CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fraud protection and rewards programs -- like points, cash back, and miles -- are staying put.
"I love the rewards. Believe me, it helps out. Me and my family, we love the rewards," cardholder Donnell McLendon said.
[Myth: Keeping credit card balance helps credit score]
But read the fine print. Credit card companies offer other perks. And many are doing away with those.
Consumer Reports looked at various credit cards and made this list of examples:
- Price protection
- Purchase insurance
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Lost luggage protection
- Auto rental insurance
"You have to wonder, 'Why are they doing this?'" cardholder Ken Rutherford asked.
"Citi continuously evaluates our products to ensure that associated benefits best meet the needs of our customers. As such, we have made changes to select credit card protection benefits so that we can continue providing key benefits that our customers use and value most at no additional cost," Citi said.
"As common practice, we regularly evaluate our cardmember benefits to ensure that we are meeting or exceeding our cardmembers' current needs and expectations. We will continue to offer and invest in the many free benefits all with no annual fee like our FICO® Credit Scorecard, Freeze it®, $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee on unauthorized purchases made with a Discover Card, and Social Security Number Alerts, where, for cardmembers who activate, we monitor thousands of risky websites and alert them if their Social Security Number is found," Discover said.
[RELATED: Myth: Keeping credit card balance helps credit score]
Bankrate.com's Greg McBride thinks it's not necessarily bad for consumers.
"What one card issuer cuts back on, there are likely to be others out there that are still offering the very same perk," he told Action 9.
Comparing cards sounds tedious and time-consuming. Some sites and apps do the work for you, like NerdWallet.
"Users who come to NerdWallet can compare hundreds of credit cards based on what they're looking for. Whether they want a card that offers cash back or a balance transfer credit card, they can select those options and compare cards side by side through the desktop version. For each credit card, we list the pros and cons, fees, APR, any bonus offers, and more. We also have this information available in our app version," the company told Action 9.
Consumer Reports likes Sift. It's free. As the name suggests, it sifts through your credit card policies and lists all those benefits for you. For example, auto rental, trip cancellation, travel services, baggage delay, and lost luggage insurance.
[Five mistakes you're probably making with your credit cards]
That way you know what you're getting and if you want to switch cards. If you shop around for a new card, just be smart about it. Don't just compare benefits. Compare fees and interest rates too.
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