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If you’re looking for cards with decent travel insurance coverage built in, both Citi and Chase offer good options with some of their more popular travel credit cards.
While the dollar amount of coverage varies by card, what’s actually covered is different depending on whether you’re using a card from Citi or Chase.
A lot of you reading this have both Chase and Citi travel credit cards, and the differences are substantial enough to make a difference if you have a choice of cards.
We’ll walk you through where they differ so you can make an informed decision and get the most of the coverage you deserve.
Here is a side by side comparison of what Citi and Chase cover…along with Barclaycard, but the coverage is so minimal it’s not worth relying on.
Trip cancellation insurance
|When do you need to notify?||Within 60 days of cancellation||Within 48 hours of knowing you need to cancel||Within 20 days of knowing you need to cancel
|Illness / injury /death (yourself)||Yes - with doctors proof||Yes - with doctors proof||Yes - but bacterial / viral infections excluded unless caused by food poisoning or an accident|
|Illness / injury / death (immediate family members)||Yes - if it requires your care||Yes - not specified||Yes - but bacterial / viral infections excluded unless caused by food poisoning or an accident|
|Illness / injury / death (non-family travel companions)||Yes - if you paid for the traveling companion's travel||Yes||No|
|Pregnancy||Yes if doctor didn't advise against travel when booked||Pre-existing conditions not covered||No|
|Life and home issues|
|Laid off or fired||Some cards||No||No|
|Jury duty||Some cards||Yes||No|
|House destroyed||Yes - if deemed unfit to live in or burglarized||Yes - yours or a traveling companion's||No|
|Weather||Yes - if travel to/from destination blocked for 24 hours||Yes - if it prevents a reasonable and prudent person from proceeding||No|
|Terrorism||Yes if certified by a government agency, and occurs in the destination||Yes - if the incident prevents travel, but not if you're simply concerned||No|
|Travel supplier out of business||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Nonrefundable trip expenses / change fees||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Extra expenses to return home sooner||Yes||No||No|
|Extra expenses to meet a cruise or other part of trip due to a covered reason||Yes||No||No|
|Racing or being paid for professional sports||Not specified||Voids coverage||Not specified|
|Rocket travel (the Virgin Galactic clause)||Not specified||Voids coverage||Not specified|
|Travel booked with miles||OK if part of trip (like taxes) paid with card||OK if part of trip paid with card||No, must pay entire trip with card|
Citi is most generous
Citi is more generous by allowing a job loss as a covered reason on some cards, and it gives you up to 60 days to report the cancellation.
Citi will also pay extra expenses that arise from a covered reason.
For example, if you have to pay for flights to get back home sooner, or you miss a cruise and need to catch up with it at a different port, Citi will cover it. Chase will only cover nonrefundable charges made in advance.
Both Citi and Chase will cover you if you use miles or points to book a trip, as long as at least some portion of the ticket is paid with your card, like the taxes on an award ticket.
Trip delay coverage
|Who is covered?||Cardholder, spouse, dependents, and traveling companions||Cardholder, spouse, dependent children|
|Delay length||3 - 12 hours (depending on card)||12 hours (6 hours with Sapphire Reserve)|
|Lost / stolen passports, money, or travel documents||Yes||No|
|Other carrier caused delay||Yes||No|
|Toiletries, other necessities||Yes||Yes|
Where is Citi more generous?
Lost passports / wallets, oversold flights
Citi will cover you if you lose your passport, wallet, or other travel documents, which is a great benefit. So if you show up at the airport and can’t make your flight because your passport is lost (maybe you end up finding it at your hotel), you’ll be covered for staying longer to wrap things up. Though you won’t be covered for change fees or extra airfare.
Citi also covers incidents like an oversold flight where you are involuntarily bumped, while Chase at least in its stated benefits only covers weather, strikes, and mechanical issues.
Where is Chase more generous?
Chase tends to have higher total coverage amounts for trip cancellation ($10,000 for the Sapphire Preferred vs $5,000 for the Citi Premier and Prestige). Otherwise the coverage is generally comparable, though Citi will cover traveling companions, and Citi allows you to count lost passports as a covered reason. The Chase coverage is more vague about things like late crew or being on a flight that is oversold, and you are involuntarily bumped.
If you have a Citi card like the Executive AAdvantage or Citi Prestige that offers coverage on delays as short as 3 hours, then it’s worth choosing your Citi card over your Chase card when booking flights.
Check your details
Finally, always check the details of your specific card before relying on coverage. It can change at any time, and sometimes sub-versions of cards have different levels of coverage and exclusions. Furthermore, these benefits are often provided by a third party administrator, and the administrator, not the bank, may have the final say in whether a claim is valid.
But the details above should guide you in the right direction and help you understand where Citi and Chase have relative strengths for your next trip.
With trip cancellation coverage often running $100 or more when purchased alone these benefits are worth getting to know well.
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