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Moving This Summer? Use These 5 Credit Card Perks to Make It Easier (or at Least a Little Cheaper)

July 22, 2014
Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
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Moving can be a difficult and unpleasant chore. No matter how excited you are about all the fun you’ll have in your new place, dealing with the process of getting there is nothing but a hassle.

Since summer is prime moving time, this is the perfect opportunity to review some common credit card perks that could make the task easier – or at least a little cheaper. Take a look at the details below to find out how your plastic might have your back during your next big move.

1. Rental car insurance

If you’re planning on renting a car for your move, you can feel comfortable turning down the optional insurance offered by the rental agency if you’re booking with a major credit card. Every big credit card network (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) provides some type of free rental car insurance if you pay for the rental with your card.

Coverage varies greatly depending on what type of card you have, so it’s wise to get in touch with your issuer before booking your rental. But relying on your plastic instead of the rental car company for additional coverage could save you about $25 per day.

Note: Most credit cards exclude large vehicles like pickup trucks, vans and very big SUVs from their rental car coverage program. 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.

2. Introductory 0% APR promotions

In an effort to attract business, many credit card issuers offer 0% APR promotions for new customers who sign on to their cards. If you have good credit you might be able to get a card that charges 0% APR on purchases for 6-12 months.

This is a great deal if you’re moving, because there are 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.

» MORE: Why nearly every purchase should be on a credit card

3. Return protection

Moving involves a lot of guesswork: Will those new drapes look good with my new couch? Will the new duvet clash with the color of the walls? How many picture-hanging hooks will I actually need? Inevitably, some of those purchases will need to be returned. If the store won’t take something back, your credit card might have you covered.

Most credit cards offer some type of return protection, which will refund you for a purchase you made with the card even if the retailer won’t. Again, this benefit varies with the type of card you have, and almost all policies come with exclusions. Check with your issuer for more details, but be sure to keep this benefit in mind if you run into a décor disaster.

4. 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.

Luckily, though, most 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.

5. Signup bonuses

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, a big signup bonus is one feature you might be looking for. But have you considered that you could use your bonus points, miles or cash back to offset some of the cost of your move?

Many credit card issuers allow you to convert your rewards to gift cards or merchandise, which could be a good option if you’ve just moved to a new home. If you can use your signup bonus for home-improvement-store gift cards or a new appliance, you might be able to score some great items for your new place.

Just be sure to do the math to see if gift cards and merchandise redemptions give you a good value on your points; in some cases, it might be better to cash them in for something else.

Couple moving image via Shutterstock