Credit cards are a great way to earn rewards and finance new purchases, but you could be overlooking some money-saving perks that offer added value to cardholders. Card issuers often market credit cards with generous welcome bonuses or long special financing periods, but bury the details of lesser-known perks, such as cell phone protection and exclusive shopping discounts.
"To clarify, not all credit cards have perks. Typically, rewards cards that have an annual fee offer more perks in addition to cash back or points for purchases," Priya Malani, founder and CEO of Stash Wealth, tells CNBC Select. "Each credit card will apply its own stipulations to these perks and make the decision on which to offer at various rewards levels."
Below, CNBC Select rounds up eight credit card perks that you might not know about, so you can start to take advantage of them.
Some credit cards offer cell phone protection for damage or theft when you pay your monthly phone bill with your card. This perk can help offset or cover the cost of repairing or replacing your phone. Eligible consumer cards include the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card and the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card.
"There is usually a cap to what card issuers will pay, and some cards have a deductible requiring you to pay, let's say, the first $100," Malani says.
Many credit cards offer discounts at eligible merchants when you either activate a bonus offer or shop through a portal. American Express, Chase and Bank of America provide their cardholders with special deals on eligible spending. These offers typically give you either a percentage or set dollar amount of cash back, credited to your account. Chase and Wells Fargo offer online shopping portals that provide extra rewards on purchases made through a special link. You must pay with an eligible credit card to take advantage of these shopping perks.
Many credit cards offer complimentary ShopRunner access, which provides free two-day shipping and returns at over 100 online retailers, such as Bloomingdale's and 1800 Flowers. Simply enroll for free with your eligible credit card and sign in to your ShopRunner account during checkout at participating retailers. Credit cards backed by American Express and Mastercard qualify for this offer.
Many cards provide exclusive access to a variety of entertainment events, such as concerts, dining experiences and pro sporting games. You may receive presale access, priority seating and complimentary tickets, depending on the card you have.
For example, Mastercard provide Priceless experiences, which includes early access to Off-Broadway two-for-one tickets. And certain Capital One cards offer access to premium OpenTable reservations and as well as events such as the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.
If you miss a credit card payment, there can be negative results, including a fee, sometimes up to $39. But some cards may waive your first late payment fee. All Discover cards do this, and other cards such as the Citi Simplicity® Card charge no late payment fees whatsoever.
When you apply for and are approved for select credit cards, you may receive the option to get an instant card number. This allows you to use your credit card for online transactions right away, without waiting for your physical card to arrive in the mail. Select card issuers, such as American Express, may provide your credit card number, expiration date and temporary CVV code after approval.
Bank of America credit card holders can benefit from the Museums on Us® program, which provides free general admission to participating museums the first full weekend of every month. Simply present your Bank of America credit card and photo ID for one free general admission entry, excluding special exhibitions, ticketed shows and fundraising events.
All Discover college student credit cards offer a Good Grade reward, where students can get a $20 statement credit each school year their GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five consecutive years. The Discover it® Student Cash Back and the Discover it® Student chrome both offer this perk.
Information about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express®, U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card, Citi Simplicity® Card, Bank of America® Cash Rewards, Bank of America® Premium Rewards, Bank of America® Travel Rewards, and Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.