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 The Citi Driver's Edge Card


This page will describe the benefits, drawbacks and various special considerations relating to the Citi Driver's Edge Platinum MasterCard.

Card Benefits

We carefully investigated this credit card and observed the following benefits:

  1. The rebate isn't cash, but it can be spent on needed automotive services, repair or maintenance.  You can convert rebates into Citi's ThankYou Points, which you can use to buy airline tickets (often at favorable rates), or get gift cards (typical example; exchange $60 in ThankYou Points for a $50 card.)  You can also apply your rebate towards the purchase of nearly any motor vehicle -- new or used, from dealers or private parties.  Whoever you purchase the car from will never know you received a rebate.
  2. After you're approved, you can ask to have your own picture placed on the front of your credit card.
  3. Automatic travel insurance of up to $1,000,000 whenever you buy a plane, ship, train or bus ticket with this card. Auto rental insurance coverage from collision or theft when you pay for car rentals with this card.
  4. A Retail Purchase Protection protects your credit card purchases from theft or eligible damage for up to 90 days.



Note:  When we examined the database of Citi cards that we were given, oddly enough it only listed the student version of the Driver's Edge card. But you could still probably dig up the non-student version of this card in search engines such as Altavista or Google.

Drawbacks and Special Considerations

There are some features of this card that we recommend consumers be smart about:

  1. The "grace period" to make payments is 20 days. We feel that 25 days would have been much more gracious.  To avoid a late fee of up to $39, pay your credit card bill promptly.

  2. When we checked their fine print, it said that "Citibank may revise or terminate the Driver's Edge Options Rebate Program at any time" -- meaning you shouldn't count on receiving "drive rebates" for the miles you drive. And this card was recently removed from sites such as CreditCards.com, Credit.com and ConsumerCardReport.com, which isn't a positive sign at all.  If there's another card on the rewards cards scorecard that you like about as much, perhaps you should apply for that one instead.

  3. Remember that you won't receive a rebate for anything you buy at a warehouse club or department store, even if you buy food there.  You'll receive a full rebate at a supermarket, which Citi defines as a "stand-alone merchant that primarily sells a complete line of food merchandise for home consumption".

  4. If you transfer a balance from another credit card to your Citi Driver's Edge card, you'll pay zero interest for 12 months.  However, your monthly payments will go towards the balance transfer before purchases, which gives Citi a chance to charge you a higher interest rate.  So if you want a zero percent rate, you're really better off getting some other zero-percent card that you'll use just for the zero-percent rate.

  5. Avoid these pitfalls:  (1) you must use your rebate points within five years or they'll expire; (2) if there's no transaction on your credit card for 12 months, your points expire; and (3) your "drive rebate" (your rebate for the miles you've driven) must not exceed your rebate for the purchases you made with your Citi Driver's Edge card.
   
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