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2019-06-24 15:27:37

This stings…

Earlier I wrote about how Citi is dropping their Price Rewind benefit as of September 22, 2019. As it turns out, that’s not the only thing changing about Citi cards as of that date. Looking at the Citi card benefits website, quite a bit is changing on Citi cards as of that date.

Citi benefits cuts coming as of September 22, 2019

For purchases as of September 22, 2019, Citi will be discontinuing the following on cards that currently offer these perks:

Worldwide Car Rental InsuranceTrip Cancellation & Interruption ProtectionWorldwide Travel Accident InsuranceTrip Delay ProtectionBaggage Delay ProtectionLost Baggage ProtectionCiti Price Rewind90 Day Return ProtectionRoadside Assistance Dispatch ServiceTravel & Emergency Assistance

The coverage will remain for purchases made before that date, with the exception of roadside assistance and travel & emergency assistance. Those benefits will end as of that date, regardless of when you made your purchase

My take on these changes

These changes really sting, and frankly I’m surprised just how significant these changes are.

To me the most valuable benefits here are the car rental coverage and travel protection. For example, I use the Citi Prestige for airfare purchases, given that it offers 5x points, and it also offers great travel protection. That will change going forward.

The problem for Citi is that some of the benefits they’re taking away have become standard with other issuers, especially among premium cards.

While I understand that these perks are often tied to the type of card (World Elite Mastercard, Visa Signature, etc.), it doesn’t make sense to me that they’d cut benefits in the same way for a high annual fee card as they would for a much lower annual fee card.

In general it seems like Citi has been struggling with strategy ever since their Costco acquisition. They spent a lot of money buying the Costco portfolio, and that has seemingly taken away from their ability to invest in other cards.

The Prestige Card is the perfect example — it used to be awesome, then they stopped accepting applications, then they relaunched it with a few new benefits that were more or less a wash, then they stopped accepting applications again, and then they announced more changes, but they also don’t really seem to be marketing the card.

Part of creating a good portfolio of cards is actually giving users a consistent experience. The problem is that so many changes are being made to these cards that it can be tough to keep track of them. For example, the Prestige is undergoing changes throughout the year, and it can be tough to keep track of when various things are changing… and I follow this stuff for a living!

What do you make of these latest changes to Citi cards?

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