The Best Credit Cards with Hidden Benefits
We all know that credit cards are a secure and convenient method of payment and that they can also be used to finance purchases. In addition, credit cards can offer valuable rewards in the form of points, miles, and cash back. But underneath these well advertised features can lie a hidden array of perks and benefits that only savvy cardholders learn to use.
Here are some of the best credit cards that offer benefits that you might not be aware of:
Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back card is not nearly as well known as cards from other payment networks such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. Perhaps because of its underdog status, Discover includes a range of benefits that many people are not aware of. First, Discover is widely regarded for its excellent customer service. In addition, the card offers numerous consumer protection policies including price protection and Social Security number monitoring.
Few people are aware that you can use your Discover card to receive cash at checkout with no additional cash advance fees. In fact, only the standard purchase APR applies when you withdraw cash from a variety of major supermarket and discount store chains including Wal-Mart. There is no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card from Chase
Everyone loves earning frequent flyer miles until it comes time to redeem them and they are unable to find available award space. Thankfully, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card offers not just the ability to earn miles in United's MileagePlus frequent flyer program, but cardholders also receive additional access to award seats. United offers cardholders awards on any unsold seat, at any time, on United operated flights when booked at the standard award level.
In addition, cardholders also receive greater access to economy class seats at the saver (reduced mileage) level than non-cardholders. Other perks include priority boarding, a free checked bag, and two United Club passes each year. There is a $95 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express, a Credit Cards House advertiser, is a popular premium travel rewards card that offers a long list of benefits that cardholders may not be aware of. While you can use your card to access Delta SkyClub airport lounges, you have to specifically enroll in the Priority Pass Select network in order to receive access their 1,000+ lounges worldwide. Another cardholder benefit is Gold elite status with both Hilton and Starwood hotels, and again, you only receive this benefit upon request. Doing so offers priority service, room upgrades and 4pm late checkouts. Likewise, you can also receive elite status with Hertz, Avis, and National rental cars when you request it. Platinum cardholders also receive an extra four hour grace period when using their discount code to rent from Hertz. This valuable benefit could allow you to cut your rental car bill in half if you need a car for 28 hours.
Other more well known benefits include a $200 annual airline fee credit and a $100 credit towards the application fee for the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check programs. There is a $550 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is popular because it offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no foreign transaction fees. But, underneath this simple offer are a few hidden benefits. Quicksilver customers receive access to Capital One's Credit Wise app, which includes a free monthly credit score, a look back on your credit history, and a What If simulator to help you predict the consequences of possible future actions.
And as a Visa Signature® card, this card also comes with a complimentary concierge service, extended warranty protection, travel upgrades, and 24-hour travel assistance services. There is an introductory APR of 0% on both purchases and balance transfers during the first 15 months (then a 19.24% - 29.24% variable APR after that). There is no annual fee for this card and (like all Capital One cards) there are no foreign transaction fees.
Citi Prestige® Card
Like the American Express Platinum card, the Citi Prestige® Card from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser, is a premium rewards card that is chock full of hidden benefits. Perhaps the most valuable perk that is Citi offers cardholders a fourth night free on hotel reservations booked through its travel agent. It also offers cardholders three free rounds of golf each year when booked through the Golf Switch network. Other benefits include numerous travel insurance and purchase protection policies including medical evacuation coverage, baggage loss and delay coverage, and a 90 day return protection policy.
More well-known benefits include a $250 annual air travel statement credit and a $100 credit towards the application fee for the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check programs. There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
Editorial Note: The information related to United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has been collected by Credit Cards House and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.