With Labor Day approaching, it's a good time to review any perks offered by your credit cards.
Many involve travel and vacations.
In this Money Alert, Local 12's Paula Toti tells you what to look for in the fine print.
It's hard to recommend just one credit card even based on perks because they vary widely. you need to know what's important to you.
Some cards if you read the fine print will give you extra protection if you buy appliances or electronics ... doubling the manufacturers warranty.
Many cards give protections when it comes to travel ... but those benefits can change without notice.
If you purchased a vacation package with a credit card ... the card company may have implied you have trip cancellation insurance as a benefit. Chances are you don't. medical coverage while on vacation will depend.
"Typically no, it's just only cards which have high levels of service, the platinum level and higher. They will offer a medical benefit, while you're on the trip."
Deanna Katz of First Discount Travel says some of those cards will also have benefits for lost or damaged baggage, but normally you'll have to depend on what the airline will give you. What is very likely is rental car insurance.
As you shop at home or on vacation keep in mind any purchase protection. Some cards have protection for defective products or deceptive merchants.
"American Express, just from my personal experience does an outstanding job."
Let's test that theory ... on my recent vacation ... and that's not me ... I lost a camera part.
A camera that was purchased on this card. I was told items that mysteriously are lost aren't covered ... but since I'm a valued customer they'll consider it.
If you pick your credit card based on Delta miles ... keep in mind it's pretty hard to find a seat on the plane where you can use the minimum number of miles. In fact Deanna recommends you try booking your flight exactly ten and a half months before the trip ... as far out as you can book.
"We tell them to stay up until 11:30pm the night before, get on the phone with Delta and exactly at midnight try to use those miles and it's still not always available."
So you may be better off with a cash back card that gives you some extra money for that vacation.
Finally when spending money on vacation ... check your receipts. While most local merchants will only print the last four numbers of the card on the receipt ... that's not universal. By the way I did end up getting reimbursed for that lost camera part. If you want to compare cards based on the benefits most important to you, there is a website where you can do that.