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The changes below have taken effect, and this post is no longer being updated. Here is our archive of major updates from card issuers and loyalty programs.
Citi is cutting key travel and purchase protection benefits across its entire range of rewards cards. In June 2019, Citi emailed cardholders to disclose the benefits which are being cut from each card. The changes are broad and affect many popular Citi rewards cards like the:
- Citi Prestige® Card
- Citi Premier℠ Card
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi has long been the go-to card issuer for select travel and retail purchases thanks to its stellar trip delay policy, trip cancelation & interruption coverage, and post-purchase retail benefits like Citi Price Rewind. With Citi making such sweeping changes to travel and purchase protections, we want to revisit some of Citi’s more popular benefits and recommend the best alternative cards so you're covered after the changes go into effect on September 22, 2019.
Citi Benefits No Longer Available from September 22, 2019
From 09/22/2019, the following benefits will disappear from Citi cards across the board:
- 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
- Extended Warranty
- Purchase Protection
While no card escapes the cuts completely, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the card least affected. Losing only the headline Citi Price Rewind and Trip Interruption & Cancelation coverage. But, retaining many of the benefits lost by other cards.
The Citi Costco card will still offer the following benefits:
- Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
- Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
- Roadside Dispatch Service
- Damage & Theft Purchase protection
- Extended Warranty
How to Retain Travel and Purchase Protections
We’ve put together a dedicated post for each of the card benefits listed below, so be sure to check out the complete guides for more details on the policies for each bank. In today’s post, we’re highlighting one of the top cards for each category, but there are often several options with comparable coverage.
If you're looking for a single card to maximize coverage, Chase has emerged as the new industry leader for travel and purchase benefits.
Here's a quick list of our complete guides:
- Primary car rental insurance
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Trip delay protection
- Baggage delay
- Lost or damaged baggage
- Price protection
- Return protection
- Roadside assistance
- Extended warranty
- Purchase protection
Primary Rental Car Insurance
With Citi’s exit, the list of cards offering primary rental car coverage is now dominated by Chase cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card tops our list of the best cards for primary rental insurance. If you’re renting for business purposes, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a great alternative.
- 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
- 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
- See our complete guide for a full list of cards offering primary rental car insurance.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Sapphire Preferred offer the best trip interruption & cancelation policies, providing up to $10,000 per person for each covered trip (maximum $20,000 per trip and $40,000 per year). If you're looking to minimize your costs, the Sapphire Preferred provides the same coverage at less than a quarter of the annual fee.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
- 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Check out our revised list of the best cards for trip interruption & cancelation insurance for more details.
Trip Delay Protection
For years, the Citi Prestige® Card provided the best trip delay reimbursement policy, covering delays as short as 3+ hours. However, Citi now joins Amex on the sidelines, and the best trip delay policy is essentially a one-horse-race. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® now provides the top trip delay policy, with coverage kicking in after delays of 6+ hours, capped at $500 in expenses.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
- One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit
- 3X points on dining at restaurants
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- With the exception of a few cards from US Bank and Barclays, Chase is leaps and bounds ahead of other card issuers when it comes to the best cards for trip delay reimbursement.
Baggage Delay Protection
Again, the Chase Trio of the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Preferred provide the top policies for baggage delay protection. Plus, you'll also find this valuable coverage on co-brand Chase cards like the The World Of Hyatt Credit Card. Coverage kicks in after delays of 6+ hours and provides up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days (max $500).
- Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
- Free nights start at 5,000 points
- Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
- 9X points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4X points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- 2X points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
- 1X point per $1 everywhere else
- See our comprehensive guide to the best cards for baggage delay protection for more details.
Lost Baggage Protection
One of the few travel protection policies where American Express leads the pack, Amex includes lost and damaged luggage insurance across 40+ cards, although coverage differs from card to card. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express provides up to $3,000 per person for carry-on baggage, up to $2,000 per person for checked baggage, a maximum benefit of $1,000 on high-risk items such as jewelry, sporting equipment, and electronics; claims cannot exceed $3,000 per person total per covered trip (Terms Apply).
- 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
- You'll also find top-tier coverage with Chase cards. Here is our complete guide to lost-baggage protection.
This benefit has taken a hammering in recent years. Late in 2018, Chase removed price protection from all Visa cards. And, with Citi pulling the pin on Price Rewind, there are now just a handful of cards that offer price protection benefits. Our ‘best-of-the-rest’ pick for price protection is the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which provides up to $250 per item and a maximum four claims in 12 months per account, with a claim window of 120 days from purchase.
- $300 Cash Back after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
- 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
- 2% at grocery stores
- 1% on all other purchases
- Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020
- The list of cards providing price protection grows smaller every year. Check out all the cards that offer price protection here.
Although Chase removed this benefit from the majority of rewards cards in 2018, return protection is still available on the Sapphire Reserve, which provides up to $500 coverage per item, up to $1,000 per year. Amex offers this protection across a broader range of card products, with almost every Amex card listing return protection of up to $300 per item, up to $1,000 per year.
- 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide.
- 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)
- 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- 1X on other purchases
- Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- See our list of the best cards for return protection and the policies for each provider for more details.
Chase and Amex both provide extensive policies for roadside assistance, but the United cards from Chase top the list due to their comparatively low annual fees. While Amex restricts this perk to high annual fee cards, the two Explorer cards provide complimentary coverage with annual fees of less than $100.
- 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ Fee Credit
- 25% back on United inflight purchases
- Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
- Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
- 2X miles per $1 spent on purchases from United
- 2X miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
- 1X mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Citi may be pulling extended warranty coverage from the Citi Double Cash and Citi® Dividend Card. But, it still maintains one of the best extended warranty policies across the rest of the Citi rewards card portfolio. Both Amex and Citi will now extend warranties on new purchases up to a total of seven years.
- Complimentary Admirals Club membership for the primary cardholder
- Complimentary Admirals Club membership for up to 10 authorized user accounts
- No charge for authorized user accounts
- Reduced Mileage Awards can save you 7,500 miles on roundtrip MileSAAver Awards
- First checked bag free on domestic AA flights for you and up to 8 companions
- Priority check-in, TSA screening lines, and boarding
- 10,000 bonus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
- Find all the details in our guide to credit card extended warranty benefits.
American Express provides the most comprehensive purchase protection, with policies applying across more than 50 Amex cards in one form or another. Purchase protection allows you to seek reimbursement for a recent purchase if the item is stolen or damaged; a typical policy will cover you for 90 to 120 days after your purchase.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year
- 1X point on other purchases
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- You can learn more about purchase protection (and the cards which offer it) in our purchase protection guide.
Citi’s benefit cuts are a huge devaluation for their portfolio of cards. We’re especially surprised to see these changes affecting premium travel cards like the Prestige Card and Citi Premier, which cardholders have come to associate with specific benefits such as trip delay and baggage delay. Since travel coverage requires you to use your card for (at least a portion of) the purchase, it becomes a lot harder to justify using the Prestige Card to earn 5X on airfare.
Our recommendation? If you are unhappy with the changes, let your wallet do the talking and move your spending to other cards. Chase continues to offer top travel and purchase protection benefits across almost its entire range of rewards cards. And both Amex and Capital One help fill the gaps in Chase’s coverage. If you have any questions about the upcoming changes to Citi cards, or which card is the best replacement for your Citi card that is losing its benefits, get in touch via the comments below.
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