Citi Prestige Cell Phone Protection Details Released

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Citi announced a series of big changes to its Prestige card back in November last year and, although details of most of these changes were revealed at the time of the announcement, there was one benefit that remained a mystery – the cell phone protection that the Citi Prestige card will offer from 1 May.

Now, a little under two months before the cell phone coverage benefit is due to start, Citi has let us know what card holders can expect.

Citi Prestige Cell Phone Protection

  • Up to 5 cell phones are covered when the monthly bill (for all phones) is paid via the Citi prestige card.
  • Coverage of $1,000 per claim
  • Maximum payout of $1,500 per year
  • All claims subject to a $50 deductible per phone
  • Claims can be filed online

Thoughts

As far as credit card cell phone protection goes this seems to be pretty good – most other cards which offer cell phone coverage limit the coverage to a maximum of $600 per claim.

The $50 deductible (per phone) is lower than the $100 deductible which comes with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card but higher than the $25 deductible you’ll find with cards like the Uber card from Barclays and US Banks’s Platinum Visa.

The decision which a lot of people will probably find themselves having to make is whether they prefer the coverage offered by the Citi Prestige or the Chase Ink Preferred card so this is how the two stack up against each other:

Clearly the Citi Prestige has a significantly higher annual fee but it also comes with a host of other benefits that help offset that fee (to what degree will vary by individual) so I don’t think that should be a major issue in this comparison.

My personal take is that with the cost of cell phones skyrocketing right now (thank you Apple!) the $600 coverage/device offered by the Chase Ink Business Preferred card looks a little inadequate (if you own less expensive phones then this may not be an issue).

Once the deductibles are taken into consideration there isn’t all that big of a difference between the annual claim limit that the two cards set but, as you have to pay your cell phone bill with the credit card to get the cell phone coverage, the number of points you can earn from that bill may play a role in helping you decide which is better.

The Citi Prestige will only offer 1 point/dollar for cell phone bill payments while the Chase Ink card offers 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar…and that’s a noticeable difference.

As I value both ThankYou Points and Ultimate Rewards Points at 1.5 cents each the Chase Ink Preferred card essentially offers a rebate of 3% more than the Prestige Card and, if I owned one of the less expensive cell phones, that may be enough to make me prefer the Ink card’s coverage.

Unknowns

There are still a few unknowns here so it’s hard to give a definitive answer as to which credit card offers the best coverage.

We know that the Chase Ink Preferred Business card will not cover phones that weren’t purchased from new, phones which are pre-paid, phones that weren’t purchased from an authorized dealer and cell phones that are being financed..but we haven’t been given any details of what Citi will be excluding [I’ll update this post once that info is available].

Bottom Line

Until we know what exclusions Citi will be adding into its cell phone coverage policy it’s hard to say which policy is best but, from what we do know, it looks like anyone with an expensive phone will probably be better off with Citi’s coverage and anyone using one of the less expensive phones may be better off with Chase.

Featured image: Stanislav Kondratiev 

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