Do I Need a Card Protection Plan for my Debit/ Credit Card?
In recent years, a rapid rise in the use of Credit Cards is seen in the country. The use of Credit Cards has indeed become much popular with the masses of all age groups.
Some of the noted reasons are:
The signup bonuses are quite a feat for people who love discounts and special offers.
Most branded retail outlets offer cashback and/or discounts on Credit Card transactions.
The card owner can earn reward points on card transactions and redeem these points for buying a lot of things such as groceries, movie tickets, special vouchers, etc.
You get bonus flying miles on extensive card use, to the extent that someday your Air ticket could be free too!
A card transaction is instant, safe, and convenient. Indeed it is safer than ever now to transact through the card. You can opt for Card Protection Plans and cover the liability out of card loss/theft.
Let’s elaborate more on keeping Credit Cards safe.
If you lose your wallet, you lose almost every important card – your Credit and Debit Cards, identity cards, and your memories attached to the wallet.
Card Protection Plans:
As the name suggestions, Card Protection Plans (CPP) are different plans offered by banks to safeguard your assets, money, and identity in case of the loss. The good news is, most banks now offer CPP not just for your transactional Cards, but also for other important documents that may be in your wallet. Most of these plans come extremely handy when you lose your wallet. Every year, you will need to renew them, but the benefits are tremendous.
What does a Card Protection Plan offer?
Most banks today have a CPP. Here goes a list of ten features of CPP that will make your life much easier in case you inadvertently lose your wallet:
1. Block all your cards at one go
It could be a big hassle to call each bank separately in case you lose all of your cards at once, as in case of a wallet loss. It could create extreme panic. However, when you have a CPP, you can do that with just a one call. The toll-free number is dedicated to handling such issues, and one call to them means that they will ensure to block all your cards. Once you call them, it is their responsibility to ensure they call each card issuer and block all your cards.
2. Dedicated toll-free number
A dedicated toll-free number will help alleviate your woes in case you lose your wallet. Just one call to them and a customer service expert will ensure your cards are blocked; your complaint is raised. Usually, there are two toll-free numbers – one for the case of thefts/loss in India and the other one for card theft/loss outside India.
3. Fraud Protection
With the help of the fraud protection feature, you can ensure that no fraudulent transaction takes place with your lost card. In case you suspect that anyone may be using your stolen/lost card for skimming, swiping, etc., you can use the CPP to inform the customer service team well in advance. Unlike the card issuer, the fraud protection is applicable for 7-15 days before the loss.
4. Emergency Cash Advance Facility
In case you are stranded somewhere, and there’s no way you can withdraw cash, the emergency advance cash facility can come to your rescue. All you need to do is approach the CPP team, and they can hand over some advance cash in case of an untoward incident. The money you would have taken as advance cash needs to be returned to the bank in 28 days.
5. Emergency Travel and Hotel assistance
The worse situation usually arises when you are travelling, and you lose your wallet. In most cases, it could become difficult to settle the hotel bill and travel back home in the absence of card. This can become an utter nightmare.
With the help of a CPP, you can ask the team to settle your bills – or help you to travel back home. They can help you with the tickets and the bills, but each plan has an upper limit to these transactions. If you are opting for such a plan, do ensure you check the ceiling and whether this service is available internationally. Some banks only offer this service in case the theft/loss in India. International coverage may differ from bank to bank.
6. Emergency Roadside Assistance
This is something that is only offered by a few banks, but it is extremely helpful when you may have lost your wallet, and at the same time, you are stranded somewhere. The CPP will help you with a flat-tire service or even a free towing service. Again, not all CPPs offer this service, so if you want to be extra careful, check with the bank before enrolling for the plan.
7. Replacement of important Documents
Most people carry their cards, important ID cards, PAN cards, etc. in the wallet. Losing such a loaded wallet poses you with an entirely new set of issues. Thanks to the CPP, you can conveniently request for the replacement of your lost Credit Cards and that too without any extra cost.
8. Lost Mobile Phone and SIM Card Blocking
With women who carry their phones in their purses, a loss or theft would mean the phone is gone too. Some CPPs extend a facility to report a stolen phone and block the SIM. Once you call the CPP toll-free number, they will initiate the process of stolen phone reporting as well as intimating your phone service provider to block the SIM.
They make your life so much easier! You can also register your phone’s IMEI number in the CPP. In the unfortunate case of a loss or theft of your wallet, they can help you trace your phone with the help of this tracking number.
9. Enrol your Family Members
Some CPP plans (like the one offered by SBI) helps to enrol your family members (your spouse) under the same plan. As such, if the theft happens to your spouse, he or she can avail the same benefits as offered to you. You wouldn’t need to get another CPP! Different CPPs help you enrol a number of family members. With the premium plan, you can enrol up to four family members.
10. SMS2Talk Service
In case you want a dedicated CPP officer assigned to your case, all you need to do is send an SMS, and a customer service associate will be appointed to take care of all your needs.
Thesewere some of the most compelling benefits of enrolling for a Card Protection Plan. While most of the benefits are common to different providers, each bank has its own set of fine print. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
What are the typical costs associated with a CPP?
Most CPPs are valid for a year and can be renewed thereon. The CPPs generally cost you about Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000 depending on the facilities being offered (ceiling of the advance cash, settling hotel bills more than a certain amount, enrolling more family members, etc.)
What is the best CPP available in the market?
While most banks offer almost similar benefits in their CPP, in a survey of the existing plans, SBICPPs seem to offer more services (at a cheaper rate) than other banks. With the SBICPP, not only can you enrol more than two family members, but you also get a host of other benefits like –
Payment of hotels bills of up to Rs. 1.6 lakh
Replacement Airfare/tickets of up to Rs. 1.6 lakh
Emergency cash assistance of over Rs. 20,000
Dedicated customer service executive
Key fobs and reminder stickers – You can place CPP key fobs to your key rings, or reminder stickers on your luggage, so that you can have them back when the finders call the CPP helpline!
Do you need a Card Protection Plan?
Well, it entirely depends on your personal needs. For instant if you are a frequent traveller, someone who has a number of cards in the wallet and who has a tendency to lose items on the go, a CPP will come as a lifesaver in the foreign land! Eventually, with CPP you will buy a peace-of-mind while you are traveling and that too at a nominal fee.
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