Citi Details Cell Phone Protection Benefit for Citi Prestige Card

Mar 5, 2019

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Citi detailed its planned changes for its premium-level Citi Prestige Card in January, before re-opening the card for new applications on Jan. 31, 2019. As part of the card’s refresh, Citi noted that it’d be adding a new insurance for cardholders having to do with cell phone protection. Now, more than a month later, Citi’s detailed exactly what that cell phone insurance will entail.

Beginning in May, card holders of the Citi Prestige will be able to take advantage of new cell phone protection on the card. In total, the card will cover up to $1,000 per claim and up to $1,500 per year for the damage or theft of up to five eligible cell phones. The catch is, of course, that your cell phone monthly bill must be paid with your Prestige Card. Additionally, any claim filed as part of the protection will require a $50 deductible per phone, and to simplify things, Citi will allow card holders to file their cell phone protection claims online.

Citi also confirmed that this protection will apply for during the first calendar month following the payment of a cell phone bill with the card. As a result, if you plan to utilize this benefit, you’d want to switch your payment method to the Citi Prestige no later than April to ensure the coverage takes effect in May.

Why cell phone protection as a benefit? Citi says that through its research, the concept of cell phone protection has resonated with customers. More specifically, Citi’s research showed that 20% of affluent Americans had dropped their phone in a toilet, 11% had it stolen and 8% put it through the washing machine.

The introduction of the cell phone protection benefit on the Prestige Card marks one of the first of its kind on a personal credit card. Until now, business cards such as the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card have offered this kind of protection. And, when comparing the two protections side-by-side, the Prestige seems to offer a more compelling benefit, as the Ink Business Preferred covers up to $600 per claim. Of course, the major difference between the cards is that the Business Preferred allows you to earn 3x points on cell phone bills, whereas the Prestige earns just 1x on those purchases.

Nonetheless, the introduction of the plan helps to advance the Prestige Card’s value proposition. Currently, it comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. The card earns 5x points on air travel and restaurants, 3x points on hotels and cruise lines and 1x points on all other purchases. Additionally, it comes with the valuable 4th Night Free benefit, which will be capped at two times per year as of Sept. 1, 2019, as well as $250 in travel credits every year. As part of its refresh, the Citi Prestige increased the annual fee to $495.

Keep in mind that this new protection doesn’t kick in until May.

This article has been updated with additional information on cardmembers’ eligibility.

Featured image by Pornchai Jaito / EyeEm / Getty Images.

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