Moving? These Credit Card Perks Can Make It Easier (or Cheaper)

An introductory 0% period and a sign-up bonus can save you money, while extended warranties add peace of mind.

Lindsay KonskoJuly 22, 2014
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Moving can be difficult and unpleasant. No matter how excited you are about your new place, the process of getting there is one big hassle. No wonder research has repeatedly pegged moving as one of the most stressful life experiences, right up there with divorce or job loss.

Your credit card isn't going to pack up your stuff and move it for you, but the perks that come with your card might be able to make the task a liitle easier — or at least a little cheaper. Here are a few to keep in mind.

1. Introductory 0% APR period

To drum up business, many credit card issuers offer new cardholders an interest-free period of a year or more, which allows you to spread out the cost of a large purchase or expense.

Zero-percent offers can be valuable when you move, not just for the cost of the physical move itself, but also because of the many unexpected expenses that come with settling into a new home. Having a cushion of time to pay them off before incurring interest will make your move a little less stressful. Just be sure to be disciplined about eliminating your balance before the interest-free period is up.

2. Sign-up bonus

Most good rewards credit cards offer some kind of bonus for new cardholders: Spend a specific amount with the card in the first few months, and you'll get a great haul of points or cash back. This set-up dovetails nicely with logistics of moving:

  • The expenses of the move could get you a long way toward earning the sign-up bonus,

  • The bonus itself could offset some of the costs of the move. You can redeem the bonus for credit on your statement, or use it to save money elsewhere and apply those savings to your moving costs.

3. Extended warranty

Many people view a big move as a good time to upgrade some of their electronics and appliances. But if one of those items breaks after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, it could dampen your enthusiasm for your new place.

Many credit cards offer some version of an extended warranty on items purchased with the card. In many cases, this could lengthen the item’s warranty for up to a year beyond what the manufacturer is offering. But you guessed it: It’s smart to check with your particular card issuer to see what their extended warranty policy is.

4. Rental car coverage

If you’ll be renting a car for your move, and using a major credit card to pay for it, you may be able to turn down the insurance coverage offered by the rental agency, which could save you about $30 a day.

The Visa, MasterCard and American Express payment networks all provide some type of rental insurance coverage if you pay for the rental with your card. (Discover discontinued its rental car benefit in 2018.) Individual card issuers may offer additional coverage as well.

Coverage varies greatly depending on what type of card you have, so check your benefits guide before booking your rental. In most cases, your own auto insurance covers you in a rental, and the coverage offered by the card is "secondary," meaning it pays for whatever your own insurance does not, such as deductibles.

Nerd tip: The rental car coverage on most credit cards excludes large vehicles like pickup trucks, vans and big SUVs. But if you don’t have a lot to move and a regular car will suffice, this is a good perk to keep in mind.

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