Bronze, silver, gold, platinum. They started off as plain coins, then as anniversaries; at some stage they became the prizes for competitions, and the frequent flyer status you have. And now they are different types of credit cards.
I read in an interview that the gold color of the first Visa logo symbolized the California sun, where the original bank issuing the cards was based. And very soon it represented the luxury and prestige that having a credit card once represented.
Almost 60 years later, credit cards are a very common banking product. In fact, they often belong to the product category “convenience banking”. Together with a current and a savings account, it’s the basic banking package.
But not all credit cards are the same. In another post we saw how we can pay with a credit card. Let’s see now what other advantages these cards can have.
Most of us are vaguely aware of the fact that our credit card offers some kind of insurance when travelling – do you know exactly what? Some cards will only cover certain costs in case of accident while others will offer insurance for travel cancellation and extension of warranty.
Other situation where your credit card might offer insurance is when purchasing household appliances or even in case of theft of your wallet/handbag.
If you’re anything like me and have to be hospitalised during your vacation, the first thing you will do is surf the website of CNS or your private health insurance. None of us has the reflex to check the personal and travel assistance conditions of our credit cards. Hospital costs, evacuation and repatriation or, if you cannot be moved, bringing your loved ones to you (family reconnection), even helicopter expenses are sometimes covered. Some cards will only offer this coverage during your holidays, the best cards offer this assistance all year round. For free.
You want to rent a car abroad? Check if your credit card offers assistance for towing and repair.
Different cards, different fees
Logically, the more services your card offers the higher the fee will be. It could very well turn out to be a very cheap fee!
Read the advantages and conditions linked to your card, if you have one already. And if you were thinking of acquiring a new credit card, don’t judge the card by its cover – judge its services and price with the help of this table:
|Rental vehicle cover|
|Personal (incl. repatriation and family reconnection)|
|Total fee(s) due|