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Detailed Citi and Chase travel insurance coverage for cancellation and delays + Barclaycard

by on Fri June 17, 2016 • 37 Comments


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 cancellationWithin 48 hours of knowing you need to cancelWithin 20 days of knowing you need to cancel
Health issues
Illness / injury /death (yourself)Yes - with doctors proofYes - with doctors proofYes - but bacterial / viral infections excluded unless caused by food poisoning or an accident
Illness / injury / death (immediate family members)Yes - if it requires your careYes - not specifiedYes - 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 travelYesNo
PregnancyYes if doctor didn't advise against travel when bookedPre-existing conditions not coveredNo
Life and home issues
Laid off or firedSome cardsNoNo
Jury dutySome cardsYesNo
Military dutyYesYesNo
House destroyedYes - if deemed unfit to live in or burglarizedYes - yours or a traveling companion'sNo
Major events
WeatherYes - if travel to/from destination blocked for 24 hoursYes - if it prevents a reasonable and prudent person from proceedingNo
TerrorismYes if certified by a government agency, and occurs in the destinationYes - if the incident prevents travel, but not if you're simply concernedNo
Travel supplier out of businessYesYesYes
What's covered
Nonrefundable trip expenses / change feesYesYesYes
Extra expenses to return home soonerYesNoNo
Extra expenses to meet a cruise or other part of trip due to a covered reasonYesNoNo
Racing or being paid for professional sportsNot specifiedVoids coverageNot specified
Rocket travel (the Virgin Galactic clause)Not specifiedVoids coverageNot specified
Travel booked with milesOK if part of trip (like taxes) paid with cardOK if part of trip paid with cardNo, 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 companionsCardholder, spouse, dependent children
Delay length3 - 12 hours (depending on card)12 hours (6 hours with Sapphire Reserve)
Lost / stolen passports, money, or travel documentsYesNo
Oversold flightYesNo
Mechanical delayYesYes
Other carrier caused delayYesNo
Toiletries, other necessitiesYesYes

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 Premie rand 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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37 thoughts on Detailed Citi and Chase travel insurance coverage for cancellation and delays + Barclaycard

  1. Dan

    I have been looking to see what is the best way to cover award ticket travel. I am taking a stepson who has cancer and I am booking pretty far out so travel insurance would be a good idea.

    I do not see how Citi covers award ticket travel at least with the Prestige card.

    From the benefits guide under both the trip interruption as well as the trip delay section

    “The trip was paid for in full including taxes and fees with your Citi card, Citi reward points or a combination of both.”

    The baggage delay has this under what’s not covered:

    Your travel is free because you use travel awards other than your
    Citi card rewards, such as airline points, vouchers or free
    companion tickets.

    For the Chase Sapphire the benefits guide says

    “:If any or all of the Covered Trip was paid for using redeemable
    Rewards, the Company will reimburse the Insured Person for Rewards
    used. The Company’s reimbursement shall equal the monetary value
    of the redemption through the Common Carrier, Tour Operator, Travel
    Agency, or Travel Supplier up to the Benefit Amount. If the monetary
    value of the redemption does not appear on the Insured Person’s
    itinerary or redemption confirmation issued by the Common Carrier,
    Rewards program manager, Tour Operator, Travel Agency, or Travel
    Supplier the Company will reimburse the Insured Person ($.01) per
    point redeemed up to the Insured Person’s Benefit Amount”

    It goes on to say that the points have to have been accumulated through a rewards program sponsored by Chase.

    I am going to call to see if that applies to transfer of UR points to United.

    Are there any paid travel insurance plans that cover award tickets?

    1. Dan

      Just to be clear. I am planning on booking United tickets via a combination of United miles and transferring UR points. I have a good size stash of TY points but still nowhere near enough to cover what I need so I dont see how Citi will cover me.


      @Dan – What miles are you using? If it’s United miles for example, those miles are fully refundable minus a $200 redeposit fee right up until departure time. So the most you’ll be out is $200 per person. The challenge you may run into is these plans (and many travel insurance plans) don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Though United itself might waive the redeposit fee in certain medical circumstances.

      1. Dan

        United miles. I ended up booking the award tickets. After a little research I found the terms of changing or canceling award tickets which were not too onerous given the number of miles involved. A problem I ran into previously was getting to the destination and then having to change my return flight because of a major medical incident for someone traveling with us and having problems getting our return flight in business class because of course there were no saver business tickets on the way back on such short notice. Luckily, I found a rep who was able to help me out. Ever since then I have been more sensitive to the idea of travel insurance.

  2. BCAZ

    How does Chase Visa Signature Card cover the trip cancellation and trip interruption claim?

    Booked round trip airline ticket, has to change the returning flight to a later date, paid changing fee and fare differences to the airline. It is a covered event.

    Thank you

  3. Kelli

    We have Citi Simplicity and Citi AA. Looking to book a cruise for our family of three plus two in laws. Will both cards cover all items paid with our cards for our in laws as well? Do both cards cover weather related cancellations / illness for any traveler?


          @Kelli – After you login, click on ‘Travel Benefits’ on the left side. If you see ‘Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection’ click on that. Then, when the page loads, go to the fine print at the very bottom and you’ll see “Please download your Guide to Protection Benefits to learn more.” Click that link and you’ll get the details.

          If you don’t see ‘Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection’ when you click on Travel Benefits, your card doesn’t have the coverage.


      @Steve – Some of the Double Cash cards have trip cancellation coverage – call the number on your card to see if yours does. Though whether it applies will depend on why the service was cancelled.

  4. Jason

    I have what may be an outlier of a question.

    What if I purchase a ticket with my Citi Prestige. Either an Award ticket and pay taxes and fees – (In this case Southwest), or a paid ticket on Jetblue where I have Mosaic Status (and can cancel/change for free), and cancel/change my flight and deposit the $$ into my travel bank.

    Can I use the $$ in the travel bank and still receive the benefits of my Citi Prestige if the original ticket was purchased with the card, but the travel bank $$ goes towards another ticket?

    I love the ancillary benefits of the Citi Prestige, and it’s already come in handy for me once while I got stuck in a 16 hour delay in Chile. So I try and use the card as much as possible when booking airfare.


      @Jason – When you buy a ticket with a credit card, the actual ticket number will appear on your statement.

      So if you were to cancel and then rebook with voucher / travel bank money, the ticket number that appeared on your statement would be different than the one of your actual ticket.

      But if you say buy a $300 ticket with $200 in travel bank funds and $100 charged to the Prestige card, that should be OK.

  5. Bonnie

    I have sapphire and need to cancel a trip due to an immediate family member needing to have surgery scheduled during my trip. Will that be covered under the card?


      @Bonnie – Sorry to hear about that. It might be if you are required to be there for care – give a call to the number on the back of your card to get started.

  6. John

    If there is a military coup in the transit country is that covered. Referring to Turkish airlines given events of today


      @John – It’s a grey zone – the coverage documents often exclude military / war action. But Turkish Airlines may end up just rebooking you anyway. If they don’t consider filing a claim. Doubt you’ll get anything for feeling uncomfortable, but if your flights aren’t operating there might be a claim.

  7. Joel

    It’s time to update or delete this page since the CitiBank trip insurance coverage is completely changed. It is now $5000/person up to 3 people – and does cover family members not traveling – as well as lots more!

  8. gracie

    Dear MileCards,

    The $1500 trip cancellation coverage for Citi Thankyou Preferred card is for annual coverage or for each transaction?



      @Alice – Yes it is possible to cover the prepaid hotel cost if your interruption meets the requirement, and you paid for both the accommodations and transportation with the card.


      @Alice – Always call the number on the back of your card to get the latest details for your account, but yes if you pre-pay for both the transportation and the accommodations on the card, that part can be covered if you meet the conditions of the interruption.

  9. jay

    I pulled up my Citi benefits guide and do not see “job loss” under covered reasons for Trip protection. Is this reason covered only under certain Citi cards or all Citi owned cards? Thanks!


      @jay – Interesting. Looks like it may be an annual fee vs no annual fee thing. We see it on the Premier for example ($95 fee), but not the Double Cash (no fee).

  10. ken

    I booked a one-way ticket with my Chase card and my first flight was cancelled due to weather. This resulted in missing my connecting flight and required an overnight stay in a hotel. Are there any restrictions for one-way flights?

  11. Mallory

    How many times a year can you cancel a trip with the Sapphire? I have two sick parents and I’ve booked a few trips this year and I’m scared I might have to cancel if things get worse.


      @Mallory – Sorry to hear about that. There is no explicit limit on the number of times per year – but best to call the number on the back of your card to get an answer for your particular situation.

  12. Paula

    I booked a flight only (round-trip) with Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and need to cancel it due to my travel companion, which is my housemate, has been severely sick because of food poison, so I need to take care of her.The ticket that I bought is non-refundable nor transferable. I wonder if I can get full reimbursement for the cancelled air fare with this reason.

    Anything from you would be appreciated!


      @Paula – Give a call to the number on the back of your card and they can walk you through what they need. Also FYI in case you’re not covered, non refundable plane tickets generally have value – you can rebook on another flight to another destination with the same airline, less a change fee.

  13. sam

    I’m interested in how this compares to Barclaycard. I need to decide whether to pay for a trip with a citi aa card or us airways card. Any thoughts?

    1. James

      If anything, I noticed all the cards listed were Visa Signature and World/World Elite MasterCard; hopefully that helps with your decision.


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