Posted by Chuck on June 24, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on June 24th, 2019 | by Chuck

239

Citi Removing MOST Benefits From All Cards On September 22 [Trip Cancellation & Delay, Ticket & Return Protection, Car, Etc.]

Citi is informing customers via a popup in their login that their cards are having numerous benefits stripped away beginning September 22, 2019. The following benefits are being discontinued on all Citi cards, including the Prestige card:

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

One other important change on some cards:

  • Double Cash and Dividend cards will have Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection benefits removed in September. (Purchases made until that day will get the benefit for the entire benefit length, even past September.)
  • All other cards will retain Warranty and Purchase Protection benefits.

[Some have reported that the Costco cards retain all their benefits. It’s true that the Costco card retains Warranty and Purchase Protection. It’s not true that there was no change in benefits as things like Trip Cancellation and Price Rewind have been removed. I guess the Costco cards still have Return Protection and Car Rental Insurance, but not positive.]

Login here and see the particulars on each card you have. Here’s the what shows on the Prestige card, for example:

Effective September 22, 2019, Worldwide Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection, Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance, Trip Delay Protection, Baggage Delay Protection, Lost Baggage Protection, Medical Evacuation, Citi® Price Rewind, 90 Day Return Protection, and Missed Event Ticket Protection 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. Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service and Travel & Emergency Assistance will be discontinued and will not be available on or after September 22, 2019.

You will continue to have Extended Warranty and Damage & Theft Purchase Protection on this account…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.

We reported earlier today on the Price Rewind benefit being removed, but it’s apparently part of a broader benefit strip-down. It’s pretty crazy that they are even removing standard benefits which most other credit cards have, like car rental insurance and return protection. It’s not just the elite benefits being stripped down.

Benefits still remaining:

Hat tip to reader DT and xfisgsm



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Maora
Maora

I have used the Price Rewind benefit a whole bunch of times. This is very disappointing!

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

same

PD
PD

I think I’ve accumulated a couple thousand dollars back through price rewind. Back to purchasing with discounted gift cards–or Freedom categories– instead of using my double cash and price matching online….. There’s definitely going to be a significant drop off of usage of that card in this household.

Nick
Nick

Extended warranty is being removed from the Dividend card, according to my pop-up. Maybe it remains on the cards with annual fees (and the Costco card, since it is a selling benefit and Costco advertises it frequently).

Matt
Matt

I don’t see that on mine

Grant
Grant

WOW. This is a legit huge deval for the Prestige and Premier. Trip delay and cancellation were the reasons to have those cards.

Definitely closing my AA Gold and Citi TY Premier unless they do retention offers and PCing my CFU back to the CSR so I can have my trip delay insurance back.

Personally, I think any trips booked prior to the change should be grandfathered in coverage-wise, I have several trips beyond that date already bought and paid for with the Premier.

Gerald
Gerald

Better for your credit rating to downgrade to a card with no AF and sock drawer it.

frogger
frogger

Card stays on your credit report for 10 years. Unless you are carrying a huge balance on other cards it shouldn’t have any effect to just cancel the card.

blah blah
blah blah

Cancelling idle cards, AF or not, also help reduced fraud.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Meh, change numbers. Better question is do you want to have to get it out once a year to buy something for a few bucks, pay the bill, etc all to keep the card open and CL intact. Better strategy is to xfer the CL to a card you may actually use somehow.

Blue
Blue

For most churners reducing number of cards and CL helps against adverse actions, especially from Chase.

Mimi
Mimi

This has been my experience that’s why I close CCs especially those I plan to churn like Discov that allows only 2 cards per SSN; although my FICO score dips a bit but comes back up in the next cycle so I don’t worry about it.

With Disc, before I close a card, I request for CL allocation so I don’t lose a huge amount for my total CL. Once approved, I close one acct and applies for the card that earns 3% the first year. After one year, I PC to the regular IT, wait a while to close and re-apply again. I wish they’d allow more than 2 cards per SSN but will continue with the work around for now.

ryd994
ryd994

” I PC to the regular IT, wait a while to close and re-apply again”
Why PC? Does Discover have some kind of rule about it?

Mimi
Mimi

No, they don’t have a rule but I pc’d to a regular IT to take advantage of the 5% quarterly bonus which was good on grocery stores at the time. With MS, I squeezed another $75 (gross) from such strategy. Shortly thereafter, I applied for Miles again and got approved.

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

You are grandfathered in coverage wise. Read the terms above . your currently booked trips are covered.

Grant
Grant

I didn’t catch that reading the first time. Phew!

MisterBill
MisterBill

Certainly doesn’t make the Prestige card sound very prestigious!

Frank

This’ll be interesting to see how it plays out — do they retain/gain customers and this becomes the new standard (As most people don’t use/notice these benefits) or do they hemorrhage active cardholders as citi lacks a unique value proposition?

All assuming their IT is competent enough to generate the above data correctly — and doesn’t assume the guy with 24 citi cards in the last year is a “good” customer

Brian C
Brian C

I wonder what prompted this kind of large-scale removal of benefits.

Do they think users don’t think of these benefits when making purchases?

Sure i’ll still keep my citi dividend card, and my AA card for its specific benefits when flying AA. But i certainly won’t be using it to purchase airfare or car rentals anymore. I imagine they will lose a lot swipes moving forward after this.

Just doesn’t make a lot of sense from a business standpoint that i can see….

Unless they happen to know that other issuers will also be cutting these benefits? Let’s hope not!

MoreSun
MoreSun

What prompted this kind of large-scale benefits removal? Cost cutting.

Do they think users don’t think of these benefits when making purchases? Yes.

Do they know what other issuers are doing and just going first? I doubt it. I think Citi is gonna see what they can get by with under the “we could always bring it back” mentality.

Sarah D
Sarah D

I don’t think these benefits are good value propositions for attracting profitable customers and we’ll see them increasingly being dropped. The aren’t really obvious to the average consumer – buried in fine print, most people don’t even know their card has them, let alone going through the bureaucracy to use them. Those who do tend to be the kind of people who just extract the perk value ruthlessly, and are less susceptible to marketing (to say nothing of outright fraud, which has gotta be common).

Basically a really strong version of adverse selection.

Blue
Blue

The 3rd party insurance companies are getting destroyed on the benefits and are either exiting or repricing as existing contracts expire.

simple
simple

Higher card chargeoffs. Banks going to trim expenses around the edges to maintain profitability, despite card losses eclipsing 3% and marching towards 4%.

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

Loss of travel benefits, makes little sense to book tickets on AA with AA card. Even moreso with delays on AA. Even moreso with AF on AA card.

Joseph N.
Joseph N.

Look at the rest of the comments here and you can see cardholders who used the benefits a LOT. No way those cardholders were profitable. Citi must’ve run the numbers and decided that to stop the bleeding to a few customers it was worth taking the hit.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

My guess is bigger sign-up bonus + higher overall earning rates with less restrictions all instead of perks that get abused. Otherwise they are going to get killed. Some protections might be going away with other issuers, but realistically, many card issuers are adding new ones instead. If they don’t do that, they’re going to lose market share. Even your average clueless consumer can usually tell you what special “thing” by using their card benefits them. Citi has to do something to stand out.

Steve
Steve

Prestige trip delay benefit was important aspect of the card. This is bad.

VML
VML

This is crazy! Between the AF hike, chipping away at the 4th night benefit, AA devaluation, and now this, there’s literally no reason to keep the Prestige card now. The only reason I still held onto it was I received a lower AF through Citi Priority (now also killed; only Citigold qualifies) and relied on the trip delay coverage (which itself was devalued from 3 to 6 hours!). If they don’t waive my next AF, it’s bye-bye Citi!

Geo
Geo

5x dining

Joseph N.
Joseph N.

If I’m not gonna use the card otherwise, keeping it for 5x on dining makes no sense because I won’t build up enough TY points to be useful.

Geo
Geo

Including work meals, we rack up $2000-4000 easily on dining a month. That with a grandfathered $350 fee makes it great value for us. Especially with strong transfer partners.

Jeremy
Jeremy

The grandfathered $350 fee is going away too. It’ll be $495 for 5x dining.

Snorlax
Snorlax

I think your situation is quite rare

Ryan
Ryan

Wow this is terrible. Closing my cards for sure.

Ryan
Ryan

Wow. This is terrible. Gonna close my accounts for sure.

Ray
Ray

Is Citi just…giving up? They’ve devalued their cards more than any other card issuer in recent memory. Their portfolio is also incredibly weak compared to Chase or AMEX. I don’t see how they’re really trying to compete at all anymore other than by cutting costs, which doesn’t improve your product relative to competitors.

blah blah
blah blah

they also sold their mortgage business. downsizing.

Debit
Debit

Good. Now reduce the annual fee on these cards and they will still be just as useful to most of us. Only a few people were hitting these hard and getting all the benefits. The rest of us were subsidizing those few. Sounds like thr economy we have.

Brian C
Brian C

They just INCREASED the fee on the AA Platinum Select

MoreSun
MoreSun

This is about making money lol. They aren’t about to cut your AF.

frogger
frogger

You don’t rent cars? I am not sure why you have travel cards if you don’t travel.

Jenta
Jenta

No, I don’t rent cars either. There are these things called Uber, Lyft, Taxis and Public Transit that I use instead.

Snorlax
Snorlax

I rent cars when I have to go places that no form of public transit will get you there and taking an Uber would be thousands. Also rented a car when mine broke down the day of a planned and already paid for road trip. Once it a while its cheaper to rent a car to drive to the airport than drive myself and park or take an Uber/Lyft.

I’d prefer not to rent a car, but sometimes it necessary.

Philco
Philco

I have been to 30 countries in last four years and haven’t rented a car once during that time One can travel a lot and not rent a car.

quasimodo
quasimodo

You are missing out….lots of things you can do with a rental that you can’t do by public transit, shared transit. I once thought more like you….

Matt P
Matt P

Depends on where you’re going. I’m going to 5spain for 3 days and traveling to several smaller town. A rental car is $100, taking public trans would be much slower and harder to use and uber would be much much more expensive.

James
James

So short sighted. I rarely rent cars, but I want insurance covered when I do. You try doing the entire garden route in South Africa without a car? It’s a whole lot easier with one.

Rudi Pittman
Rudi Pittman

The average consumer still used the warranty extension. I went out of my way to do any large purchases on it for that exact reason even giving up the chance for higher cashback. Citi price rewind was also initially their primary selling point for citi cards (let us do all the work for you to get the best price etc).

John
John

What would be the point of holding the Prestige anymore especially with the increased annual fee? I dont understand the logic here, is the point to purge all current card holders?

Ann
Ann

“What would be the point of holding the Prestige anymore”

Uh, you get to feel prestigious because your credit card says “Prestige” on it, I guess? ;-p

Will Shrop

I personally dont care about these sort of benefits, but I know a lot of travelers do. That’s crazy. They may as well close up their credit card division because they are about to receive a bunch of bad press for this.

Kevin
Kevin

Apparently it’s time to cut costs at Citi. I don’t use these benefits but it’s still a shame.

Ken
Ken

As someone who has probably received $1-2k from those benefits (have used the delayed bag protection 4x) over the past few years – this hurts. Really hard to see value in the Prestige unless I’m diligently maximizing the 4th night free each year.

I guess I’ll be keeping my Sapphire Reserve card after all.

Geo
Geo

I’m guessing you’re the kind of customer they’re hoping to trim from their books with this move. Unfortunate for us, but may prove to be a profitable move for them, as others have pointed out – most consumers are likely not moved by a lot of these benefits.

Jenta
Jenta

People like YOU are the reason why these benefits are being cut.

Celia
Celia

Sounds like they used the benefit legitimately, how can they control delayed bags? Bad form for a company to cut benefits simply because someone used them.

Jenta
Jenta

$2,000 for 4 delayed bags sounds pretty excessive to me.

Celia
Celia

Maybe, as the coverage is up to $500 per incident, totally plausible. They said 4 times, not 4 bags.

Evan
Evan

It’s also not Citi directly paying this out. It’s an insurance company paid by Citi.

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