User Error: When Your Forget The Little Things & It Ends Up Costing You Hard Earned Cash

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Citi Trip Cancellation Insurance Woes

Citi Trip Cancellation Insurance

Various travel insurance protections are some of those fringe benefits of many credit cards that I don’t think about often. I mean, I do at times when I know that I need to be covered by it, such as when I am renting a car. Then I always use a card that offers primary auto collision damage waiver coverage.  What I pay attention to less is trip cancellation and interruption insurance. But a recent experience may change that laissez-faire attitude.

Bit By a Recent Flight Cancellation

I’ve been rather fortunate over the past couple years. Flight cancellations have been few and far between. Things actually have been better since the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of my United regional experience. I used to experience at least one cancellation per year when flying out of my local airport.

My run of luck came to an end, they finally hit me with one the other week. I was supposed to fly out of town for a couple nights. Instead, I got the dreaded notification that my flight had been canceled. With no other options available, I ended up canceling the whole trip.

My outbound flight was a United award, which was refunded free of charge. My inbound was a LifeMiles award and I’m hoping the Chase trip cancellation protection covers the redeposit fee. To be determined at this point.

The night of pre-paid hotel was the final question. I rarely pre-pay, but this was also cancelable for a full refund up until 48 hours before arrival

Given that I used my Citi Premier card to pre-pay for the night, I figured I’d be able to place a trip cancellation insurance claim. Turns out, however, that there is no Citi trip cancellation insurance protection on the Citi Premier card! You know what happens when you assume.

There’s actually no Citi trip cancellation insurance on any of their cards. This happened a few years ago, and somehow I’ve completely forgotten.

Citi trip cancellation insurance United

Did Citi Used to Offer Trip Cancellation Insurance?

You would think a card geared toward travel like the Citi Premier card would offer trip cancellation insurance. It used to, but now doesn’t.

The Citi trip cancellation insurance protection was removed in Fall 2019. Here are all the benefits that were cut:
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Delay Protection
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Baggage Protection
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Citi® Price Rewind
  • 90 Day Return Protection
  • Missed Event Ticket Protection
So what remains? This duo:
  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Makes the guide to benefits rather small. Citi went from great benefits to none. For someone who likes the Thank You Points ecosystem, I will certainly keep the lack of travel protections in mind from now on.

Final Thoughts

More than anything this post serves as a reminder to not get complacent. There is a lot to keep track of in this hobby, and I do not obsess over the minutia like I did several years ago. Forgetting major changes like this can hurt though.

It smarts being out nearly $100, but it’s a lesson learned. Benefits like trip delay, baggage delay, and trip cancellation protection may go unnoticed and unused much of the time. But when you really need them, they can pay for your card’s annual fee many times over.

My Chase Ink Preferred is going to be the new choice going forward when trip cancellation really matters. That is, unless the hotel card for the chain in question has similar coverage.

Ian Snyder
After igniting his passion for award travel while planning his honeymoon, Ian now enjoys using points and miles to see the world with his wife and three internationally adopted kiddos. He loves dissecting loyalty programs to find maximum value. His goal is to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.

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6 COMMENTS

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6 COMMENTS

    • I will be very much rethinking my use of it in general. It was my go-to grocery card until I got an Amex Gold. But the latter I likely will drop middle of next year.

  1. Good posting! I have found that keeping track of all the various perks and advantages and especially, the *changes* to those to be one of the hardest things about this “hobby”.

    Took me a long time to realize I just can’t remember all the things. (Plus getting older does not help. I am 65 already)

    I have had to cobble together my own system, as I am not an Excel guy and do not understand that sort of stuff, but making it work has been like running a steam engine, I suppose, Lots of gear turns and adjusting all the time.

    Sorry you had this happen but obviously we all need “wake up calls” sometimes. Hope it works out for the best for you!

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