We're not in the business of singing the praises of credit cards, but we have to make an exception where it's due: Most credit cards come with free travel perks. We're guessing you already have access to these and might not even know it. They can save you a ton of extra money—not to mention peace of mind—that you might spend on things you don't need.
Car Rental Insurance
Most major credit cards offer car rental insurance to cover loss or damage, as long as you pay for the rental car in full with the card.
Which Cards: Visa, American Express (except for the Delta SkyMiles Options card), Discover and MasterCard (both at elite levels like gold or platinum). Discover is the only issuer that doesn't offer loss-of-use coverage.
Replacement of Essential Items
If your baggage is delayed, some cards will reimburse your cost of replacing essentials.
Which Cards: Several Chase credit cards reimburse up to $300, far more than most airlines, which tend to provide closer to $25.
Lost Wallet Services, Emergency Card Replacement, Assurance of Hotel Reservations
American Express will put you in touch with English-speaking doctors and lawyers if you’re stuck in a foreign country. They’ll also assure your hotel reservations even if you check in late, and guarantee your check-in even if you lose your wallet. If you lose your card, they can usually get one to you within 24 hours, as well.
Which Cards: American Express.
Travel Accident Insurance
Covers injury (...or worse) on a common carrier (plane, train, bus, or ship) for you, your spouse, and any dependent children with you, as long as you pay for the ticket with that card.
Which Cards: Most card types from major card issuers like Visa and MasterCard.
That’s the LearnVest way to be smart about your free credit card insurance perks ... because it doesn’t pay to be broke.