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Chase Sapphire Preferred has been a consistent go-to for the past six years because of:
- Signup bonus: 50,000 bonus points after $4000 in spending within 3 months, plus 5000 more points for adding an authorized user to the account and making a purchase during the same time period.
- Fast earning: double points on all travel and dining: not just air and not just hotels, but both and cars and taxis and tolls, plus meals on the road.
- Valuable points: that transfer to your choice of airline (United, Korean, British Airways, Singapore, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest) covering all the major alliances and more plus several hotel programs (Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, IHG Rewards Club).
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class
But it’s also a great card that covers your purchases and your travels when things go wrong. How do some of the premium cards compare in this way?
The Citi Prestige Card will cover up to $500 in expenses when you are delayed 3 or more hours.
You must be on a round trip ticket (trip not to exceed 60 days) and the $500 benefit applies to each spouse (or domestic partner) or dependent (under 19) that’s delayed whose ticket you charged to the card.
Premium Chase Cards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and also other premium co-brand airline and hotel cards from Chase will cover up to $500 in expenses when you are delayed 12 or more hours or delayed overnight.
You must be on a round trip ticket (trip not to exceed a year) and have charged at least a portion of your ticket to the card.
The $500 benefit applies to each spouse or dependent (under age 22) that’s delayed whose ticket you charged to the card.
Since you only have to charge a portion of a ticket to the card, coverage applies even to award travel which isn’t always the case with Citi cards — Citi cobrands require you to pay the full cost of tickets including taxes and fees using the eligible card.
What Cards Don’t Offer This Coverage
Barclaycard products don’t include trip delay coverage. For instance while the Arrival Plus has trip cancellation and baggage delay coverage it does not cover you for trip delay.
What Can Be Reimbursed
Save your receipts, and document that your travel was delayed and the reason for the delay.
You’ll be able to get reimbursed up to $500 per ticket for expenses you need during your delay, such as clothes, ground transportation (such as to and from a hotel), hotel night, meals, rental car, toiletries, and even medication.
Coverage doesn’t apply to delays you were notified of in advance, tips, alcohol (presumably not because they’re puritans but due to local laws), if your delay is your own fault such as because you overslept and missed your flight. Most coverage also doesn’t apply to one-way flights.
Don’t wait to file the claim. Citibank, for instance, requires you to call them within 30 days of the delay and submit all documentation within 90 days of the delay. Chase requires you to call within 60 days of the delay and submit all documentation within 100 days of the delay.
Call the number of the back of your card and ask to talk to a benefits administrator to process a claim. You’re going to need to submit your ticket receipt and also at least a redacted version of your credit card statement showing you used the card for the purchase. You’re going to also have to show things like receipts for your expenses and documentation of the covered delay.
Which Card to Use?
If you’re buying one-way tickets or you’re buying travel for someone other than yourself, a spouse, or dependents you’re out of luck.
If you’re buying a paid roundtrip ticket, then the Citi Prestige Card is your best bet for coverage. You get coverage for delays as little as 3 hours and you earn triple points on airfare.
If you’re buying an award ticket, I like Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for coverage. Charge the taxes and fees to your card to trigger coverage, you’re covered for a 12 hour delay or an overnight delay, this is most useful for award tickets with fuel surcharges because you’re not going to be covered for more than the amount actually charged to the card.