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The Citi Prestige card is right up there with other premium cards when it comes to fantastic perks. Its 4th night free benefit can be extremely valuable — it earned TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig $1,490 cash back from a single hotel booking. In addition, it’s continued to make things easier for cardholders, as 4th night free benefits are now much easier to book. And now, the card is continuing to boost its perks, with new travel and purchase protection benefits.
Citi has announced that effective May 15, the card will be changing travel protection benefits — for the better. The changes come as the result of a new benefits provider and include greater flexibility, expanded coverage and fewer exclusions. It looks like the new changes also apply to the Citi ThankYou Premier Card. Additionally, Citi is increasing the potential payout for its Price Rewind benefit.
The big changes Citi made with the new benefits come in the way of how you pay for your trip. Effective May 15, 2016, tickets paid for in part with your Citi Prestige or ThankYou Premier will now be eligible for trip delay and cancellation coverage, whereas as with the previous policy, only trips paid for entirely with the card would have been covered. For tickets paid in part with one of the included cards, Citi will only cover up to the amount you actually paid for with the card. Scenarios that may require a partial payment include award tickets (where you might have a $5 charge in security taxes or $500+ in fuel surcharges), or redeeming a voucher or gift certificate and charging the balance to your card.
So if you pay for the taxes of your trip with your Prestige or Premier, as of May 15 you’ll be eligible for Citi’s trip delay coverage. This is an especially nice added perk that can make all the difference if you’re stuck somewhere after a flight delay.
Here are some highlights of the updated protection benefits:
- Citi card and/or ThankYou points must be used to purchase at least a portion of the trip
- Covered travelers include you, family members (fiancee, domestic partner and their children, legal guardians, siblings, siblings-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces or nephews) and travel companions on the trip
- Extended warranty coverage adds an additional 24 months on top of the manufacturer’s warranty
- Purchase protection has increased from 60 days to 90 days
- Citi Price Rewind benefit increases from $300 to $500 per item and a maximum of $2,500 per year
Previously, the Prestige card covered up to $500 in expenses when the cardholder was delayed three or more hours on a round-trip ticket of a trip no longer than 60 days, but the cardholder must also have charged the full cost of the ticket to their Citi Prestige card. In addition, the coverage also included each spouse or domestic partner or dependent (younger than 19) whose ticket was also charged to Prestige.
The Citi Prestige card comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. In addition to its travel protection benefits, the card is also a great option for travel purchases because it earns 3x points on air travel and hotels and 2x points on dining and entertainment, in addition to 1x points on all other purchases. There’s a $450 annual fee for the card, but that cost is offset by its other perks — including a $250 annual air travel credit and a $100 Global Entry fee credit.
While Citi announced some negative changes to this card back in July — including a lower sign-up bonus, the elimination of Admirals Club access and the end of the free rounds of golf benefit — one of its most valuable perks still remains, which is the 4th Night Free perk. This benefit alone can save you thousands of dollars a year if you use it to its full advantage.