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My bank has upgraded my credit card to a Visa Signature card, which comes with benefits such as Warranty Manager Service (up to one additional year of warranty), Purchase Security (reimbursement for stolen/damaged items within 90 days of purchase), Emergency Card Replacement/Cash Disbursement, Travel Accident Insurance (accidental death and dismemberment), Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Roadside Dispatch, Travel and Emergency Assistance Services, and a Concierge Service.

I've had a card before with some of these services and didn't manage to use them much. Most of them are a kind of insurance, so that's probably for the better. But I'm sure I've had situations where I could have used Warranty Manager or Purchase Security and just totally forgot about its existence.

Is there a good way to remember about the existence of these benefits when they are actually needed?

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These cards with added benefits often come with an annual fee, so you're right that it's worth understanding specific features (and requirements) for your own card's services, and taking advantage of them when appropriate.

As far as the "Roadside Dispatch" service goes, one of my own credit cards offers a similar benefit. Using a label maker, I printed a label reading: "Roadside assistance: 1-800-xxx-xxxx", with the roadside assistance service's phone number on it. I stuck that to the back of the credit card, because:

First, frequently seeing that label on the back of my card reminds me I have access to the service. I'm also reminded that both the card & cardholder (me) need to be present to take advantage of the service, no matter which car is in trouble. Once, I called to get my mom-in-law's car a free tow, when I happened to be around and her car was having trouble. (Familiarize yourself with how your service would operate.)

Second, the phone number is there when I need it. That is, I wouldn't have to make two calls, one to cardmember services to first find out the roadside assistance number, and then to the service. This may sound trivial, but trust me, you don't want to be waiting on hold for cardmember services when you're at the side of the road with a mobile phone you forgot to fully charge the night before!

  • Great idea to use the back of the card! My wife makes up a wallet-sized card with all of the various numbers like that and laminates it at work. – duffbeer703 Sep 25 '11 at 16:49
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Well, when you get into a situation when you have a thing broken a day after the warranty expires, you have to remember to ask yourself - did I check my credit card benefits?

That happened to me, and I got all my expenses covered by Amex (the "Warranty Manager" case). I wrote about it on my blog.

Try just putting a note with all your warranty cards, or writing on them directly "extended by my Visa for additional year".

  • +1. When I buy something with my similar card with warranty extension, I file the receipt itself in my "Warranty" file, and on the receipt I write "Warranty extended by Visa until __[date]__." I imagine the receipt exhibiting the method of purchase would be needed to claim on a credit card extension warranty, not just a warranty card ... I don't want to rely on the card company being helpful and looking up a years-old purchase ;-) – Chris W. Rea Sep 25 '11 at 13:57
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I scan the receipts for anything that is worth enough for me to care about warranty replacement -- usually anything over about $200. The key to all of these services is having a copy of the receipt, and I've found that the paper copies either create a lot of mess, or the thermal paper becomes illegible after a year or two.

  • 1
    Good point about the thermal paper - I've had it happen where a receipt I filed was nearly illegible a few years later! Generally, though, keeping the paper isn't a problem for me. I keep them all in a single "Warranty" folder, and once every year or two I purge the ones past the "best before" date scribbled when originally filed. – Chris W. Rea Sep 25 '11 at 16:58
  • I'll add to this thought - while making the scan/copy, print an extra and staple to the back of the manual for the product. 17 years later, I pulled out the manual for the garage door opener, to find the instructions to reprogram a new remote. Keep all manual organized by type and/or room the item is in. – JoeTaxpayer Sep 25 '11 at 17:04

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