Many of us have faced flight delays, even if we're only casual travelers. It's one of those realities of the world that is both annoying but understandable at the same time. Airlines often offer trip protection every time you buy a flight... I'm pretty used to seeing this during the purchase process. This protection often is a small cost per ticket, but if you fly as much as I do, it would add up really fast. So, is there a way to protect ourselves, or even get paid back for delays as short as 3 hours?
The answer to that question is yes. You actually might have that protection and not even know it. Many travel credit cards provide trip protection now. Each card issuer has different rules, Citi is by far the most generous when it comes to length of delay. If your plane is delayed 3 hours or more, you are covered. Any charges after that delay are reimbursable under the trip protection policy. If you have to buy an extra meal, or get a hotel overnight, all of this is covered after a very short time frame.
Other cards offer similar protections but the time frame often varies quite a lot. Chase has the worst policy... because it's Chase. Their trip protection doesn't kick in unless the flight is delayed 12 hours or more. Amex lands in the middle at 4 hours, but requires an optional $9.95 fee to add the trip protection.
Each card also has a maximum reimbursement for each incident. Citi is $500, same with Chase, and Amex is $250 but Amex is a per person reimbursement.
All that is required is that at least part of the ticket be purchased with your credit card. I say part because Citi and Chase offer this protection on reward flights as well, as long as the fees and taxes you pay on award trips is paid with your credit card. Amex doesn't cover award flights, so they aren't worth mentioning here.
If I was going to choose one card here, it has to be the Citi Prestige card, it just protects me better than anything else. Buy your tickets on the Prestige card and your next delay might mean lunch is on Citi.
Rocket Scientist, Travel Junkie, and Ruler of the 4th Moon of Omicron Persei 8