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How One Credit Card Saved Me $950 When My Bag Was Delayed

How One Credit Card Saved Me $950 When My Bag Was Delayed
Caroline Lupini

When I was flying to Michigan from Australia a couple of months ago, the airline I was flying with (temporarily) misplaced my bag. I was traveling with my boyfriend at the time, and since I booked my flights with a specific credit card, I was able to purchase a few items that were in our missing bag so that we could have warm clothes to wear during the holidays while we were visiting family.

The card I used to book the flights with was the Citi Prestige. For a while, the Citi Prestige was my go-to card for booking airfare because it offered the best travel insurance. If a flight was delayed for just three hours, it would offer coverage for food and other necessities. In 2018, Citi changed the benefit to only offer coverage on delays of 6+ hours, matching the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s insurance coverage, so I switched back to using the CSR for my flight bookings.

However, I booked my flights from Australia in January for which I paid with my Citi Prestige Card and since my bag was delayed, I had my first experience with making a claim through Citi.

It was a seamless, wonderful process. I seriously can’t stop praising it! I’ve submitted many trip delay claims with Chase over the years and there’s always a ton of back and forth. It often takes me months to get a claim to go through. With Citi, I submitted receipts and a statement from the airline about my bag delay via email and about 10 days later, I found that they would pay out the full amount for the items I had to purchase.

Since my boyfriend and I were flying from warm weather to cold weather on a long itinerary, we had packed all of our cold weather clothes into our checked bag so we wouldn’t have to carry it all around the airport for 36+ hours of travel. That meant we arrived in Michigan in December, sans coat, and wearing only the clothes we had traveled in. That wasn’t going to fly.

So, we headed out to the store and purchased the necessities to stay warm. In total, our bill was around $950. That would have been quite the Christmas present to ourselves if it hadn’t been for booking with my Citi Prestige. And our bag finally showed up about 40 hours after us.

After this experience with the Citi Prestige Card’s insurance claim process, it’s definitely become a card I’ll use in my rotation to book flights – but it’s not my top choice all of the time. I still use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book flights with connections that are under six hours, and let’s face it, most itineraries don’t have connections longer than that. I do it this way because the Citi Prestige card won’t cover trip delay expenses related to missed connections unless the delay of a singular flight is at least six hours. The Sapphire Reserve is still my top pick card for flights with connections, even though I know it will mean a lot of back and forth trying to get my insurance claim approved.

All in all, I was so impressed with the process of filing a baggage delay claim with Citi!

Have you ever filed a baggage delay claim with Citi or Chase? What was your experience like?


[Featured Image: Citi Prestige]

View Comments (12)


  1. mvoight

    June 24, 2019 at 11:59 am

    But, was a claim also made with the airline?

  2. Xnuiem

    June 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Timely story. Considering Citi has announced this benefit is going away in September.

  3. sdsearch

    June 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    You better get another card. As mentioned above, in the last few days, Citi announced is getting rid of tons of benefits including this one.

  4. YogiB

    June 26, 2019 at 1:46 am

    This sounds like an infomercial for Citi.

    Did you know that airlines are obliged under the Montreal Convention to refund up to US$ 1600 (depending on exchange rate from Special Drawing Rights) in reasonable expenses to replace items in your delayed luggage? The amount is even higher for domestic US flights (regulated by US DOT), which is US$ 3500.

    Be sure to make your complaint in writing right away at the airport. If the luggage counter isn’t staffed, take a picture of the empty counter and send an email with your complaint (and the picture) within 7 days, or you won’t be eligible anymore for compensation.

    Keep all receipts, never send originals to the airline (only copies/scans) and send a full report of all your eligible expenses within the delays set out in the Montreal Convention, EC 261/2004 (for European flights that may follow under that regulation) or national regulations.

    On a side note: the airline is responsible for delivering the luggage at your door at your convenience. Don’t accept that they ask you to pick it up at the airport.

  5. finarg

    June 26, 2019 at 4:23 am

    i and colleagues also have had excellent experience with citi prestige and very bad experience with Chase. Now that Citt benefits go away in September Im notr sure what is there to replace it? chasei s a very poor alternative. they clai they offer everything but collecting from them is a nightmarish experience.

  6. alexmyboy

    June 26, 2019 at 4:56 am

    you were flying to Michigan! Why?

  7. JackieC2

    June 26, 2019 at 5:42 am

    I filed a claim with Chase Sapphire Preferred card a few years ago when I had to cancel a trip to Turkey the day before due to health concerns. It took months but all my nonrefundable expenses were finally reimbursed which amounted to over $1100. Lots of paperwork to fill out. The hardest was getting the tour agency in Turkey to send an email that I was not reimbursed for the tour. The person I worked with on the claim was helpful and supportive.

  8. m44

    June 26, 2019 at 7:17 am

    The article prove the writting skills of the author.
    But the article is about nothing. Or maybe it is?? Hm. Let me think.
    It is about the boy friend du jour, lack of forward thinking of keeping outdoor coat as the carry while flying from Australia to Michigan in December. And that on the ticket bought in January. The airlines I know do not sell tickets more than 11 months ahead. And the stupid greediness of the Citi card changing food allowance on delay from 3 hrs to 6 hrs. And totally irrational adherence to Chase while Citi provided by faaar a smoother service. Citi was always known as a sh**ty card and after a brief period they reverted to the shambolic grade. Sorry I wasted my and your time reading and commenting..

  9. KRSW

    June 26, 2019 at 7:23 am

    How about a follow-up article about which cards will have this type of coverage since Citi doesn’t think any of their cards should be used for travel after Sept 2019?

  10. tromboneboss

    June 26, 2019 at 9:11 am

    The insurance is secondary to what the airline pays. You should have had to file a claim with the airline first. Also what the heck did you have to buy for $950?

  11. xobile

    June 26, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Doesn’t this pay out a maximum of $100/day, per bag? So for 40 hours, you should have got $200 at most.

  12. Gizzabreak

    June 29, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Always nice to read an ‘all’s well that ends well’ story, even if it does read like an infomercial. Even better and infinitely more informative to read about the specific pitfalls of using a particular underperforming product.

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