As fabulous as all those great credit card perks sound, things are not always as they appear. While car rental insurance, extended warranty protection and price protection sound really wonderful as credit card perks, the fine print in your cardmember agreement provides for a number of exclusions. Here are some important exclusions to credit card perks, which apply to most offerings from most cards.
The problem with buyer protection is that you won’t even get compensated until after your primary insurance has been exhausted. Beyond this, you are not covered for:
- Lost items.
- Theft from vehicles.
- Jewelry, cameras or video equipment unless carried by hand by the cardmember or companion.
- Boats, motorized vehicles, airplanes, cars, motorcycles.
- Equipment and accessories.
- Traveler’s cheques.
- Tickets of any kind.
- Currency or precious metals.
- Plants, animals or consumables.
The big one here is price protection does not apply to Internet ads. Beyond this, you are not covered for:
- Used items.
- Items subject to rebate or coupon.
- Items in limited quantity or going-out-of-business-sales.
- Personalized items.
- Transportation tickets of any kind, currency, metals, traveler’s cheques.
Rental car coverage
Rental car coverage already has some big exclusions and restrictions. But the fine print here most cards is you are only covered for renting — and I paraphrase — four-wheeled, private passenger-type motor vehicles or minivans. They’re to be used exclusively to carry passengers. They are designed for travel on public roads. That’s right, U-Hauls are not covered. Nor are trucks, off-road vehicles, antique cars, recreational vehicles, pick-ups, mini-buses or limited edition vehicles. Coverage will also not apply for/if:
- You are driving while intoxicated.
- Using the auto to carry people or things for hire.
- Using the auto in a race.
- Unauthorized driver.
- Loss of use.
If the airline loses luggage, you may get paid something. But not if it loses Fido the dog. You will not be compensated by your credit card for his loss. He’s excluded, as if Ficus the plant. Other caveats and exclusions:
- You must use your card to purchase the entire fare.
- Breakage of fragile items.
- Your negligence.
- Household furnishings and collector’s items.
- Glasses, artificial teeth, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs.
You can only get paid if you have accidental injury, sickness or death of a family member, traveling companion or yourself. Other exclusions are injuries due to:
- Pre-existing conditions.
- Self-inflicted injuries.
- Participation in military maneuvers.
- Mental disorders unless hospitalized.
- Drugs or intoxication.
- Bodily contact sports activity.
- Non-ER medical treatment.
The lists here are by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of restrictions. The lesson is clear on credit card perks: Read everything, assume nothing.
U-Haul image via Shutterstock