‘More than just a piece of plastic’

Credit cards offer a convenient way to make purchases. That much is known. What’s less understood are the benefits credit cards can offer. For those willing to put on their research hats, there are many perks attached to credit cards—many of which you may already have at your disposal without knowing it. To get you started, here are seven features of credit cards that may surprise you—in a good way.

Woman sitting on floor with credit card and laptop

Versatile safety net

When life gets in the way of our best-laid plans, money can get tight. While it’s never a good idea to rely on credit to stay afloat, a credit card can still be a valuable budgeting vessel. If you get dangerously close to going under $0 in your checking account, you can automatically or manually set up a small transfer from your credit card (saving you from associated overdraft fees—creating alerts for low balances is especially helpful for this). But even in the best of times, a credit card can be an asset. For instance, if certain bills are due when your checking account is running low, set up payments from your credit card and repay that balance at another set time to avoid interest. Not only will you keep up with your bills, but you’ll also strengthen your credit.

“Having that line of credit accessible on your membership account for overdrafts, transfers, or emergencies makes it more than just a piece of plastic, which is a real benefit,” said Lee Anne Brockelman, Director or Operations Support at SELCO.

Zero Liability policy

All Visa® cards (credit and debit) come equipped with a little peace of mind called Visa Zero Liability. You can feel confident using your card anywhere in the world that accepts Visa, knowing you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized transactions. If you detect suspicious charges, you’ll want to report them to your financial institution right away.

Which leads us to …

Local, personal service

When you open a credit card account through a local credit union, like SELCO, you’ll have built-in personal service for any situation. As a SELCO Platinum Visa card holder, you’ll always have a direct line to a SELCO expert. If your card is lost, stolen, or possibly compromised—or you just have a general question about your account—you can call us at 800-445-4483, engage in a live chat, or stop by any branch. We’ll be happy to help.

No-fee/low-fee package deal

Locking into the lowest interest rate possible is often Job One when deciding on a credit card. But a good, hard look at fees is just as important. Packaging low rates and fewer fees together becomes a benefit all its own. With SELCO’s Platinum Visa, there are no annual or balance transfer fees, and there are fewer (and smaller) service fees, including just a 1% foreign-transaction charge. Some providers offer rewards or benefits that sound free but actually come with an annual fee. Make sure this fee doesn't outweigh the advantages. Take time to calculate how much you'll need to spend to gain a reward in the end.

Extended Warranty Protection

Keep a close eye on warranties attached to items purchased with your Visa card. Visa’s Extended Warranty Protection serves as a hub for registering your purchases, filing claims on defective products, and extending manufacturer’s coverage. A Visa Benefit Administrator is always on hand to help you with your warranty needs.

Roadside dispatch

Visa cardholders have 24/7 access to a roadside assistance program. With Roadside Dispatch, skip the search for a local tow operator or locksmith and maybe even save money. Services with pre-negotiated rates include:

  • Standard towing up to five miles.
  • Tire changing and jump starting.
  • Lockout service.

For more information about Visa card benefits, visit Visa’s support page.

Card controls

While not a perk of a traditional Visa credit card, many financial institutions offer tools that enable you to secure your credit card from potential fraud. The card controls function within SELCO’s digital banking allows you to:

  • Set spending limits.
  • Turn your cards off when not in use.
  • Create transaction alerts.
  • Report your card lost or stolen.
  • … and much more.

As you can see, there are many benefits to owning a SELCO Visa Platinum credit card. By playing it smart and developing a strong relationship with your card, you’ll be able to understand and enjoy these lesser-known perks for a good, long time.

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