Five credit cards that give you money back for flight delays

Stuck at the airport because of a delayed flight? These credit cards reward you for that lost time.

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters/File
A business jet arrives at the Swiss Air force base in Duebendorf, Switzerland, January 19, 2016. Some credit cards will reward you if your flight is delayed.

As a frequent traveler (over 130,000 miles flown in the past year), my favorite and least-favorite scenarios are flight irregularities. I hate them because obviously I want to get to where I'm going, but I also love them, because they present opportunities to get "free" money from the airlines. It's usually pretty easy to get money back if the delay is the airline's fault, like a mechanical problem. But what if it's delayed for weather or other reasons beyond anyone's control? If you booked your flight with one of these cards, you may be still able to be reimbursed.

What's reimbursable?

Lots of things are reimbursable, like typical expenses involved in delays including hotels, meals, ground transportation, clothes, and toiletries.

Things that aren't reimbursable are tips, alcohol, or if it's your fault you missed your flight. Be sure that your reservation is a round trip as well--one-way flights don't count.

What should you do if you're delayed?

First, make sure you used the correct card when you made the reservation. Then, call the bank to file the claim, and submit documentation. This should be done within 30 days for Citi cards, and within 60 days for Chase.

So which cards should I use?

1.  Citi Prestige Card -- The "top of the line" Citi card, the Citi Prestige card covers up to $500 in expenses when you're delayed starting at only three hours. That's right---only three hours of inconvenience, and you can start raking in the benefits! The ticket must be a round trip, and that you've put the full cost of the ticket on the card. The money also applies to each person under 19 that is your dependent, and your spouse.

This is in addition to many other incredible benefits, like Admiral's Club access, three rounds of golf free per year, and $250 in airline reimbursements (even flight purchases) each year.

2.  Citi Hilton Reserve Card -- The Citi Hilton Reserve Card, with all the benefits that come with it (including free Hilton status, granting you free breakfast at every Hilton worldwide), also gives you $500 when you're delayed, but only after 12 hours.

3.  Citi ThankYou Premier -- The Citi ThankYou Premier, the Prestige card's baby brother, is also $500 after 12 hours.

4.  Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard -- This card is also $500 after 12 hours.

5.  Chase Sapphire Preferred Card -- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card will also reimburse you after 12 hours or delays overnight.  The difference between it and the ones mentioned above, is that it'll cover even award tickets.  This means charging taxes and fees to the credit card.  Right now, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 50,000 point sign up bonus for spending $4,000 in 3 months.

This article first appeared at Brad's Deals.

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