Did I get a retention offer for the Citi Premier card?

The Citi Premier card has long been my go-to travel card as it earns 3x on all travel including gas.  As a no foreign exchange transaction fee World Elite MasterCard, it also has the best exchange rates coupled with great travel protection benefits.  I recently filed a claim for Citi's Worldwide Car Rental Insurance, and the process was simple and I got the full refund for damages to my rental cars.  But after Citi's recent benefit cuts, including the loss of trip cancellation/interruption, trip delay, car rental insurance, and lost baggage protection, keeping the card was now hard to justify for the $95 annual fee.  Even no-annual fee cards like the Chase Freedom carry many of these benefits, and Amex will soon be adding trip cancellation/interruption and trip delay protection to a number of their cards.  As my annual fee for the Citi Premier card was up, I called Citi to see if they had any retention offers.  The agent transferred me to their card "cancellation" specialist, and after a brief hold, I was offered my choice of one of the following offers:

  • $95 statement credit and 1,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $1,000 per month for each of the next 3 months
  • $95 statement credit after spending $1,000 cumulatively over the next 3 months

The cancellation specialist even knew the retention offer that I was given last year, which was the $95 statement credit after spending $1,000 per month for each of the next 3 months.  So he of course stated that this year's offer would be better since I would have the chance of getting an additional 1,000 TYP.

Redeem 12.5k TYP for United's premium transcontinental flights in Polaris

Even though it would have been nice to get the annual fee over with a simple $1k in spending over 3 months, I decided to go with the $95 statement credit and 1,000 TYP offer since TYP have surprisingly become more valuable over the years with Singapore Airlines, Avianca Lifemiles, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines as 1:1 transfer partners.  I had recently redeemed 96k TYP for a roundtrip biz flight to Auckland on Air New Zealand since they were offering a 30% transfer bonus to partner Virgin Atlantic, which was a great award deal.  And as the exclusive transfer partner to Turkish Airlines, you can score some great redemptions on United domestic flights for as little as 7.5k miles for economy and 12.5k for first class.

Bottom line

I'm not sure how often I'll be using my Citi Premier card from here on out due to Citi cutting the card's best travel and purchase protection benefits, which also include the loss of extended warranty, purchase protection, return protection, and price protection.  Many of these benefits come standard with no-annual fee cards, so it's hard to justify using the Citi Premier for flights and car rentals even with 3x earning as I won't be covered for trip delays and damages to my rental car.  I can still picture the card having value for purchases like lodging, tour activities, rideshare, tolls, and parking as baggage and trip protection don't really come into play for these categories.  When it comes down to it, it's a good card to have around with its bonus points earnings and redemption potential, and not for it's travel and purchase protection benefits.  But holding onto the card for another year is pretty much a no-brainer as the annual fee will be offset by the retention offer.


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