credit & debt

Credit Card Perks Are Being Squeezed

It pays to shop around to find which companies still offer the best perks.

For years, credit card issuers have been trimming benefits. In the newest round, Citi is discontinuing several perks starting September 22: It will no longer offer trip cancellation and interruption protection or Price Rewind, which searches for lower prices on products you’ve purchased with the card and reimburses the difference. Under the terms of Price Rewind, you must register for a price search within 60 days of purchase; the program will accept submissions until November 20.

Other reductions vary by card. Citi Double Cash, which offers a total of 2% cash back, will also remove car-rental and travel-accident insurance, return protection, purchase protection and an extended warranty. Some cards will also cut baggage delay and loss protection, trip delay protection, medical evacuation, travel and emergency assistance, and roadside assistance. Log in to your account online or call Citi to find out how your card is affected.

For price matching, you can use a tool such as Paribus. American Express offers return protection, which refunds you up to $300 per item within 90 days of purchase if a merchant will no longer accept a return. It also offers an extended warranty and purchase protection for items that are damaged or stolen—depending on the card, Amex will repair, replace or reimburse you up to $1,000 to $10,000 per item (within 120 days of purchase in most states).

For travel benefits, Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) and Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450) are tops. They both have primary car-rental insurance, so you can claim the benefit without first using your own policy. Other perks: up to $3,000 reimbursed per passenger for lost luggage and $100 a day for up to five days for essentials in delayed baggage; $10,000 per person in cancellation and interruption coverage; $500 per ticket for expenses related to a delayed trip; and travel accident insurance ($500,000 with Preferred and $1 million with Reserve). The Reserve card comes with medical evacuation coverage, too.

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