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Vanishing Credit Card Perks

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Credit card issuers have been cutting back on card benefits—a move that could cost you money and cause you hassle. The benefits being cut back include reimbursement for newly purchased items that are damaged or stolen…reimbursement if a store won’t let you return a newly purchased item that you’re not satisfied with…roadside assistance…insurance coverage for rental-car damage or theft, as well as coverage for baggage delay or loss and for travel delays…and concierge assistance hotlines for help with travel planning and emergencies.

If you don’t pay attention to mailings from your cards’ issuers, you might think that you still are getting benefits that are no longer available, so be sure to read those mailings and check card-issuer websites to decide which perks are most important to you when using or applying for cards. By cutting back, the credit card companies are seeking to save money partly in anticipation of a greater number of defaults by consumers on variable-rate credit card balances if interest rates start to rise.

Popular credit cards that are cutting back benefits include…

Bank of ­America Better Balance Rewards MasterCard: No more reimbursement for newly purchased items that you don’t want…roadside assistance…travel assistance.

Discover Card: No more roadside assistance…insurance for baggage delay, travel delay and lost luggage…travel assistance.

Fidelity Investments Rewards MasterCard and American Express Card: No more MyConcierge personal assistance service.

Sears Platinum MasterCard: No more reimbursement for newly purchased items that you don’t want…rental-car insurance coverage…roadside assistance…travel assistance…elevated rewards points for shopping at Kmart and Sears.

More cards may cut back similar benefits over the coming year. Check those mailings!

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Source: Source: Bill Hardekopf, CEO, LowCards.com, Birmingham, Alabama, and coauthor of The Credit Card Guidebook. Date: November 15, 2015 Publication: Bottom Line Personal
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