Canadians with Citibank cards may enjoy the benefits that come with it, including travel and insurance perks. But as of September 22, 2019, Citibank has announced it is slashing those benefits – particularly the ones associated with travel.
The benefits that will no longer be honoured are worldwide and domestic perks, include travel, baggage, and emergency benefits:
- Citi Price Rewind
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Worldwide car rental insurance
- Trip delay protection
- 90-day return protection
- Missed event ticket protection
- Baggage delay protection
- Lost baggage protection
- Worldwide travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Roadside assistance dispatch service
- Medical evacuation
These cuts to benefits could make it worthwhile to shop online for other cards to obtain travel benefits. While it remains unclear what spurred the change on Citibank’s end, some speculate their recent and expensive acquisition of a partnership with Costco has played a significant role in the decision. Whether or not this signals the beginning of similar moves by other card issuers is also unclear.
Citibank recently released a statement that included the lengthy list of the benefits being discontinued and insisted that many other excellent benefits still exist for members, such as:
- FICO Credit Score
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions
- Citi Entertainment (providing “special access” to tickets and events)
The Citibank website now lists only Travel Notice and Citi Concierge as available 'travel benefits.'
Travel Notice is a feature that basically allows cardholders to inform the card issuer of travel plans in an effort to avoid rejected charges originating in unfamiliar regions and enhance tracking of charges to help avoid fraud.
Citi Concierge is described as “access to a staff of experts working around the clock to help you get things done and save time. It’s an easy and convenient way to get help with your travel, shopping, dining, entertainment, and everyday needs.” Citi Concierge is available via phone or email.
The statement said Citibank cardholders looking for more information were not encouraged to contact CitiBank directly but advised they should refer to the FAQ under 'Card Benefits' on the site. Travel information is not currently available on their site.
It appears that travel benefits will no longer be available to Citibank customers. Canadians who currently use a CitiBank travel card for the perks will now have to look elsewhere for discounts, in addition to the insurance coverage they formerly enjoyed through membership.
Regardless of these changes, many Canadians are under-insured by their credit card's travel policy. It's always important to shop around online for the best cheap travel insurance for your family.
Switching to a new credit card with travel or insurance benefits doesn't have to be difficult. You can use our guide to the best travel rewards cards of 2019 to help you choose your next travel card.