Brutal! Citi Will Nuke Most Of Their Credit Card Benefits And Protections, Will Other Banks Follow?

105
DDMS IconNever Miss Another Deal - Follow DansDeals on Facebook

As the airline and hotel industries have consolidated, devaluations have become the norm. Mileage programs are less lucrative than ever and they can afford to be as consumer have few alternate options.

Credit cards have been a bright spot. Competition there is fierce and for the most part, benefits and rewards are better than they ever have been. Bank rewards are poised to be better than airline miles as those programs delete their award charts and devalue their programs.

That’s why I’m flabbergasted at Citi’s devaluation today. You can login here to see the benefits being removed from your cards.

As of 9/22, all Citi cards (including the premium Premier and Prestige cards!) are losing the following benefits:

  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Delay Protection
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Baggage Protection
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Return Protection
  • Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service
  • Travel & Emergency Assistance
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Missed Event Ticket Protection

The no annual fee Citi Double Cash and Citi Dividend cards will also lose:

  • Extended Warranty
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection

Purchases made by 9/21 would still be covered under the current policy.

Citi Price Rewind’s 60 day price drop protection means that Citi won’t have to pay out for Black Friday price drops, as that will fall out on November 29.

Due to these changes, you can cancel your card by 1/1/20 and receive a pro-rated refund of your annual fee.

One of the benefits of paying with a credit card are these protections, so this is pretty brutal. Hopefully other banks will retain their benefits and use them as a competitive advantage rather than eliminate them in a race to the bottom.

In general, I find that AMEX cards have the best return protection, extended warranty, and dispute resolution.

Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve offer a plethora of travel protections, including Primary rental car coverage worldwide, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection, Lost Baggage Protection, Baggage Delay Reimbursement, Trip Delay Protection, and more. Together with double or triple points for travel purchases, that makes those cards a no-brainer over Citi cards without any protections.

Quite frankly I’m not sure what Citi is thinking here. They will save money on these benefits, but people will switch to using cards that offer protections. I’ve reached out to them for comment and will report back if they have any answers.

Do you think other banks will follow Citi’s lead in eliminating credit card benefits and protections? Will you close your Citi card over these changes?

HT: stooges44, via DDF and DoC

Leave a Reply

105 Comments On "Brutal! Citi Will Nuke Most Of Their Credit Card Benefits And Protections, Will Other Banks Follow?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Ben

Costco citi card affected at all?

Ed Travel

Shall we all cancelled our Citi cards to give them a nice and loud message?

Michael

The rental car insurance elimination is a huge unforced error, but I will miss the event ticket coverage the most (never made a claim, but felt good having the protection).

tedo

Citi cards have been outlier cards for the longest time. Chase and AMEX have been leading the pack. Furthermore, I used to like to accumulate A”A points, but now that they wiped out most saver rewards, whats the point?

Stick to Amex and Chase

Helen

+1

Travels

Unbelievable! “Purchases made by 9/21 would still be covered under the current policy.” So prior purchases would still have, say, extended warranty? What if I switch to a no-fee card before my +24 months warranty are up? Lose it due to new card not having the benefit?

Cubs Fan

Im confused I thought they just added the cell phone protection insurance benefit for the Prestige card. Has that also been discontinued a mere 2 months after adding the benefit?

Agoldsc1

Maybe their betting that the average CC user is not even aware of these features, but is just happy earning a point for each dollar they spend. If that is the case, this dumping these features will actually benefit Citi, because all the sophisticated users (who churn, MS, and overall probably cost them more than they earn) will migrate to the other banks, and the “vanilla” users will stay.

Jack out of the Box

Car rental insurance has been a basic for decades on any medium level free credit card. I thought everybody knew that.

Dave

i would speculate that being that the current trend is that the majority of financial transactions are done electronically anyway, everyone needs a credit card to do business. The incentives and perks that a credit card offers are not as necessary to draw a consumer as they once were.

S

Debit cards are just as electronic as credit cards. There is also a simplicity aspect to just using a debit card instead of a credit card.
The main reasons people (who are paying cc’s in full) use a cc to begin with is for the points or cashback and the protections.

Eliyahu Kugel

Wow! Will the prestige retain its 4th night free perk?

Yossi

Banks will definitely follow. They should have done this years ago! Cheaper to give away extra 5x 10x points then pay all these stuff which they have no reason to.

Allen

If I cancel a citi card within first year using this as my reason, will they claw back my sign up bonus?

iahphx

The removal of car rental CDW coverage is particularly brutal. This would be a significant problem, especially overseas, if other USA credit card companies removed this coverage. We’d have to pay more for “inclusive” insurance coverage, like Europeans do.

Jordan

Do they just want us to go back to debit cards lolz

ES928

In order to get a prorated value on the annual fee does the card have to be already opened or as long as it is opened prior to 9/22 and closed before 1/1/20?

Sholom

I think the reason for this is quite simple. In fact it never made too much sense that almost all the benefits afforded by credit card companies are travel benefits. Many consumers don’t travel that much, and if they travel once or twice a year they’re not constantly looking for travel and protections. I would guess that most consumers are not even aware of most of the travel protection. It probably makes sense for them to focus on benefits that target their whole consumer base, such as cash back.

BC

Sholom, just the point.
It costs very little to add benefits that re rarely used.
The CC issuers feel their margins are squeezed by some people that overdo the bonus game, ergo 5/24 etc.

Nathan

Goodbye citi! Nice knowin’ ya!
Price Rewind was your secret weapon:)

Chanie

I sure do. Citicards started this “Citi flex” spending trying to get me to switch my cards, and it’s now crept into Chase disclosures.
I have 5 cards with Chase and all have this new “flex spending”. What a bunch of malarkey. I hope your readers don’t fall for this trick. I don’t use Citicards because they are horrible to deal with in my estimation.

Dave

Wanted to close my Citi card for a while now as I’ve not been using it. Won’t it hurt my credit though?

Shloimee

Used to use citi for car rentals in australia because amex didn’t cover that.
Now I guess I’ll be paying for cdw…

Menachem

Btw Dan, if you can confirm, it seems that Chase quietly removed Primary CDW from the United Explorer card? Maybe this is a trend….

I checked on the Chase website and it states that its Primary CDW including in the USA, but when I requested a letter from them stating coverage it mentioned that its secondary within the USA. Also when I called the 1800 number is says in the automated recording that coverage is secondary in the USA.

Do you know anything about this?

PS nice seeing you at the Kosel for Vasikin 🙂

Yandmk

We thought that DL going revenue based and hiding award charts was going to be their biggest mistake, but unfortunately everyone else followed shortly afterward. Hopefully this won’t cause the same domino effect…

Dan\'s the Man

Do you think we’d have a chance of getting some money back if we paid an annual fee. I assume Citi customer service wouldn’t help but how about filing a complaint at the https://www.consumerfinance.gov/

Shaul Morrison

Read the post – you can get a pro-rated AF refund.

R

It’s a little crazy that the Prestige Card is losing this too. After a number of changes earlier in the year (downgrades in my opinion) and an INCREASE in the large fee, seems very poor form to then take more things away.

The phone agents are quoting what they added earlier in the year as an offset, but they already used that excuse when they “offset” the increase in price and deterioration of the 4th night benefit!

Yossi

Didn’t Amex cut out car rental insurance a while ago on some of the cards?

Reanna

This is a significant factor for me as I’ve used the extended warranty, damage protection, and price rewind in the past and knowing I had those steered me to charging purchases on my Citi card. Now I’ll be looking at AMEX and Chase. Bad move Citi! I can’t imagine it really cost them a lot–there’s a lot of paperwork to be filled to take advantage of those benefits and I can imagine a lot of people don’t bother!

Mark

Would the Fidelity 2% back card be a better deal than the citicard double cash card?

Shay Peleg

Dan where would you purchase travel insurance instead?

Pad18

he will just use Chase or Amex cc that give travel insurance.
#just my 2 cents

Achshell

My name isn’t Dan, but you can try Squaremouth.com (you need madical when overseas.)

Shay peleg

It is so annoying dealing with chase on trip insurance . They ask for impossible documents sometime … citi was quite easy to deal with . Might be worth to just pay 40 dollars a year proper insurance

weiss

whats with chase ink preferred ?

Kbzsk

Thanks, Dan. This is helpful info! Other than the PayPal card you linked, what other cards offer price protection ?

Sg

I was always under the impression that those benefits are provided by VISA or MasterCard, and not directly from the bank.
Thus I would assume that these changes were triggered by VISA MC, perhaps by increasing the cost of those to the banks. And I would expect others to follow suit.
Was I wrong all along?

Carole

We got a letter a few months ago with a change in their terms and cancelled our card after over 20 years. They gave my husband a hard time about cancelling on the phone but maybe that is what people need to do. We have other credit cards which we assume most people do.

Edward Klar

Is double cash card affected? I saw nothing when I logged in to my account.

Rob

Their travel charge volume is going to evaporate. Back to the Sapphire Reserve. 3 points with trip cancellation, interruption, delay, lost bags, delayed bags, Accident and evacuation is a no brainer vs. 5 Citi points and having to buy a policy every trip.

Phill

Yup

JohnB

I only keep the Premier card for the double points on entertainment and the triple points for gas. Are there any other cards that can replace the Premier card for those 2 bonused categories.

united

The “Cap1 Savor card” (search for the link on the credit card tab above) offers “unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases”
However, it’s not really unlimited. A couple friends who spend big bux on entertainment purchases for their business (millions/yr) had their accounts closed pretty quickly

Momt

keeping the citi card for the American Advantage free bag and boarding privileges, unless there is a better card that does this?

s

Barclays

Tom

Will they feel the dent if people stop using the card but keep it open … Or they need to see people closing accounts?

Aryeh

Seems like the right time to transfer Citi points out for a bonus and close the card: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/milespoints/get-25-bonus-transfer-citi-thankyou-points-air-france-klm-flying-blue-miles/

Noah

YES! WILL CLOSE MY ACCOUNT!

Grouchifier 1.0

Wish amex would create a card with 1k annual fee but gives free bags on all airlines and status at the airlines as well… That would be a game changer….

Sarah

I wrote my Citi branch manager and she didn’t believe it was true, and escalated it to upper management. I told her you were a solid source :). Also, if you already bought flight and hotel with Citi Prestige, now before September 22, are you still covered with insurance like trip interruption if the travel is not until next June, 2020 for example? I would think this might still be considered a purchase.

Shay peleg

Yes according to the terms

Bob

I have to believe they did their research and found that 1% of the customers were causing 99% of the work and payments on claims. The question is whether the other 99% of customers saw some value in the “peace of mind” they got from knowing it was there. Or was it like health insurance — the healthy people got tired of paying for the smokers and alcoholics?

z z

any ideas with citi I disputed a fraud charge and citi does not want to honor it for some reason

Hans Mast

To be clear, and I’ve not seen bloggers analyzing this at all, the only thing being removed is Citi’s above and beyond protections, right? So for instance, their Worldwide Car Rental insurance was best in the industry because it covered countries and car types not usually covered by CC rental insurance. However, they’re not removing the standard MasterCard or Visa car rental insurance, are they? So we’d still get the standard MC World Elite car rental insurance coverage with the Prestige, for instance, right?

Larry

I’m reading this differently when I logon to Costco Visa:

Effective September 22, 2019, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection and Citi® Price Rewind will be discontinued and will no longer be provided for purchases made on or after that date. Coverage for purchases made before that date will continue to be available, and you may continue to file for benefits in accordance with the current benefit terms.

You will continue to have Worldwide Car Rental Insurance, Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service, Travel & Emergency Assistance, Damage & Theft Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty on this account. You can view Your Guide to Protection Benefits on this site under “Quick Links”. It contains complete coverage details, including coverage limits, what’s covered and what’s not covered. Coverage details for these remaining benefits are not being changed.
As a cardmember, you will also continue to receive a range of other card benefits including FICO® Credit Score, Citi® Identity Theft Solutions, and Citi Entertainment.

AJW

trip cancellation & interruption…..plus 3% rebate was good reason to use Costco VISA vs, say Chase Sapphire. Perhaps no longer

Mark Chickalter

If I’m closing my account, where do you think is the best place to send the points to sit?

The Newt

For me my main CONSIDERATION of which cc to use are these benefits. AMEX’s ease of utilizing return and purchase protection and help with disputes makes it my goto card, except when I can get 5 points on my ink cards.

Ez

If I reserved flights and a car using the citi thank you points, is there any type of travel insurance and/or car rental insurance that i get? (the trip is for this August)

Shmuli

Is the citi card worth it to buy a fridge with a one year warranty to get the extra 2 years? Do they honor their warranties like amex?

wpDiscuz