Citi ThankYou credit card auto rental insurance covers ALL countries, yes even the ‘i’ countries

Ireland, Italy and Israel are commonly excluded by the auto rental collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage of US-issued credit cards. Other countries appear, Jamaica is common, Australia, too.

Coverage terms are typically not provided online so I always study the hard copy terms when I get a new credit card. Last December I was surprised to see that my new Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card does not exclude ANY countries. In other respects it is typical credit card CDW coverage:

  • Excludes “Off-road, antique or limited edition vehicles are excluded, as are trucks, recreational vehicles, campers, pick-up trucks and mini-buses.”
  • Must charge entire rental to the credit card
  • Must reject CDW from the rental agency
  • Per rental coverage maximum of 31 consecutive days
  • Maximum reimbursement of US$50,000
  • Coverage is secondary, relevant only if you have auto insurance applicable to that country
  • Covers only damage to the rental vehicle, meaning it is typical CDW; coverages such as liability and theft are not included (no credit card covers these)
  • Plus all the typical fine print

General coverage questions: 1-866-934-1138, Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm, CT.

Claims: 1-866-491-1031, Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm, CT, claim form is here.

There are currently 2 versions of the personal  ThankYou® credit cards open for new applications:

Currently the sign-up bonuses offered on the Preferred range from 10k-15k, best to wait for 40k-50k.

From what I can see online, the Premier and regular ThankYou® also have the coverage from Chubb. I do not personally have those cards, so make sure to verify your card terms.

The critical thing, as I learned in Ireland is to have the hard copy terms of coverage or even better, a letter confirming coverage. Europcar insisted on verifying coverage for Ireland and made photocopies of my coverage. If you do not have your coverage terms, contact Citi to request a copy be mailed to you. (Note: my Ireland rental was with my Diners Club card, I did not at the time have the ThankYou® Preferred; the procedure is the same, though.)

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  • Acker

    This seems to good to be true. I’m convinced the primary source of revenue in Ireland is the money they extort from car renters for the insurance they all but force you to take. I’ve brought hard copies of my World MC coverage and even that hasn’t worked in the past. Talk about a racket! Off to make some phone calls…Thanks.

  • Acker

    Made 4 calls to Citi, just to be sure. You’re right. This is a huge benefit.

  • @Acker – thanks for quad-checking. It is interesting, many of their other, ostensibly more premium cards are things like Visa Signature that generally prohibit these countries. Maybe it hasn’t been an issue because few notice it.

  • guera

    And the $125 annual fee on the Thank You Premier is waived in the first year.

  • Acker

    Received the fax confirming the insurance. Chubb does underwrite it and it states “Coverage applies Worldwide including the Republic of Ireland”.

    I’ll have to eat the 3% as I downgraded my card to Preferred after having Premier for a year.

  • @Acker – excellent, and great that Citi responded with a fax so quickly. That 3% hurts but not nearly as much as the CDW. Another annoying thing, at least with Europcar in Ireland and Sixt in Cyprus is they pre-charge for the fuel and then refund when you return, which can win or lose depending on the rate movements. Make sure the fx fee at least gets adjusted properly for the refund.

  • frequent churner

    A better idea might be to get the card that gives 5x points at grocery stores and drug stores, churn up enough “spending” and use those points to rent the car, and if needed pay the extra for insurance.

  • LarryInNYC

    This one item may be the most valuable thing you will read on a travel blog. A $100 rental in Ireland can easily come with $500 of insurance.

  • I called Citi to confirm as well and I must admit, I’m pretty surprised by this benefit. Citi really has no incentive to offer it, which makes me wonder why they do . . .

  • @Wedding Spend – I wonder if it was even intentional, I have not seen Chubb on other programs, and maybe the benefit is so little-known and little-used that

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  • TY

    Please explain this to me. I am trying to understand the extra benefit of the CDW converge when I rent a car using this card.
    If I use another credit card and get into an accident, my insurance will take care of the rental car and the car that I hit (assuming my fault). Almost all other Credit cards will take care of the deductible and misc.

    If I use the Citi Thank you card, are you saying that my insurance doesn’t have to cover the damaged rental car. My auto insurance still have to cover the car that I hit. Is that correct? Please help me understand the special benefit of this cards. I rent a car every other week and this card could be helpful to me.

  • @TY – I am assuming you are in the US, in which case for US rentals this card has no special benefit beyond what you are getting from your other credit cards. Some credit cards, like the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer, offer Primary CDW, which would mean you would not need to use your own insurance for damage to your car. Your insurance possibly covers Canada but probably excludes other countries, so when overseas you will be relying on your credit card coverage or coverage purchased from the rental agency. Because your own insurance does not provide coverage in these countries, the ‘secondary’ coverage of the credit card in effect becomes primary. Most US-issued credit cards exclude certain countries, Ireland, Israel, Italy and Jamaica are most common. Rental agencies often then require renters to purchase coverage from the agency at inflated prices. The advantage of this card is that it provides coverage in all countries.

    Separately, in terms of damage to other cars, which is under liability coverage, no credit card provides that benefit. Some countries mandate liability coverage and it may be included in quoted rental rates. In the US you either need to rely on your own insurance or buy from the rental agency.

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  • Linda

    I’ve actually made a claim on a Citibank card for a fender scrape in Israel. The system works … I did have to pay for a fee the local Budget charged that Citibank said was not standard business in the US. Could have found the charge in Israel, but chose not to. Israel requires both collision and bodily injury, so it’s nice that Citibank provides this collision damage waiver.

  • @Linda – thanks for the update that it works, I had heard reports that some rental agencies in Israel were refunding all US cards no matter what certificates of insurance, however it sounds that at least Budget is ok.

  • Natalie

    Thank you very much for this info!!

  • Bob

    It SOUNDS like a Great deal — HOWEVER, finding a card that covers Irish Car Rentals is only HALF of the Battle. You also need to verify that the Rental Company will ACCEPT that card’s coverage.
    MOST Irish Rental sites state that “Only certain US-Issued Master Cards and Canadian-Issued Visa cards are accepted” in their ‘Terms and Conditions’.

  • @Bob – Citi can issue a certificate of coverage for Ireland by email and I and others have found that accepted. Their Ts&CS are excluding cards that exclude Ireland. Also, now most Chase and Citi cards have dropped their country exlcusions so you have more options.

  • RP

    Thank you so much for explaining this clearly. I am so grateful. This stuff is SO thoroughly confusing.

  • @RP – happy to help.

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