We spend a lot of time thinking about maximizing rewards points. I do this too and its definitely an important consideration when determining what card to get and/or what card to use for a particular purchase. However, I would like to posit that there are many times when the attempt to maximize rewards on a purchase can end up putting you in a worse position.
Unless people think we should have a thread dedicated to this benefit for each particular card, I think a single thread for this benefit is fine so I’d like to turn this thread into a master thread for these benefits.
I always purchase my airline tickets, at least in part, with the Citi Prestige card. In my experience, they have the best claims process for these claims, and the most beneficial window - they reimburse for trip delays or baggage delays of 3 hours. The reimbursement amount is $500 per eligible traveler for reasonable expenses, which matches the CSR/CSP.
For the Prestige, eligible travelers include traveling companions and/or certain relatives even if the cardholder is not traveling. Only a portion of the ticket must be paid for with the Citi card. Meaning - a mileage ticket where you spend only $5.60 on the card (where the rewards points would be valued at less than $1) gives you access to significant benefits should a delay occur. Despite Trump’s success in keeping plane fatalities to 0, he hasn’t been able keep delays down - 2017 will have the most domestic delays of at least 3 hours since 2008. With more and more unusual weather and the increase in usage of smaller planes, my guess is that this will continue to go up.
I’ve used this benefit sparingly in the past, but over the past 3 months I’ve had the (un?)fortunate experience of having items stolen from checked luggage, checked luggage delayed twice, and three trip delays of greater than 3 hours. Of the ~$500 I’ve spent on all flights in the past 3 months (lots of mileage tickets toward the end of the year) Citi has reimbursed me over $1,500.