When you put the expense of the rental car on your credit card, the collision damage waiver that comes with your credit can replace the alternatively expensive policies sold by the car rental company.
It’s important to remember that rental car policies offered by credit card providers don’t offer insurance for any damage you may cause to another vehicle, person, or property. Only the car you are renting will be covered so don’t expect any other losses to be covered too.
Types of Rental Car Insurance
Basically, there are two kinds of coverage offered by credit cards.
- Primary coverage. You don’t need to file a claim with your personal car insurance in the event of an incident.
- Secondary coverage. This requires that you make a claim using your personal car insurance first.
Therefore, when choosing the right coverage for you, you want to consider whether you are willing to involve your personal car insurance and deal with the repercussions of that.
Will My Credit Card Cover My Car Rental Insurance?
Rental car insurance used to come as standard on most credit cards but these days it’s no longer a given perk – it’s vital that you do your research and read the fine print to make sure that the credit card you go for will give you the cover you need when you go to rent a car.
Once you’ve ascertained which perks your credit card comes with, you need to understand how to use it. It might seem obvious, but you need to book the rental of the car using the credit card that you own that includes the insurance coverage. Additionally, some kinds of rental vehicles (like limos, vans, motorcycles, or luxury cars) might not be covered by the credit card so make sure you get in touch with the card provider so that you understand what is included. Also, find out what is included regarding the rental car – most policies protect against things like collisions, towing expenses, or the loss of the car it needs to be serviced. However, a lot of providers don’t tend to cover things like medical or legal costs incurred by driving the rental car. Finally, remember to think about the time. The coverage period for rental car insurance is often restricted so investigate this before you start planning a long trip.