It’s not like people hope for flight delays…

With increasingly volatile weather, ultra tight airline schedules and passengers disturbances galore, flight delays are a more common occurrence than ever. Add in social media live streams, exploding volcanoes and other world events, and you can almost bet on a flight delay happening to you. For years, Citi has offered one of the best travel delay policies for premium credit card holders, but unfortunately those customer friendly policies will soon be devalued.

Which Citi Cards?

Citi Prestige, the $450 a year flagship credit card offered by Citi will lose or modify key benefits come July 29th, 2018. What qualifies as a compensation eligible delay will be lengthened, and what you can expect to recoup when “it happens” will simultaneously be diminished. This is just the latest blow in a series of major credit cards taking away value from premium cardholders.

Flight Delay Coverage

The Citi Prestige card instantly became one of the most traveler friendly credit cards on the market when it launched just a mere two years ago. One of the very best examples came in the form of trip delay coverage. Any flight delay of three hours or more qualified cardholders for trip delay insurance, allowing passengers to purchase food and other necessary items while waiting. For common flight issues, like overnight delays, cardholders received coverage of up to $500 per delay, for items including hotel, meals and ground transportation- even some necessary clothes! Effective July 29th, Citi Prestige cardholders will only be able to claim expenses back for delays of six hours or more.

$2500 to $1000

Since its launch, Citi Prestige cardholders have been able to claim up to $2500 per year, which essentially represented full coverage for five maxed out trip delays of $500. Unfortunately, come July this benefit will also be diminished to cover a maximum of $1000 in delay expenses per year. While this may sound fair enough to some, for frequent travelers who experience regular delays, $1000 is a major reduction.

Family Only

Citi Prestige presently offers full delay protection for all travel companions of a credit cardholder. However, effective July 29th, 2018 this benefit will be limited to actual family members. In order to qualify for any trip delay coverage, a travel companion must be family, though “family” is not definitively defined. From July 29th onward, travelers should assume their companions won’t be covered, even if you purchased their tickets, unless they are family members.

Purchase Protection Drop

Chase recently eliminated purchase protection entirely, in response to a mounting barrage of compensation claims. On a more positive note, Citi has gone for a moderate approach in tackling the issue, simply decreasing purchase protection coverages from 120 possible days of coverage to 90. Essentially, if your purchased item experiences unusual wear and tear or defect within 90 days, you should be able to return it via the Citi policy, even if the store says no. Certain items will now be omitted as well.

Will these downgrades affect your card membership?

HT: Doctor Of Credit