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Maximizing Your Discover Credit Card Core Benefits

discover-card-benefitsTo get the most of your personal Discover credit card you need to “discover it.” Very cleverly, one-year ago Discover launched a brand new credit card loaded with goodies and named it: “it.” Of course you do not need to get the new “it” card to access the core benefits available on all Discover’s consumer credit card products.

Unlike Visa and MasterCard, Discover, as well as American Express, directly issue most of their credit cards. So they control the whole credit card process from cardholder to merchant. The perks offered by Discover and Americans Express are also available on many Visa and MasterCards, if added to the core benefits by the issuer.

Discover was the first major cash back rewards credit card to enter the market in the 1980s and built its brand on the cash back program with taglines such as “It Pays to Discover.” Discover continues to offer the cash back benefit and has now added bonus quarterly seasonal periods wherein cardholders earn extra cash back or extra miles for shopping in a specific retail category.

In the past year Discover added a Free FICO Score benefit on its new “it” card and is extending the new perk to other Discover cards. Discover also added the Baggage Delay Insurance benefit last year. However, Discover is dropping its Secure Online Account Numbers benefit this year.

Discover offers a package of ten free core benefits that apply to all Discover credit cards including:

1. PURCHASE PROTECTION

Discover credit cardholders are automatically eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement for a recently purchased item that is damaged or stolen within 90 days of the purchase. The entire cost of the covered purchase must be charged to an eligible Discover Card (or accrued rewards) for coverage to apply. Discover will reimburse the cardholder up to $500 for covered purchases that are damaged or stolen, except if stolen from vehicles. However, Discover will not pay more than the annual maximum benefit amount of $50,000 in any 12-month policy period to a single cardholder, regardless of the number of claims made in that 12-month policy period. There is no need to enroll for this complimentary benefit.

2. PRICE PROTECTION

If you, as a Discover credit cardholder, see an item you purchased at any store at a lower price within 90 days, Discover will cover the difference. There is a per-item limit of $500 and an annual program payment limit of $2,500 per account. Coverage is limited to three of an identical item with a limit of one refund per eligible item. Payment is made net of any applicable taxes, storage, shipping, handling and postage charges. Most new noncommercial retail products that are purchased in full with a Discover card are eligible for this benefit. There is no need to enroll for this complimentary Discover benefit.

3. EXTENDED PRODUCT WARRANTY

Discover will add up to 1 additional year of coverage to your existing warranty of 36 months or less. The entire cost of the covered purchase must be charged to an eligible Discover Card (or accrued rewards) for coverage to apply. Discover will duplicate the time period of the original U.S. manufacturer warranty and any purchased warranty on an Insured person’s covered purchase, up to a maximum of 12 months. If a warranty or a purchased warranty is made up of multiple components, Discover will duplicate the time period of each component. Under this benefit Discover will reimburse the cardholder for the lesser of: the cost of the covered purchase indicated on the cardholders statement; or the actual cost to repair or replace the covered purchase with an item of like kind and quality; or the maximum benefit amount of $10,000. There is no need to enroll for this complimentary Discover benefit.

4. RETURN GUARANTEE

Under this benefit if you are dissatisfied with any qualifying Discover purchase within 90 days, regardless of the original store’s policy, Discover will refund the cost of the item up to $500. The entire cost of the qualifying purchase must be charged to your Discover Card (and/or accrued rewards) for coverage to apply. If a cardholder is dissatisfied with a purchase made with a Discover card (or accrued Cashback Bonus or Miles) for a reason other than improper functioning and the store does not provide a refund, the benefit kicks in. The cardholder is required to first seek a refund from the store or online retailer and then file a claim. Most new, non-commercial, retail products that are purchased in full with an eligible Discover card (and/or accrued Cashback Bonus or Miles) are eligible for this benefit. The item still needs its original packaging and should be in good condition and in working order. There is a per item limit of $500 and an annual program payment limit of $2,500 per account. Payment is made net of any applicable taxes, storage, shipping, handling and postage charges. There is no need to enroll for this complimentary benefit.

5. SHOPDISCOVER

Discover cardholders can earn bonus cash or miles through Discover’s online shopping portal ShopDiscover. More than 200 online retailers participate in the program offering a 5% to 25% Cashback Bonus or Double Miles. For the latest list of ShopDiscover online retailers visit: https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/cashback-bonus/shopdiscover.html?gcmpgn=0809_ZZ_srch_gsap_txt

6. POS CASH

With a Discover card you can get cash over your purchases at the point of sale. Discover does not charge a transaction, ATM or bank fee. Also, the cardholder’s regular purchase APR applies to the cash instead of the prime +21.74% rate (currently 24.99%) applied to cash advances. About 60 store chains participate in the POS cash program. To view the list visit: https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/member-benefits/cash-over-purchases.html

7. 24X7 TRAVEL ASSISTANCE

While this not an insurance based benefit there is an extensive list of free travel assistance services available round-the-clock. However, the cardholder is responsible for all third-party fees and expenses for services requested, such as professional or medical fees.

Through AXA Assistance USA, Discover can provide free assistance with many travel or medical issues.

TRAVEL – Lost Baggage Tracking; Emergency Cash Transfer/Cash; Passport and Travel Document Replacement; Embassy or Consulate Referral; Flight Rebooking/Ticket Replacement; Legal Referrals; Valuable Document Delivery Arrangements; Local Police Station Referral; and Political Evacuation;

MEDICAL – Medical Referrals; Dispatch/Consultation of U.S. Doctor; Emergency Medical Transportation; Medical Case Monitoring; Emergency Prescription and Eyewear Replacement; Emergency Medical Payment; Advance of Medical Expenses; Dental Referrals; Return Travel Arrangements; Family Liaison & Message Relay; Convalescence Arrangements; Transport Escort; Visitor to Bedside; Repatriation of Mortal Remains; and Travel Medical and Safety Advisories;

OTHER – Visa/Passport Requirements; On-line Travel Security information; Currency Conversion or Purchase; Weather and/or Ski Reports; Translator or Interpreter Assistance; Return of Dependent Children; and Return of Traveling Companion.

To access travel or medical assistance services under this benefit call 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683) or from outside the U.S. call collect at 1-801-902-3100.

8. BAGGAGE DELAY INSURANCE

Discover cardholders are automatically eligible for reimbursement of the actual cost of replacing any personal items (e.g., clothing, hygiene and/or grooming products) or business effects (e.g., uniforms or general office supplies) from their checked luggage, up to $500, if the luggage is delayed at least three hours in getting to you at your scheduled destination. The entire cost of the common carrier ticket must be charged to your Discover Card (and/or accrued rewards) for coverage to apply. There is a maximum of two claims per 12 month period. It does not cover cameras, radios, CD or DVD player, sporting equipment, cellular phones, perishables or collectibles.

9. FLIGHT ACCIDENT INSURANCE

When you purchase an airline ticket with a Discover card, you’re automatically eligible
for up to $500,000 of flight accident insurance. You, your spouse, domestic partner or eligible dependent children are covered.

10. AUTO RENTAL INSURANCE

Discover cardholders receive collision and theft coverage on personal auto rentals. Your entire auto rental must be charged to your Discover Card (and/or accrued rewards) and you must decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage if offered by the rental company, for coverage to apply.

If you do not have personal automobile insurance this benefit reimburses you for the covered theft or damage. If you have personal automobile insurance that covers the theft or damage, then this benefit reimburses you for the deductible portion of your personal automobile insurance and any unreimbursed portion. Either way, besides the actual damage or loss, the benefit covers valid administrative and loss-of-use charges imposed by the rental car company, as well as reasonable towing charges resulting from covered theft or damage of the rental vehicle while it is your responsibility. Covered rentals periods are limited to 15 consecutive days in the U.S. and 31 consecutive days outside the U.S.

OTHER PERKS

Besides the core benefits described above there are many other enhancements provided to Discover cardholders, some free and some with a fee. For example emergency roadside assistance is available for $69.95 per event and a free Spending Analyzer is offered.

FOR MORE DETAILS ON DISCOVER CARDHOLDER BENEFITS VISIT WWW.DISCOVER.COM

Don’t have a Discover card? Apply for one today and start receiving rewards!

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