A pair of standard benefits featured on the popular Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card are coming to an end in April, making it the latest in a line of Visa cards to institute the change. Cardholders learned in an email late last month that the card was dropping its auto rental collision damage waiver and extended warranty protection but adding ID Navigator from NortonLifeLock as a new benefit.
- The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card is ending its auto rental collision damage waiver and extended warranty protection benefits on April 1, 2021.
- The loss of benefits continues a recent trend among Visa card issuers.
- In lieu of the expiring benefits, Fidelity is adding access to ID Navigator from NortonLifeLock.
What Cardholders Stand to Lose
While cardholders can still enjoy unlimited 2% cash back on points redeemed into a qualifying Fidelity Investments account, the loss of the auto rental collision damage waiver and extended warranty protection benefits on April 1, 2021 is likely to make the card less attractive to some consumers. Here is what cardholders will be losing:
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Anyone who's ever rented a car knows how insistent rental companies can be about purchasing additional insurance coverage. In the past, using a Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card allowed renters to skip the extra coverage entirely, since the card's auto rental collision damage waiver benefit would reimburse the rental company for any damages, up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.
As long as the rental period was 15 consecutive days or less, most rental passenger cars, minivans, and sports utility vehicles were eligible. According to Visa's website, the following losses would be covered:
- Physical damage and/or theft of the covered rental vehicle.
- Valid loss-of-use charges imposed and substantiated by the auto rental company.
- Reasonable and customary towing charges, due to covered theft or damage, to the nearest qualified repair facility.
Starting April 1, that coverage will end. Cardholders looking to take advantage of the benefit one last time can do so if their rental ends by March 31. Any claims that result from that rental must then be filed within 45 days.
During a recent episode of the Clark Howard Podcast, the personal finance radio host explained why this reduction was likely taking place, stating that Fidelity was just following an ongoing trend among Visa card issuers in the wake of COVID-related shutdowns and travel restrictions.
"Fidelity is actually a follower here, not a leader,” Howard said. "This has been a change over the last two years, over the last year in particular, under the cover of coronavirus, when people haven't been paying attention to travel. Credit cards have very heavily dumped car rental coverage, They have found it to be a royal pain and expensive."
Extended Warranty Protection
Along with their collision damage waiver benefit, Fidelity cardholders are also losing the card's extended warranty protection on April 1. This benefit was designed to cover qualifying purchases made with the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card beyond any manufacturer's warranty.
According to Visa, the perk would double an existing warranty up to "one additional year on warranties of three years or less." It provided coverage for purchases made in the U.S. and abroad, with a maximum price of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder.
With less than a month remaining, cardholders can still use their coverage if need be. Fidelity recently stated on its warranty page that eligible purchases must be completed by March 31, the benefits administrator needs to be alerted by calling 1-800-348-8472 within 60 days of the item breaking. The claim must then be submitted within 90 days of the product's failure. Fidelity warned that any claim "may be denied if these requirements are not met."
Identity Protection Added
In lieu of the two outgoing benefits, Fidelity announced that it was adding ID Navigator, an identity theft prevention service from NortonLifeLock. In addition to traditional identity theft safeguards, the service says it scours the dark web for a user's personal information and provides personalized alerts if their sensitive data has been compromised. It also includes lost wallet services.
Cardholders looking to take advantage of this new benefit as soon as possible can apply at the NortonLifeLock eligibility portal. If they already use NortonLifeLock for ID protection, Fidelity indicated in its email that they may be able to get a discount on their current plan.