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It’s that time of year when Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holidays ads start appearing nearly everywhere, and we are reminded of all the glossy gadgets and latest tech items we may—or may not—need. While you work out which camera, computer, or headphones to get next, we’re here to tell you about a credit card that beats all others for extending the life of electronic purchases: the Citi Premier® Card.
This travel credit card by Citi is already well-known for a strong points’ earning structure despite a low annual fee of $95. Less known is the card’s exceptional extended warranty program, providing an extra 24 months of coverage on most electronics (and almost all things with a warranty for that matter). Here’s why tech-loving travelers should consider getting this card now.
The welcome bonus
Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Then choose whether to spend that bonus on travel or gadgets.
Citi ThankYou points transfer to 15 airline partners, including Flying Blue (AirFrance/KLM) and JetBlue TrueBlue at a 1:1 ratio. Points can also be redeemed for gift cards with major brands like Apple and Best Buy at a ratio of 1,000 points to $10 (e.g., 80,000 welcome bonus = $800 in gift cards). Keep in mind, points generally have more value when redeemed for flights. For example, JetBlue TrueBlue points are pegged to ticket dollar value and are worth around 1.5 cents apiece, so a 80,000 welcome bonus means $1,200 in JetBlue tickets.
Triple points in key categories
The Citi Premier Card lets you rack up points quickly by offering triple points in several popular spending categories among travelers. You’ll earn three points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, as well as on air travel and hotels (plus one point per dollar on everything else.)
The extended warranty program that tops them all
Items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty against defects or covered failures do so for a specified period, ranging from a few months to a few years. During that time, the manufacturer is responsible for repairing or replacing the item if things go wrong. However, things never seem to go south until this warranty ends, especially with pricey electronics—which is why extended warranties were created.
Thankfully, several travel credit cards offer a form of extended warranty protection on purchases. This shopping benefit is implicit when using such cards and adds extra time beyond the manufacturer’s warranty, during which, if the item breaks and cannot be repaired, the credit card will typically reimburse you in the form of a statement credit or a check for the product’s original value.
As you can imagine, not all credit card extended warranty programs are created equal. There are vast differences in actual time extensions, amounts covered during the extensions, and policies regarding store-purchased extended warranties like Apple’s AppleCare+ or Best Buys’ Geek Squad protection.
Among all the extended warranty programs offered by credit cards, the Citi Premier Card’s offering reigns supreme. How so? First, the card extends the manufacturer’s warranty for an additional 24 months. This is double the 12 months extension offered by the likes of the Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Second, the Citi Premier Card’s warranty coverage is up to a maximum of seven years from the purchase date and is additional to customer-purchase extended warranties like AppleCare+. Put in perspective, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards allow coverage up to a maximum of four years from the purchase date.
Graphically, here are some examples provided by Citi on how the extended warranty can play out:
Now, here are some real-world examples to understand the power of Citi’s extended warranty protection.
- Buy a new Macbook Pro in November 2021 and purchase a three-year AppleCare+ plan for the laptop at the same time. After AppleCare+ ends in November 2024, Citi’s extended warranty kicks in, protecting your computer from covered failures until November 2026. (Coverage with programs by Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire would end in November 2025.)
- Buy a new Canon DSLR in November 2021 along with CarePAK PLUS, Canon’s own extended warranty program (typically valid for four years). Though your CarePAK PLUS expires in November 2025, you’ll be covered through the Citi Premier card until November 2027. (Coverage with Amex Platinum would end in November 2026 while there would be no extended coverage with Chase Sapphire since November 2025 would be four years from the purchase date.)
- Buy AirPods or Sony headphones in November 2021, both of which come with a standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Get coverage until November 2023 by using the Citi Premier Card for your purchase. (The Platinum Amex and Chase Sapphire cards would offer extended coverage until November 2022.)
While these are some of the most common examples for using Citi’s extended warranty benefit, it isn’t restricted to travel electronics. It even covers things like household appliances that may separate the warranties on parts and labor. Taking my own advice, I recently purchased a new A/C unit that came with a five-year parts warranty and a one-year labor warranty. By putting the entire purchase on the Citi Premier Card, I am covered for seven years for parts and three years for labor. As a Floridian, I deal with A/C meltdowns almost every summer. So extending my warranty as long as possible leads to primo peace of mind.
Of course, there are some restrictions on items eligible for the extended warranty program. Things like boats, cars, aircraft, antiques, preowned items, plants, and motorized land, air, or water vehicles are not covered. But for most new electronics and appliances, you’re golden.
With the holidays approaching and spending season upon us, now is an ideal time to get the Citi Premier Card and score 80,000 bonus points on your purchases. It’s not the only card to have in your wallet or purse, but it’s definitely the one to use for tech purchases and a great option for swiping (or tapping) at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.
This article was originaly published in 2021; it was updated with new bonus offer information in July 2022. While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.