Both Visa and MasterCard encourage cardholders to contact their financial institution to confirm specific coverage levels. American Express pays up to $2,000 for lost baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage.
Value: Up to $180. You can purchase additional coverage for lost luggage from the airline, typically at $6 per $100 of value.
5. Roadside assistance
What it does: If your car breaks down on the road (and you are generally at least 50 miles away from home), your credit card company will send someone to the rescue.
The catch: You will still be charged for any services received (such as towing, jump-starts, gas delivery or tire changes). Visa and MasterCard say you can still end up saving money, because the fees for these services are negotiated ahead of time. (If you are driving a rental vehicle, be sure to check whether you can be reimbursed for these costs under the card's auto rental collision damage waiver.)
Value: Up to $80 a year, the cost of individual AAA membership, depending on the location. (Keep in mind that the cost of road services is included in AAA membership, so that may be more cost-effective if you expect to use such services often.)
6. Concierge service
What it does: Available with the Platinum Card from American Express, as well as the premium levels of Visa and MasterCard, concierge service can help you book travel, make restaurant reservations, get tickets to concerts or sporting events, pick out gifts (including hard-to-find items) or plan a party.
The catch: You will pay the cost of all services or items received, so if you are a power shopper or on a tight budget, you're better off doing your own research. In addition, many premium credit cards that offer this service have annual fees, so they're not entirely free. For example, the AmEx Platinum card will set you back $450 a year.
Value: $25 to $55 per hour. The hourly rate charged by concierge services varies depending on your location, says Katharine Giovanni, the chairwoman of the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association, an industry group. Prices also vary depending on the type of services performed; expect to pay more for planning an around-the-world trip than, say, picking up your dry cleaning.
This article was reported by Aleksandra Todorova for SmartMoney.
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