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.
- 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?