Which Has Better Travel Protection: Chase Sapphire Reserve Or Citi Prestige?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, DudeB commented:

Can you provide a side-by-side comparison of the travel protection benefits and limits from the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige cards?

Thanks for your question, DudeB!

Deciding between these 2 great premium cards might be difficult.  But comparing the cards’ perks can help.

Travel Protection Benefits Chase Sapphire Reserve And Citi Prestige Cards

Did You Know Both the Citi Prestige Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Offer Travel Protection Benefits for Plane, Cruise Ship, AND Train Rides?

I’ll explain the details of the travel protection benefits you’ll get with each card.

Travel Protection Benefits:  What’s the Deal?

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide

Link:   Citi Benefits Guide

Here’s a quick comparison of the coverage you get when using either the Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards.

CoverageCiti PrestigeChase Sapphire Reserve
Primary Rental Car Insurance• Cardholders and authorized designated drivers covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver

• Coverage is secondary in the US and primary elsewhere

• See the Citi Benefits Guide for more details
• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details
Delayed Baggage• If your baggage is delayed for more than 3 hours, you could be reimbursed for emergency purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)

• Up to $500 maximum per covered traveler

• See the Citi Benefits Guide for more details
• If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)

• Up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details
Lost Luggage• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside

Up to $3,000 per person each trip

• Up to $10,000 per trip

• See the Citi Benefits Guide for more details
• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside

Up to $3,000 per person each trip with a limit of $500 for items such as jewelry and electronics

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details



Trip Delay Protection• If your trip is delayed for more than 3 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)

• See the Citi Benefits Guide for more details
• If your trip is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance• Up to $5,000 per person per trip

• See the Citi Benefits Guide for more details
• Up to $10,000 per person per covered trip (maximum $20,000 per occurrence)

• Up to $40,000 per 12 month period

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details
Travel Accident Insurance• Up to $500,000 per person

• See the Citi Benefits Guide for more details
• Up to $1,000,000 per person ($2,000,000 maximum)

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details

As always, I suggest reading the terms carefully, so you know what is and isn’t covered by your card.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to use ANY of these perks.  But they are helpful to have, especially if your flights or bags are delayed!

Who’s Covered?

1.   Citi Prestige

With Citi’s travel protection, benefits apply to all covered travelers, which includes:

  • You
  • Your family members, including:
    • Children
    • Spouse
    • Fiancée
    • Domestic partner and their children
    • Adopted children and step-children
    • Legal guardians
    • Siblings or siblings-in-law
    • Son-in-law or daughter-in-law
    • Parents or parents-in-law
    • Grandparents or grandchildren
    • Aunts or uncles
    • Nieces or nephews
  • All traveling companions for whom you have paid to travel on your trip

And most benefits apply as long as you use your card or Citi ThankYou points to pay for all or part of your trip.  Except for car rental coverage, which requires you to pay the entire cost with your card or points.

If you pay for only part of your trip with a card or ThankYou points, you’ll only be covered up to the amount paid for (not the maximums as stated above).

Trip cancellation, baggage and trip delay, and lost luggage coverage is secondary if you have other insurances for your trip.  Car rental coverage in the US is always secondary when you use your Citi card.  Secondary coverage will cover only unreimbursed amounts that another source does not.

2.   Chase Sapphire Reserve

The cardholder and immediate family members will be covered, as long as part or all of their trip is paid for with the cardholder’s Sapphire Reserve.

Immediate family members include:

  • Cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Children, including adopted children or stepchildren
  • Legal guardians
  • Siblings or siblings-in-law
  • Parents or parents-in-law
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Nieces or nephews
Travel Protection Benefits Chase Sapphire Reserve And Citi Prestige Cards

The Travel Protection Benefits From the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Will Cover You, the Primary Cardholder, and Your Mom!

You can read my posts for more detailed information about the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s benefits guide, emergency medical & dental coverage, and a travel accident insurance.

Which Card Is Better?

1.   Traveling with a Companion

When it comes to booking travel, it will depend on how many people you are paying for.  For example, if you are traveling with one other person, you might want to use your Chase Sapphire Reserve, because you’re covered up to $10,000 per person (maximum $20,000 per trip) for trip cancellations or interruptions.

If you pay with your Citi Prestige card, you’re covered up to $5,000 per person with no trip maximum.

2.   Trip & Baggage Delay

But when comparing the trip & baggage delay benefits, the Citi Prestige is the better choice.  Because you’ll be covered for delays of 3+ hours with the Citi Prestige.  And the Chase Sapphire Reserve only covers delays of 6+ hours.

With both cards, you’ll have 60 days to file a claim.  And you’ll need to show documentation of the delay, like copies of boarding passes, your original itinerary, and receipts for hotels and meals purchased during the delay.

3.   Renting a Car

Renting a car in the US?  Use your Chase Sapphire Reserve because it provides primary rental car coverage.  Coverage from your Citi Prestige will always be secondary in the US.

Bottom Line

Both the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer similar travel protection benefits.

The best card to use depends on whether you’re renting a car in the US, how many folks you’re traveling with, and how soon you’d like your baggage & trip delay benefits to kick in.

Thanks again for great suggestion, DudeB!

If you’ve ever had to file a claim with Chase or Citi, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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18 responses to “Which Has Better Travel Protection: Chase Sapphire Reserve Or Citi Prestige?

  1. Amex Platinum loyalist, lots of rumors about updates coming in the new year. Would love to see them update Amex Platinum benefits to include some of these. Used to have great benefits, but have definitely fallen behind the competition.

  2. Question- As I’ve exhausted all options with Chase via the 5/24 rule, what other cards would you recommend? My credit score is well above 800. Just applied and was approved for the Barclay Arrival Plus card. Is there another that’s better?

  3. What about coverage for over 80 year olds for travel insurance? Which card is best.?

  4. Do MasterCard and visa have travel coverage?

  5. Of course when booking award tickets, Chase is the clear winner as Citi will only reimburse up to the amount charged on the card.

  6. Sandra holloway

    This comparison between the elite Citibank and Chase cards was very helpful. Could you do a similar comparison between the standard Citibank and Chase cards, such as the southwest airlines premier chase card and similar competing cards on the Citibank side?

  7. The information for Citi Prestige Baggae Delay is incorrect. Per the benefit guide ” You are covered for up to $500 per Covered Traveler, per Trip if the Covered Traveler’s checked baggage doesn’t get to their destination within 3 hours of arrival.” It’s not $100 per day, it’s simply up to $500 per traveler.

  8. What about the the Citi AA Executive card? Can you bring that into this comparison?

  9. Have a very expensive cruise coming up with NCL in February and we are beginning to consider which travel insurance to purchase. Issue is we would want to be able to cancel for any reason.

    $10,000 per person with Chase would cover entire trip but, I imagine, only for covered reasons. Is that correct? Could we just cancel for other reasons and still get refund?

    Very good post, Darius, Many thanks.

  10. What if you book an award ticket and only the taxes & fees are paid on the card? Do you still get the same coverages?