Make the most of your credit card

Money Magazine Australia - - IN BRIEF -

When us­ing your credit card, there are a few neat perks you should know about. If you’ve got a re­wards card, it’s a great time to check what ex­tras it of­fers, as the Re­serve Bank’s crack­down on in­ter­change fees may lead to providers slash­ing the value of their re­wards.

Com­pli­men­tary in­sur­ance

You’ll find that many gold or plat­inum cards come with pur­chase-pro­tec­tion in­sur­ance, which cov­ers your items against theft and dam­ages for a lim­ited time. Oth­ers of­fer price-pro­tec­tion in­sur­ance, which en­ti­tles you to a re­fund if you find an item you’ve pur­chased on your card at a lower price. You might also be able to take ad­van­tage of com­pli­men­tary travel in­sur­ance, but first check the ex­tent of the cov­er­age and terms and con­di­tions.

Cash in your points

Some schemes ap­ply to cer­tain re­tail­ers. Amer­i­can Ex­press has a part­ner­ship with David Jones, the Com­mon­wealth Bank with Myer, and some have part­ner­ships with Flight Cen­tre and We­b­jet. Re­deem­ing your re­wards for flight up­grades, theatre book­ings and even char­ity do­na­tions and fee dis­counts on your credit card or home loan is usu­ally fairly flex­i­ble.

Buy now, pay later

Some cards of­fer a 0% in­tro­duc­tory rate, so get your big-ticket items in be­fore it ex­pires but find out what the re­vert rate is and when it comes into ef­fect. Some Amer­i­can Ex­press cards of­fer a “Fash­ion Pay Later” fa­cil­ity to al­low you to de­fer pay­ment on a sin­gle trans­ac­tion over $250 at David Jones for three months.

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