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Many people don't realize it, but their credit cards include travel insurance for common scenarios such as needing to cancel a trip due to illness or injury, lost or delayed luggage, or trip delays.

Citibank recently added some very cool benefits to its cards affiliated with the American Airlines AAdvantage program (the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select cards).

The most unique feature: Lost baggage coverage is up to $3,000 per person ($2,000 for New York State residents) and includes both checked and carryon bags and electronics and valuables such as jewelry, which is very unusual; however coverage is over and above whatever the airline pays you (but airlines do not cover lost or damaged valuables or electronics in checked bags). Citi will repair or replace whatever is lost or stolen. As far as I know, no other credit card offers to cover valuables lost or damaged during air travel (unless the loss occurs within 90 days of purchase, but that's another type of consumer protection). And this applies to anyone traveling with you, even if they're not card holders, as long as their fare was paid in full on the card.

Maximum coverage per year for trip cancellation or interruption is now $5,000 as long as the trip, including all taxes and fees, is paid for with the card and the trip is less than 60 days. Covered reasons include sickness or injury, confirmed by a doctor in writing, that is severe enough to interrupt or cancel a trip; sickness or injury of a family member who requires your care; severe weather or natural disaster that cancels air travel to or from your destination for at least 24 hours; and several others.

There's also baggage delay protection now.

Trip delay protection is covered up to $500 and basically covers hotel and meals and includes delays caused by overbooking, weather delays, and strikes. Caveat: Citi's definition of "who's covered" only includes you, spouse and domestic partner, and dependents under 19 or 24 if a full time student. Some other cards will cover a cancellation if grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and stepchildren become ill or injured before a trip departs and causes you to cancel.

To compare what your credit card offers, visit here.

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American Airlines Image via Shutterstock

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