Citi Premier Travel Benefits Explained

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Recently the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card got a new sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. On top of that, the card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months. This is a very nice sign-up bonus for what’s an all around very solid card.

The card offers triple points on travel and gas, double points on dining and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent on other purchases. In terms of bonus categories, I find this to be one of the best mid-range credit cards.

There are many Citi ThankYou transfer partners, or alternatively you can redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket, meaning the 50,000 points are worth a minimum of $625.

I recently wrote a comparison of the Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, given that they’re competitors going after the same market segment. I’ve written in the past about the travel and purchase protection offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and I received some questions asking how the travel benefits on the Citi ThankYou Premier compare.

So below is a chart with the basic details of the travel and pruchase protection offered by the Citi ThankYou Premier Card (thanks to Tiffany for putting this together):

Citi Premier BenefitsDetails
Baggage Delay Benefit• You can be reimbursed up to $100 per Covered Traveler, per Trip if the Covered Traveler’s checked baggage doesn’t get to their destination within 6 hours of arrival

Lost Luggage Reimbursement• Receive reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged checked or carry-on bags and personal property

• You are covered for up to $3,000 per Covered Traveler, per Trip ($2,000 per bag for New York residents), or up to $10,000 in total for all Covered Travelers
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance• Receive the non-refundable amount of the passenger fare or $5,000 (whichever is less) in the event of a trip cancellation or interruption

• If you only paid for a portion of the trip with your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points, Citi will only reimburse the lesser of the actual amount paid for with your Citi card (including ThankYou® Points) or the maximum coverage per Trip

• Covered reasons for cancelation are more extensive than some other cards, but still require documentation by licensed professionals. These include not death of the traveler or family member, sicknesses and injuries (or threat of sickness due to government health advisories) to the traveler, family member, or traveler's pet, involuntary employment termination, jury duty or subpoenas that can't be postponed or waived, and other personal matters

• Severe weather or natural disasters that cause travel stops are also covered, as are terrorist incidents in your destination • This also covers you if your airline goes out of business or tickets are otherwise cancelled by the carrier
Trip Delay Reimbursement• Receive up to $500 (per traveler, per trip) if your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours

• The trip has to be delayed because of severe weather, a natural disaster, a previously unannounced strike, a quarantine or hijacking
Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance• If you die (or are missing for more than 52 weeks) in a Common Carrier accident while traveling — or lose a limb, sight, speech or hearing — we may provide up to $500,000 in compensation

• Unlike the other benefits, to be eligible for coverage under this bene t, your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points must be used to purchase the full amount of the Common Carrier fare for the Covered Traveler(s)

• You're also not covered in a taxi, car service, rental car, and rideshare service, or if your death/injury is as a result of a riot or act of war
Damage & Theft Purchase Protection• Receive up to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year, per Citi card account, for personal property that has been stolen, damaged within 120 days (90 days for New York residents) of purchase or delivery of the item

• Long list of exceptions, so be sure to check coverage limits
Citi Price Rewind• If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found by Citi, up to $500, with a maximum benefit per year of $2,500

• Again, there's a long list of exceptions, so be sure to check coverage limits
Extended Warranty• Extends the manufacturer’s warranty for an additional 24 Months

• Motorized vehicles (boats, cars, aircraft, etc.) aren’t included, along with other unique items that don't come with a manufacturer’s warranty

• In the event of a covered failure Citi will repair or replace the item or reimburse up to the amount charged on your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points (excluding shipping and handling) or $10,000, whichever is less
Return Protection• If you try to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, Citi may refund you the purchase price up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year

• Long list of exceptions, and the item must be returned to Citi in like-new and good working condition with all the original parts

To expand a bit further on this:

  • For all benefits, the Citi card and/or ThankYou points must be used to purchase at least a portion of the trip (award tickets qualify, as long as the taxes and fees are charged to the eligible card)
  • Unlike with Chase, there are no restrictions on eligible air carriers
  • “Covered travelers” includes you, your family members, and traveling companions traveling on the same trip (so this benefit potentially applies even if you’re not personally traveling)
  • All coverage is secondary, including to other Citi cards

Overall the Citi ThankYou Premier Card has excellent travel protection, especially when you consider the card’s low annual fee and triple points on travel purchases.

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Comments

  1. This struck me as strange for trip delay reimbursement:

    “• The trip has to be delayed because of severe weather, a natural disaster, a previously unannounced strike, a quarantine or hijacking”

    Don’t most insurers *exclude* “acts of God” and the like? I would have thought Citi would only provide relief if the delay was due to a mechanical problem and the like…

    I realize that this is not necessarily “insurance” per se, but it runs counter to what I would have expected to be included.

  2. My wife and I traveled 4 months in Asia last year trying to use our stockpile of miles and points as much as possible. I had a hard time getting 1 cent/point from Thank You points using their travel portal which had inflated prices compared to booking.com or airlines’ own websites. I also had issues with a couple small hotels that didn’t have our reservations and didn’t know who Thank You or their 4th party (Connexions Loyalty) and 5th party (Agoda? getaroom?) vendors were. The frustrating part was they wouldn’t tell me either. Nonetheless, we did stay many nights for free in a lot of cheap hotels using Thank You points. YMMV.

  3. Insurance and benefits are only valuable if the company makes good on them. Citi DOES NOT. They do everything they can to deny claims. Chase, on the other hand does much better. As does Amex. Citi’s terms are also written much more narrowly, for example, purchase protection doesn’t cover manufacturer refurbished items, and extended warranty doesn’t cover these items even if they are direct from the manufacturer.

  4. I have had 2 out of 2 successful trip delay claims with the Prestige card where I missed the last connecting flight home and had to take a flight the next day. I got reimbursed for hotel and food at the airport.

  5. Whoa, I had no idea…..

    I assumed that to get the travel problems benefits you had to actually buy your ticket. Who does that? 😉

    Since we almost always are on award tickets, I didn’t pay any attention to those benefits. Knowing that all I have to do is pay the taxes and fees with my Premier is a real game changer.

  6. I had no trouble obtaining a $3,000 refund for a trip I had to cancel due to a broken ankle. The trip was booked using my Citi Premier card. I was very pleased with the straightforward process and the end result.

  7. Just had a successful claim on a broken camera purchased with my Premier card. Just some paperwork. No problem.

  8. Covered reasons for cancelation are more extensive than some other cards, but still require documentation by licensed professionals. These include not death of the traveler or family member, sickness….

    What does “these include not death…” mean? Or is it a typo?

  9. I got Citi card for their travel benefits & have put a number if trips on that card, including a vacation to Belize which was cancelled due to hurricane Hugo. I had good documentation of my expenses which I submitted numerous times via fax, email & snail mail. I was given total run around – from claim not arriving to you need to talk to a different department. Never got a cent of refund and gave up after 9 months of frustration. I still like the 3 cent/$ on travel benefit so I’d like to continue to use this card for travel expenses but… If they aren’t going to cover incidents as promised, what is the point. Any suggestions on how to get a claim covered?

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