We were hoping that Citibank's decision to drop car rental insurance as a travel benefit was an isolated incident, but it appears that more credit card issuers may be following suit and chopping car rental insurance from the roster of perks offered to cardholders.
Why should you care? Because travel benefits translate to savings. If you pay for your car rental with a credit card that offers insurance as a benefit, you can decline the pricey collision insurance offered at the rental car counter. This can save you more than a hundred dollars on a week-long rental.
If your credit card does not offer car rental insurance, then you are in a bit of a pickle. If you own a car and have auto insurance, then your policy will likely extend to rental cars. The problem is that there is likely a hefty deductible and limitations on what is covered, which can leave you with gaps in protection. Furthermore, relying on your auto insurance policy is fraught with another kind of risk. A 2017 study by InsuranceQuotes.com and Quadrant Information Services found that filing a single auto insurance claim of at least $2,000 will spike your premium by 44.1%, on average.
Before renting a car, it's always smart to double check to see what, if any, car rental insurance is included as a benefit by your credit card issuer.
And, of course, you can never compare credit cards based on just one benefit, such as car rental insurance. You should take into consideration all costs, including a card's interest rate and annual fee. Card benefits might seem lucrative on the surface, but those savings can easily be outweighed by hefty interest charges or other fees.
Citibank-Issued Credit Cards Have Chopped Travel Benefits
Do you have a credit card issued by Citibank? Last month, Citi announce that it was drastically cutting back the travel benefits offered to credit card holders for the vast majority of Citi-issued cards. Among the perks that were dropped was car rental insurance.
Notably, there seems to be an exception for co-branded Citi Costco cards. Depending on which card you have, there may be a few or all travel perks left untouched.
Kroger Mastercard is Reportedly Dropping Car Rental Insurance
More recently, some cardholders of the US Bank-issued Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Mastercard have reported in online forums that the bank recently announced discontinuation of car rental insurance and other travel protections.