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I consider the Citi Prestige® Card to be the single most compelling credit card out there nowadays, given that it offers a big sign-up bonus, fantastic return on everyday spend, and some too-good-to-be-true perks.
These include the following:
- Big sign-up bonus with the Citi Prestige® Card:
- A sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months — those points can be transferred to one of their airline transfer partners, or be redeemed for $500+ worth of flights
- Fantastic return on everyday spend with the Citi Prestige® Card:
- 3x points on airfare and hotels, 2x points on dining and entertainment, 1x point per dollar on all other purchases
- Incredible perks with the Citi Prestige® Card:
While the card has a $450 annual fee, the $250 annual airline credit really helps offset that, given that it can be used for any airline purchase. The way I see it, that essentially lowers the annual fee to ~$200 per year. I saved over a thousand dollars last year with the fourth night free benefit alone, not to mention all the other great perks.
The Citi Prestige Card offers travel protection as well
In January I wrote about the fantastic travel coverage which the Citi Prestige Card offers. This type of coverage is a valuable credit card perk which a lot of people overlook, in my opinion. As I explained at the time, the Citi Prestige Card offers trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, lost baggage protection, trip cancellation & interruption protection, and car rental insurance.
The one “catch” on all this coverage has been that it only applies if your purchase was paid for entirely with the Citi Prestige® Card. In other words, if you book an award ticket and only pay the taxes on the ticket with the Citi Prestige Card, you wouldn’t be covered.
That’s why I recommended using the Chase Sapphire Preferred when booking award tickets, since it offers coverage even if you’re just paying for part of your travel purchase with the card.
Well, it looks like we’re seeing some very positive changes to the Citi Prestige® Card travel coverage.
What’s improving with the Citi Prestige® Card‘s travel coverage
And there are some significant changes in the verbiage, which are positive.
For example, the travel delay protection benefits only used to apply under the following payment circumstances:
The trip was paid for in full including taxes and fees with your Citi card, Citi reward points or a combination of both.
The terms have now been updated, and many benefits apply even if you just pay for part of your purchase with the Citi Prestige® Card:
To be eligible for coverage under this benefit, your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points must be used to purchase at least a portion of the Common Carrier fare.
As of May 15, 2016, many types of Citi Prestige Card travel protection benefits will be valid when you pay for your purchase partly with your Citi card.
This new policy applies to the following types of protection:
- Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
- Trip Delay Protection
- Baggage Delay Protection
- Lost Baggage Protection
- Medical Evacuation
Here are the areas where you don’t get full coverage when only paying for your trip partly with the Citi Prestige® Card:
Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
You’re now allowed to use a promotion/discount on your rental, though the remaining amount needs to be paid with the Citi Prestige Card:
To be eligible for coverage under this benefit, your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points must be used to pay for the rental car. If a rental car company promotion/discount of any kind is initially applied toward payment of the rental, any remaining portion of the rental must be paid for with your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
Trip cancellation & interruption protection applies when only partially paying for the trip with your card, but only up to the limit of how much you paid for the trip. For full coverage (up to $5,000 per person), you need to pay for the entire trip with your card:
To be eligible for coverage under this benefit, your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points must be used to purchase at least a portion of the Trip. In the event of partial payment, we will only reimburse the lesser of the actual amount paid for with your Citi card (including ThankYou® Points) or the maximum coverage per Trip.
I’ve already been using the Citi Prestige® Card for a vast majority of my travel purchases, given that the card offers triple points on airfare and hotel, which is one of the best returns offered by any card. If nothing else, those points can be redeemed for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of airfare on American, so that’s like a return of ~4.8%.
These changes in protection benefits on the Citi Prestige Card make it even more compelling, given that you’re now offered most protection even if you’re only paying the taxes on an award ticket with your Citi Prestige® Card. For car rentals, it’s also great that the coverage is now extended if you use discount codes.
If you don’t have the Citi Prestige® Card, it really is the all around most compelling card, even without factoring in this travel protection.
Will this change in protection impact whether or not you use your Citi Prestige Card for airfare and hotel purchases?
(Tip of the hat to @nick_roosevelt)