Ever wonder if there's more to your credit card than traditional rewards? Certain cards offer exclusive rewards for their customers.

When choosing a credit card, few people take the time to consider all of the unique credit card benefits a particular card offers. Most people just want to know about a card’s rewards program and annual fee.

That’s too bad, because certain credit cards can offer some other extremely valuable benefits beyond the headline rewards programs. Common benefits include insurance for damage to a rental car, extended warranty coverage on large purchases, and even price protection policies. But there also are some more valuable, exclusive benefits that only certain cards offer.

Of course, some of the most valuable benefits come on cards with hefty annual fees. But, there are also no-annual-fee cards with unique features that might be more useful to the average consumer than perks on the high-fee cards designed mostly for frequent world travelers.

Here are seven of the most valuable unique credit card benefits you can only get by holding the right card.

1. Airport business lounge access, and a massage

There are plenty of premium reward credit cards that offer airport lounge access, but most of the lounges aren’t that special. Your typical airline lounge may offer you a drink and a light snack, but not much else.

But if you have an American Express Platinum card, then you can enjoy complimentary access to the American Express Centurion Clubs, which are much nicer than the lounges offered by the airlines. These clubs feature gourmet meals, and some even include complimentary spa treatments and massages.

This card also offers access to the less luxurious, but more numerous Delta SkyClub and Priority Pass Select lounges. Other benefits include 5x points for airfare and hotel purchases, and a $200 annual airline fee credit.

There’s a $550 annual fee for this card.

2. Mobile phone insurance

Disclaimer – The information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card has been collected independently by MoneyUnder30.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

When your smartphone costs more than your computer, you live in constant fear of it being damaged or stolen. But when you pay for your monthly bill with certain Wells Fargo credit cards, then you automatically receive up to $600 worth of coverage with a $25 deductible. Coverage includes up to four phones listed on your bill. With similar insurance plans going for between $8 and $15 a month when you purchase them through your wireless carrier, this feature alone could save you $100 a year or more.

Cards with this service include the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card—a good choice for simple cash rewards that gives you 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, with no annual fee.

3. Huge cash back for live entertainment events

Cash back isn’t really a unique benefit – there are tons of cards that will get money back into your account every time you swipe.

But there’s one card on the market now offering a cash back program worth mentioning. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is offering a whopping 8% cash back when purchasing tickets for live sports, concerts and theater events through Vivid Seats. There’s no cap on how much you can earn, and you’ll get that 8% back on the total ticket price (including tax and fees).

This is on top of the regular cash back program for the card, which is in itself phenomenal. You’ll earn 4% when you eat out, year round, as well as on entertainment. You’ll also get 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else.

4. Attending the Emmy Awards and other special events

Apply Now On the Secure Website

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, then you have the ability to purchase tickets to the Emmy Awards using your reward points! In 2016, prices started at $450 for two seats and went up to $3,000 for packages that included receptions before and after the ceremony.

Other events offered in Chase’s On Location program include the Sundance Film Festival and events at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card offers 3x points per dollar spent on those charges.

There’s a $95 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and a $550 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

You can also use a credit card to help pay for your hockey gear and your NHL subscription.

The NHL® Discover it® will help you offset your hockey fan costs. When you use your card and the code ITPAYS, you’ll save 10 percent at Shop.NHL.com. You’ll also shave 10% off your NHL.TV™ subscription when you pay with your Discover card.

5. First class upgrade priority

If you’re a frequent traveler, and have elite status with the airline, then you always hope to get a first class upgrade. Usually, these upgrades are determined by your level of status, how much you paid for your ticket, and when you bought it. But if you happen to have the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card from American Express, then you’ll receive upgrade priority above others who have the same level of elite status.

This can make all the difference between enjoying first class and having to take your seat in economy. This card also includes all sorts of priority service upgrades (no matter where you’re seated), as well as a Delta SkyClub airport lounge membership.

There’s a $450 annual fee for this card.

6. A free night’s hotel stay

When you book three consecutive hotel nights through Citi’s travel service, your fourth night is free. This benefit works whether you’re booking an inexpensive motel or a luxury resort.

The Citi® /AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®  miles on air travel, hotels, dining, and entertainment purchases. It also features a ton of other high-end benefits including airport business lounge access and a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or Precheck every five years.

There’s a $450 annual fee for this card.

7. Companion airline ticket

Everyone loves a good buy-one-get-one free offer, but this is much more valuable when it’s for an airline ticket.

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum card offers you a free companion airline ticket (plus taxes), each year when you renew your credit card. The SkyMiles Platinum card certificate is only valid for economy class flights within the 48 contiguous United States.

This card has a $195 annual fee.

8. Streaming subscription credit

The Uber Visa Card, issued by Barclays, offers a $50 subscription credit for streaming services—so long as you spend more than $5,000 on the card per year. This includes video streaming, digital music and even shopping subscription services.

9. Uber credit

Did you know that you can save $200 off your Uber rides by using the Platinum Card from American Express? It’s true. With this card, you can get $15 in Uber credit for U.S. rides every month, plus a $20 bonus in December via the Uber app.

To get the credits, just make sure you opt to pay for your rides with your Platinum card. In addition, the card offers you Uber VIP status where it’s available. To top it off, Amex is offering Uber users $30 off a first ride in the U.S. through July 31, 2018. All you need to do is enter in the code UBERAMEX in the Uber app and pay for rides with your applicable credit card.

10. Extra credit for students

If you’re a student, here’s some extra credit you likely haven’t heard about in college: cash back on your credit card statement for your good grades.

That’s right. Both the Discover it® Student Cash Back and Discover it® Student chrome offer you a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.

11. Travel insurance

While many travel credit cards offer car rental insurance, others go above and beyond when it comes to travel insurance.

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.

12. 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.

13. 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.


You can find some unique credit card benefits beyond just cash back or travel miles—if you know where to look. The next time you’re thinking of getting a new card, consider what perks you might find useful beyond pennies back on every purchase-. It might be exclusive access to first-class lounges when you travel or simply included mobile phone insurance to provide peace of mind.

Read more

Related Tools

About the author

Total Articles: 33
Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards, travel and personal finance since 2008, and is passionate about using his cards to travel for free. Jason contributes to many of the top personal finance and travel sites and has been widely quoted in mainstream media as a credit card expert. Jason lives in Denver Colorado where he enjoys bicycling, snowboarding and flying. You can follow Jason on Twitter, Facebook or on his website.