You may not be aware of this great financial tip, but your credit card offers more than just a line of credit for you to spend.
Many consumers don’t even know that their credit cards contain benefits like extending the length of an item’s warranty, various rewards beyond travel benefits, replacements for stolen items, price-matching (even if the stores don’t honor the same policy), and many other perks for using credit.
One of the biggest perks: price protection. That’s where, if you buy something online or in a store and the price drops in a given time (usually anywhere up to 60 or 90 days later), you can get a refund for the difference in price.
However, tapping into those credit card benefits typically requires a process, where you submit a formal claim to your credit-issuer/bank with receipts and other documents relating to your purchase. It can be a hassle, especially with all of the time it takes to watch prices drop or just trying to keep track your receipts.
Luckily, we live in a day and age where there are apps for just about everything.
Automating credit card claims to take advantage of credit card benefits like price protection and more? You bet.
Here’s a look at some of the best apps you can use to get the most out of your credit card benefits.
Earny is primarily a price-comparison app. Simply sign up with Earny by linking your email account(s), and optionally, your credit card and Amazon accounts. The app then tracks your purchases and looks for a price drop. When the price changes in your favor, Earny will automatically file a refund request to help you claim the difference in cash.
#2. Reward Summit
If you’re not comfortable with giving your credit details to an app, you may want to try Reward Summit. This app advises you on the best credit card to use for a given purchase based on where you are shopping and the corresponding rewards program. Instead of sharing your credit card account information, you only identify the cards you have and use.
With Smorecard, you don’t need to give your credit card account information. You just select the credit cards that you currently have. There’s a GPS system that tracks your location, with the app picking the best credit card to use based on where you’re shopping. What makes Smorecard especially useful is that you can customize your own credit card profile, which lets you take advantage of special reward opportunities and introductory offers.
Of all the credit card benefit apps, Sift may show the most promise in almost every purchase you make. This free app (available for iPhones or Android devices) allows you to sync up your credit cards and find the best rewards, sending claims automatically when the opportunity arises. Sift also helps you keep track of your travel rewards—a valuable tool to saving money when you’re on the go. Additionally, Sift maintains a website that has a wealth of information and tips, helping you understand just how all of those credit card benefits actually work.
Help Claiming Your Rewards
As you may imagine, credit card companies and retailers aren’t exactly happy with this new technology.
Consumers now have tools to automate money that is due to them, including those benefits that are used to entice new customers. But retailers and credit card issuers no doubt realize that many consumers won’t take advantage of all the perks to which they’re entitled; mainly because people forget, they’re too busy, or they previously just didn’t have an easy way to track or cash in on various rewards.
Many people are also blissfully unaware of certain terms or conditions buried in the fine print. So that could keep consumers from getting their credit card rewards too.
In fact, because of the emerging number of apps that “exploit” your credit card’s hidden benefits (and in turn, a retailer’s legal and financial obligations), many companies have changed their policies to avoid losing money and being swamped by claims forms. Amazon has recently changed its return policy and price-matching capabilities in order to save their bottom-line, a move rumored to be directly related to some of the apps featured in this article.
You can expect this trend to continue.
For now, using these apps can put more money in your wallet almost automatically. Using these apps can also help cover your losses, extend the life of the goods you buy, or advise you on how to spend your money for the right type of rewards that fits your life.
Try them today to start saving – even as you’re spending!