One of the biggest reasons people choose particular credit cards to sign up for is because of the rewards those cards offer. But some of those rewards have been dropped this year, and Citibank has just followed suit by pulling some of its perks.
Some of the benefits being changed or dropped by Citibank include its price protection, insurance for items cardholders buy that turn out to be damaged or are stolen, and the cancellation insurance it offered for trips, according to Consumer Reports.
The price protection wasn’t eliminated, but its value was lowered. Before it had a maximum of $2,500 in benefits each year and a $500 maximum for one item. Now those limits have been lowered to $1,000 per year and $200 for a single item.
The purchase insurance that covers theft and damages, which is offered on the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, doesn’t cover as many items. And now, the most a person can recoup is $10,000 for a single incident, instead of the $10,000 per item it used to cover.
The trip cancellation benefit on two of Citi’s cards used to be a maximum benefit of $3,000 per trip for every cardholder. It could be used limitlessly throughout the year. But now it only covers $1,500 each trip and $5,000 annually.
Citibank had also offered a 90-day return protection, which allowed for $2,500 per year and $500 per item in refunds for purchases a seller wouldn’t take back. That amount has been reduced to $1,000 per year for refunds and $300 per item. In addition, some categories of sales have been excluded entirely from coverage, such as furniture and jewelry.
Other changes to Citibank’s benefits include:
- Trip delay protection no longer covers non-family members traveling with cardholders.
- Lost baggage protection doesn’t cover non-family members traveling with cardholders either on certain cards now, such as the Citi Simplicity, the Citi ThankYou Preferred, and the Citi Double Cash.
- The car rental insurance coverage decreased from $100,000 to $50,000.
Before Citibank made those cuts, Discover had ceased its benefit of auto rental insurance, and Chase had done away with its lost luggage protection for trips taken by cardholders. More dropped or altered benefits were on the way for certain Chase cards. Those benefits include price protection, return protection, travel accident insurance, and trip cancellation.
But Chase has also unveiled some new benefits for the Chase United Explorer Card, including TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry and a 25 percent statement credit for United in-flight purchases of drinks, food, and WiFi.
Why Are the Benefits Going Away?
One explanation offered by credit card companies about the vanishing benefits is that they aren’t being used by many cardholders. Bankrate recently released information that states up to one-third of cardholders don’t use a single benefit available on their card. Because every benefit costs credit card companies some money, it doesn’t make sense to retain benefits no one is using.
Still, other perks are sometimes dropped because too many people use them and it costs more money than the credit card company is comfortable forking over.
This news is a good reminder for cardholders to review the latest fine print on their credit cards. They might be missing out on helpful perks they didn’t know they had – or losing ones they’re accustomed to having. Still, many credit cards do offer worthwhile benefits, so if you’re not happy with your card’s offerings, it might be time to look for a new credit card.
Author: Shannon Serpette
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