If you plan to rent a car with your Citi card, don’t expect to get the added perk of insurance. Citi is one provider that’s taken a big ax to its car rental insurance benefit — however, you can still get coverage with your Costco card. (Citi is a finder.com advertising partner.)
Does Citi have car rental insurance?
As of September 22, 2019 Citi does not offer car rental insurance with most of its cards. Key exceptions include the cobranded Costco cards, which offer up to $50,000 in coverage against eligible thefts or accidents worldwide. Internationally it applied before your auto insurance kicks in.
How does car rental insurance work with Citi’s cobranded cards?
To qualify for Citi’s car rental insurance, pay for your entire car rental with your eligible cobranded Costco card, and decline the rental company’s insurance.
With the Costco cards, Citi offers up to $50,000 for the lesser of the cost of repairs or the cash value of your rental car.
What does this car rental insurance cover?
Citi car rental insurance offers coverage against:
Acts of vandalism
What does this car rental insurance not cover?
Citi car rental insurance doesn’t cover liability, such as damage to other cars or property. It also doesn’t cover injuries to any party or any diminished value of the rental car.
Your Citi Costco card car rental insurance doesn’t apply if your rental car is:
Used in a manner that violates your rental agreement.
Used as a car for hire.
Not taken care of responsibly.
Rented through a car-sharing company that allows rentals of personal vehicles.
How long is my car rental insurance valid for?
You’re covered for however long your car rental agreement lasts, with a maximum of 31 consecutive days.
Is this car rental insurance primary or secondary in the US?
In the US, Citi car rental insurance is secondary. This means if you have personal auto insurance, you must make a claim with that policy’s provider before making a claim with Citi’s benefit administrator. Your Citi card’s insurance will cover what your personal insurance doesn’t.
Your Costco card’s insurance does cover deductibles, so it can be useful in combination with your personal policy.
Is Citi car rental insurance primary or secondary outside the US?
Outside the US, Citi car rental insurance is primary, meaning you can make a claim with it before you do so elsewhere. This is the case even if you have your own auto insurance.
Pro tip: Proof-of-coverage letters
Some rental companies — especially those outside the US — will request proof of coverage if you decline their insurance policies. It’s often a good idea to request a proof-of-coverage letter from your credit card car rental insurance benefit administrator and print a copy.
Call Citi at 866-918-4670 to request a proof-of-coverage letter from your benefit administrator.
How to use Citi’s car rental insurance with a cobranded card
Here’s how to make a claim with your Citi car rental insurance:
Call 866-918-4670 immediately after your rental car is stolen or damaged. A representative will inquire about your claim and advise you what to do next. If necessary, they’ll let you know which documents to send for your claim. Ask if you’ll need to pay the rental company directly, or if the benefit administrator will pay.
Take photos if your car is damaged. If necessary, file a police report, as this might be required for your claim.
Submit the requested information within 180 days.
What happens after I submit my claim?
After submitting your claim, wait for a decision from the benefit administrator. This could take up to several weeks.
If the benefit administrator accepts your claim, you’ll receive a check in the mail for the specified amount if you paid the rental company directly. If you didn’t pay the rental company directly, the credit card benefit administrators will instead pay the claim directly to the rental company.
Compare Citi credit cards with car rental insurance
Who gets to use this car rental insurance?
You, the cardholder, qualify for Citi car rental insurance. Authorized drivers you list on the car rental agreement are also covered. All drivers must have valid driver’s licenses.
Unfortunately, car rental insurance is now gone from most Citibank credit cards. However, you can still find the benefit in the cobranded Costco products.
Primary coverage means you don’t have to go through the extra step of making a claim with your personal insurer. Instead of potentially involving two companies in your claim, you may have to deal with only one.
Though the Citi Prestige® Credit Card is a premium travel card, it doesn’t include car rental insurance. Meanwhile, competitors such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer car rental coverage.
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
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