Let me just start by saying that this really works for me. You may disagree. But by following these 2 rules I’ve never gone wrong. Rule #1: I only spend what I can pay off each month. Rule #2: NEVER deviate from rule #1. With that said, here are the seven reasons why I love to use my American Express on everything.
- Reward points: I like to use my American Express so I can cash in my reward points for clothing store gift cards. Many store cards also offer reward points, so look into your favorite stores and see what their programs are like. I once had a roommate who paid for her tuition on an L.L. Bean card to earn points!
- Extended warranty: When I moved into my new house several years ago, I bought my refrigerator, washer and dryer at Best Buy. They were offering a zero percent interest for one year, so instead of using my trusty AmEx, I opted for the ability to pay over the course of the year. Thirteen months (one month out of warranty) later the handle on the freezer door snapped off, and the lint catcher in the dryer broke! It would cost over $200 to replace. I managed to talk them down to $60, but both would have been covered for an additional year if I had used my AmEx. Lesson learned.
- Buyer protection plan: If within the first three months of buying something it gets lost, damaged or stolen, AmEx will reimburse the amount purchased. Some examples of when I’ve used this benefit: three-year old’s knee on my husband’s kindle, stolen hard drive during a local move, jewelry broken after one month of use. They will also cover some purchases if a store doesn’t accept returns. Of course, this benefit has limits, and you may be required to provide proof of loss, but it is a benefit that has come in handy.
- Ability to contest charges: Every month, I go online and I make sure all of my charges are purchases we made. When I was charged $900 more than I was supposed to have been by a dentist, I contested the amount. I did try to resolve the issue with the dentist first, but they looked at me and actually laughed about giving me a refund. I contested the charges with AmEx. I provided my proof of argument, and the dentist was given a certain amount of time to provide proof for their side. After investigation I was credited the $900. If I had paid cash I would have been out all of that money.
- Easy returns in stores: Most stores now have the ability to look up receipts with the credit card used. I oftentimes buy extra toys or home improvement supplies when there is a good deal only to lose the receipt and have leftovers. Credit card lookup is a quick and easy way to make a return.
- Makes my monthly and yearly budget easy: AmEx itemizes everything online, and it is very easy to manipulate the data. I can see exactly where I’m spending and adjust my budget accordingly.
- Travel perks: AmEx will provide extra insurance coverage when renting a car. If you are fortunate enough to get a great deal on their platinum card, you can get into airport lounges for free.
There you have it, the main reasons I charge everything on my AmEx. Remember, if used wisely, by paying the balance in full every month to avoid interest charge, credit cards can be a great benefit. Start by investigating what perks you would use, and what benefits provide the best return on investment.
This has been a guest post by Kate from Ladera Ranch, CA
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