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

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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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[…] was the first major issuer to drop country restrictions for rental car CDW on many of its cards. Now it is removing exclusions on car types such as trucks and premium […]

RP
RP
7 years ago

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

Rapid Travel Chai
7 years ago
Reply to  RP

@RP – happy to help.

Bob
Bob
7 years ago

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’.

Rapid Travel Chai
7 years ago
Reply to  Bob

@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.

Natalie
Natalie
7 years ago

Thank you very much for this info!!

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

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.

Rapid Travel Chai
7 years ago
Reply to  Linda

@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.

trackback

[…] Citi’s ThankYou cards provide similar coverage and they provide that certificate on demand. I have heard reports that even with such a certificate, some rental agencies in Israel still insist on buying their own CDW. It is accepted in Ireland. […]

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[…] previously found that Citi Thank You and Dividend Platinum Select cards provide worldwide Auto Rental CDW with no […]

TY
TY
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Rapid Travel Chai
8 years ago
Reply to  TY

@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… Read more »

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[…] card benefits. I have mostly ignored Citi yet recently learned that the Thank You cards offer true worldwide rental car collision damage waiver. […]

Wedding Spend
8 years ago

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 . . .

Rapid Travel Chai
8 years ago
Reply to  Wedding Spend

@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

LarryInNYC
LarryInNYC
8 years ago

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.

frequent churner
frequent churner
8 years ago

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.

Rapid Travel Chai
8 years ago

@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.

Acker
Acker
8 years ago

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.

guera
guera
8 years ago

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

Rapid Travel Chai
8 years ago

@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.

Acker
Acker
8 years ago

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

Acker
Acker
8 years ago

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.