Negative Changes To The Citi Prestige Trip Delay Coverage

by joeheg

The Citi Prestige Trip Delay Coverage had been the best option available from all the different travel credit cards. If your flight was delayed more than three hours, the Citi Prestige would pay for up to $500 in expenses for things like meals, taxi/Uber charges, hotel and travel essentials. Towards the end of 2017, the coverage parameters were changed where you were no longer able to put in a claim for a missed connection. Previously if you missed a connecting flight and were stranded overnight, you could make a claim. Now your original flight had to be delayed more than three hours before you could get any reimbursement. That was a enough of a change to the coverage for me to reevaluate the usefulness of the coverage but then earlier this year Citi sent an email telling of even bigger changes that were coming. These changes took effect for travel booked on or after July 29, 2018.

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Trip Delay Protection and Baggage Delay Protection: Program coverage will be limited to you and your family members. Program coverage will only apply to delays of 6 hours or more.

Sounds innocent enough, right? The details the changes to the Citi Prestige Trip Delay coverage and other card benefits can be found at this link. Here are some of the changes and “clarifications” to the trip delay coverage.

If a Covered Traveler’s Trip on a Common Carrier is delayed for at least 6 hours, We may reimburse You for expenses incurred because of the delay. You are covered for up to $500 per Covered Traveler, per Trip.

To be eligible for coverage under this benefit, Your Citi® Card and/or ThankYou® Points must be used to purchase at least a portion of the Common Carrier fare.

Common Carrier means a vehicle that’s licensed to transport any public passenger who pays a fare or buys a ticket, and is available on a regular schedule. Examples include planes, trains, ferries and cruise ships, but does not include taxis, car service, rental car and rideshare service.

Covered Travelers means You and Your Family Member(s) traveling on the Trip.

Family Members means Your children, spouse, fiancée, Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children; legal guardians or wards; siblings or siblings-in-law; sons-in-law or daughters-in-law; parents or parents-in-law; grandparents or grandchildren; aunts or uncles; nieces or nephews.

Domestic Partner means a committed relationship between two unmarried adults, in which the partners, (1) are each other’s sole Domestic Partner, (2) maintain a common residence, (3) share financial obligations if both are employed, (4) are not married or joined in a civil union to anyone else or are not the Domestic Partner of anyone else, and (5) are not blood related.


This benefit covers the following expenses, as long as they are reasonable and necessary for the Covered Traveler to incur during the delay:

  • Lodging.
  • Ground transportation (excluding car rentals).
  • Meals.
  • Personal or business necessities, such as toiletries or items that the Covered Traveler(s) needs when delayed.


  • The Covered Traveler(s) accepted an offer or coupon in exchange for not boarding an overbooked flight.
  • The Covered Traveler(s) is delayed due to a missed connection of their Common Carrier, but the delay that caused the missed connection does not meet the required time period of 6 hours.
  • The Covered Traveler(s) is delayed due to being involved in or under suspicion of any criminal act, illegal activities or disruptive/ abusive behavior.

I know that’s a lot to take in all at once. Here’s a summary of the changes that took place as of July 29, 2018:

  • Only you and your family members are covered. Previously anyone in your travel party was covered.
  • Your trip now has to be delayed six hours or more to file a claim. Previously the delay was three hours or more.
  • Definitive language specifically excluding delays that are due to missed connections. Your original flight has to be delayed more than six hours or you’re not able to file a claim.

All tickets purchased prior to July 29th should still have the old Citi Prestige Trip Delay coverage in effect but I’d imagine there may be some difficulty if you need to make a claim, so be ready. These are some major changes to the trip delay coverage from the Citi Prestige. While previously I was willing to book travel with this card even though it wasn’t the most rewarding for points earning, these changes are making me reevaluate my choices. I have plenty of other cards I could use like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum card. It may be time to look over what coverages those cards offer and see which one is now the best for me to use.


Cover Photo courtesy of Kevin Prichard Photography


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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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