Membership perks often overlooked

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

Maybe you joined AAA in case you need roadside assistance; and you splurged on a Costco membership to save some money. If you did, you may very well be wasting some perks hidden in those memberships and others that could save you a lot of money.

If you've got a Costco card, the warehouse giant will refill your printer ink cartridges for much less than what you'd pay to buy a new one. You'll pay about $7.49 for a refill versus buying a new cartridge for $14.99.

"They're actually trying to offer these perks as kind of extra layers benefits," said Kevin Brasler of Consumer's Checkbook. "You say 'Well, I didn't use Costco for my shopping that much last year. But I have this other perk. I may continue to renew my membership because I may use it.'"

Brasler says both Sam's Club and Costco offer members free tech support when you buy a computer, laptop or TV at the warehouse stores.

AAA can help even when you don't have a roadside emergency. "Let's say you have friends coming in from out of town and they have their kid with them and they don't want to drag their car seat along through the airlines," Brasler told Davis. "You can go to Hertz, if you're a AAA member, borrow a car seat from them to use for free."

You don't even have to rent a car from Hertz to get the perk.

Credit cards may have the most hidden perks, like extended warranties when you use your card to purchase a new appliance.

Many offer price protection when you buy something with your card and then find a lower price within a few weeks. These can be difficult to get, but it's good to know the perks exist if you want to go through the hassle.

"But if we're talking about $500, now that's worth jumping through some hoops. If it's a $100 even," said Brasler.

If you've got an American Express card, you can get free two-day shipping and free returns from more than 100 online stores like Neiman Marcus, Toys R Us and Petsmart.

Capital One Quicksilver cardholders who use their cards to charge Uber trips receive every 10th ride for free.

Consumer's Checkbook has compiled a lot more perks. You can see them all at this link: https://www.checkbook.org/national/free-perks/.

 

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