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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – JetBlue Plus Card

If you’ve logged in to your Barclaycard account this month, you may have seen a pop-up notification that your card’s benefits guide has been updated. Our instinct over the last year has been to brace for a devaluation with such notifications, but contrary to recent trends, this one’s a win for consumers — Barclaycard has come out with a great update to ancillary card benefits covering items like auto rental collision damage waivers (CDWs) and trip delay insurance.

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Barclaycard negotiated with new benefit providers to offer increased coverage to Mastercard World and World Elite cardholders as well as Visa Signature cardholders. No previously available benefits were taken away, and changes apply to all card portfolios with Barclaycard except Ameriprise, Bank of Hawaii and Luxury Card (all of which will apparently be changed at a later date).

That means the following cards, among others, will be getting these updates:

The below chart lists the previously available coverage, new coverage as of April 1 and which credit cards the coverage applies to:

Benefit Previous Coverage New Coverage Applicable Cards
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Coverage applied to domestic rentals 15 days of less and international rentals of 31 days or less. Excluded several countries including Jamaica and Ireland. 45-day timeframe to make a claim after accident and 90-day claim notification timeframe. Coverage for rentals up to 31 days worldwide. No countries excluded. Extended claim and notification timeframes of 60/120 days. World Elite
World
Visa Signature
Trip Cancellation Reimbursed up to $1,500 toward the cost of canceled trip. Covered events included, sickness, accident and death. Covered events include severe weather, change in military orders, terrorist attack or hijacking, jury duty or subpoena, uninhabitable dwelling, medical quarantine. Expanded definition of covered immediate family members. $5,000 maximum reimbursement per person per year. World Elite
Trip Delay Not Offered Reimbursed up to $300 when trip is delayed 6 hours or more World Elite
Purchase Security Coverage repaired, replaced or reimbursed eligible items up to a maximum of $1,000 per claim. 90-day timeframe for submitting claim after making report. Expanded to cover almost any damage for any reason. Increased timeframe for submitting claim after report is made (180 days). World Elite
Price Protection Price difference must be claimed from printed or in-store ad. Coverage expanded to include online ads and increased reporting time frame for 60 days from date of price difference and 180 days for submitting claim after making report. World Elite
World
Visa Signature
Extended Warranty Notify 60 days/submit 90 days. Notify up to 90 days/submit claim up to 180 days. World Elite
World

There are a couple of really good changes above. Not many cards offer trip delay protection, making this very valuable. If your flight is canceled due to weather and you need a hotel, the airline certainly won’t help you out, but your World Elite Mastercard — like the JetBlue Plus Card — will pay for a $300 hotel. The Citi Prestige Card card still offers the best trip delay protection, since it covers delays as short as three hours.

Not having any countries excluded in the collision damage waiver is also really fantastic, even if this is secondary coverage. I’ve searched back through all the cards that offer primary and secondary rental car insurance and cannot find any that have no country exclusions. Remember that credit card rental insurance provides nothing for liability.

As part of the changes, the new benefits guide in your online account has taken out some of the traditional “legalese” and, in my opinion, does a much better job explaining exactly what is and is not covered under each policy.

Bottom Line

In addition to the benefits listed in the chart, Mastercard World and World Elite cards also have a concierge service, delayed baggage insurance, travel accident insurance and satisfaction guarantee (return protection).

It’s important you read all the (now more comprehensible) fine print in your benefits guide to see all the excluded situations and/or merchandise.  For example, if you qualify for delayed baggage insurance of $100 per day for up to three days and you bought contact lenses because they were in your delayed baggage, don’t expect Barclaycard to reimburse you for them, as they’re on the excluded list.

It’s great to see Barclaycard increase its ancillary benefits and making the language of the benefits guide easy to follow. This makes the choice of which card to book a flight or a rental car with even more difficult, since you now have even more strong options.

Which ancillary benefit makes the largest difference to you?

Featured image courtesy of RossHelen via Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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