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Consumer Protection

Credit cards also offer more consumer protection. On purchases, for example, if items are stolen within a limited time frame (typically, 90 days), you usually get your money back. Unfortunately, I can personally attest to this: When my family's brand new lawn mower was stolen, I got a check in the mail for the full purchase price of the mower a few weeks later. The theft was very upsetting, but that check definitely helped ease our pain!

Similarly, chargeback privileges, which are standard benefits protected by law, come in handy when we have disputes with merchants over goods or services bought with a credit card. Some cards also come with extra insurance, which can be a real benefit—for example, in case there's damage to something that's shipped to you. Chapter 10, "Maximize the Benefits of Your Cards by Taking Advantage of Additional Free Perks" contains a detailed listing of such benefits.

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