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When people talk about why you should apply for a certain credit card, they typically highlight the card’s rewards program or its sign-up bonus. But some credit cards offer a lot of value through other perks as well.
And we’re not just talking about price protection or rental car insurance. Some credit cards take things one or two steps further to offer special benefits that are hard to find, and in a lot of ways, a pleasant surprise.
It’s important to understand what benefits your credit card offers. While you may need to apply for a new credit card to get some of these benefits, it’s possible that you already have one that offers one or more of them.
1. Wine tasting
If you have a Visa Signature or Visa Infinite credit card, you could get special savings at more than 50 wineries in Sonoma County, California.
While the benefits you receive can vary by winery, here’s what you can expect:
- Purchase one standard tasting and receive one complimentary tasting of equal or lesser value.
- Get preferred pricing on non-wine purchases over $50.
- Savings on wine purchased same day in the tasting room.
- Savings on reserve tasting or special wine and food pairings.
For the buy-one-get-one-free benefit, there’s a limit of one per day. Otherwise, you can take advantage of these perks year-round.
To determine if you qualify, check the front of your Visa-branded credit card—the credit card issuer doesn’t matter. If it says “Signature” or “Infinite” under the Visa symbol, you’re eligible.
2. Free museum visits
If you have a Bank of America credit card, you already have this perk. The bank offers free access to more than 200 museums nationwide through its Museums on Us program.
The only catch is that you have to visit an eligible museum on the first full weekend of the month to get free admission. Bring your card and a picture ID to get in.
So, whether you’re taking a trip or want to explore some museums close to home, check the list of eligible museums to see if you can get in for free.
3. Free access to your credit score
Your credit score is an important part of your financial profile, but for a long time, it was almost impossible to get free access to it. Now, several credit card issuers offer the perk, including:
If you have a credit card with one of these issuers, check your online account to get access to your FICO credit score.
4. Ticket presales
A couple of years ago, I received early access to buy tickets to the popular Broadway musical, Hamilton. At the time, I had The Platinum® Card from American Express.
While tickets for the show were running at least $400 to $500 a piece on sites like StubHub and Ticketmaster, I snagged four tickets for $197 each.
Getting special access to ticket presales isn’t just reserved for premium credit cards, though. Here are just a few credit card issuers that offer access to ticket presales to some or all of their card holders:
5. Travel insurance
While many travel credit cards offer car rental insurance, others go above and beyond when it comes to travel insurance. For example:
So, if you’re in the market for a new travel credit card, make sure to check the insurance benefits to get the most bang for your buck.
6. Free hotel stays
Some of the best hotel credit cards offer a free night’s stay every time your card renews, and you pay the annual fee.
Some credit cards limit you to certain hotel categories, but others allow you to redeem your free night at any of the chain’s properties. That said, in most cases, the value of the free night can be worth far more than the fee you pay.
7. Concierge service
If you need help finding a restaurant, booking a ticket for an event or just about anything else, your credit card’s concierge service can help you do it. This is typically a 24/7 service, and it doesn’t matter where you are when you call.
You can typically get this service through Visa Signature, World Elite Mastercard, and certain premium American Express credit cards.
Depending on your credit card, you may be missing out on some great features. Make sure you understand what you’re getting by checking your benefits guide in your online account.
And if you want one of the perks we’ve listed, consider applying for one of the credit cards that offer it.