The Best Credit Cards for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage

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The number of travelers in the U.S. has reached an all time high. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported nearly 2.8 million people were screened on a single day over Memorial Weekend 2019, its busiest day ever.

Unfortunately, with the large volume of travelers, flight cancellations and delays can cause even the savviest of travelers significant inconvenience.

Plus, your chances of having a flight disruption are likely. According to Flight Aware, a site that tracks flights globally, you’ll find thousands of worldwide cancellations and delays each day.

On just July 16, 2019, there were 17,736 flight delays worldwide. Of those delays, 4,805 flights were within the U.S. or flying into and out of the U.S.; on the same day, cancellations worldwide numbered 891 of which 201 involved flights to, from, and within the U.S.

Trip disruption can also cost you. Whether it’s the expense of a hotel room, transportation, meals, or incidentals you might need, chances are you’ll end up paying some of these expenses out of your pocket, especially in the case of severe weather.

Having trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance coverage on your credit card can be a real plus for travelers. While it won’t take the place of a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you may find the coverage more than adequate to cover your trip.

With credit card issuers reducing and even eliminating travel insurance on their cards, it is good timing to highlight those cards that continue to carry this valuable coverage.

What is Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Coverage?

Put simply, trip cancellation insurance reimburses you or your immediate family for non-refundable pre-paid trip expenses if a covered loss prevents you from traveling and your trip is canceled as a result.

Trip interruption insurance offers coverage for unexpected events that happen during your trip and cause your trip to be disrupted.

Examples of Covered Events

  • Bodily injury due to an accident, loss of life, or sickness of the cardholder, traveling companion or immediate family member of yours or of a traveling companion
  • Severe weather
  • Change in military orders for you or your spouse/domestic partner
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • Jury duty or subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
  • Finding you or your traveling companion’s dwelling unable to be occupied
  • Quarantine
  • Travel agency insolvency

Examples of Covered Non-Refundable Expenses

  • Pre-paid tours
  • Tickets on common carriers such as airlines, trains, bus, or cruise
  • Non-refundable hotels

Generally Not Covered Events

  • You are traveling against the advice of a doctor, while awaiting a specified medical treatment, or to receive medical treatment
  • Traveling in the 7th month or later of pregnancy
  • Traveling with a pre-existing medical condition
  • Illegal acts while traveling
  • Being involved in a motor vehicle race or speeding contest
  • Participating in professional sports for pay or prize money
  • Traveling on a rocket propelled aircraft
  • Self injury

There are several cards that offer trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, each with varying degrees of coverage.

Bottom Line: Having complimentary trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage on your credit card can save you from losing your hard-earned travel dollars by reimbursing you for non-refundable or unexpected expenses caused by trip cancellations or interruptions.

flight delay board
Flight delays during your trip and be disruptive and cost you money. Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

The Best Credit Cards for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance

Chase leads the pack when it comes to overall travel insurance coverage and specifically trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. The issuer offers several cards with these valuable benefits.

Expect to receive the following benefit compensation levels for a covered travel incident, from these 4 Chase credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If your trip is canceled for a covered reason, you or a covered immediate family member could be reimbursed for the non-refundable amount of your trip. The limit for each coverage is $10,000 per occurrence.

The maximum benefit under each separate coverage, trip cancellation and trip interruption, is $20,000 per incident and $40,000 per 12-month period.

Chase Ink Business Preferred®

If a covered event causes your trip to be canceled or interrupted, you can expect to receive up to $5,000 per person, a maximum of $10,000 per occurrence and no more than $20,000 total for a 12-month period.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

If your trip needs to be canceled or interrupted due to a covered event, you could receive up to $10,000 per person, $20,000 per trip, up to $40,000 maximum within a 12 month period.

United MileagePlus® Club Card

Receive up to $10,000 per person, up to a maximum of $20,000 per trip for non-refundable travel expenses made with your MileagePlus Club card.

Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card

If your trip is interrupted or canceled due to a covered situation, you could receive up to $5,000 per trip for reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable expenses.

The World of Hyatt® Credit Card

Coverage of up to $5,000 is provided per trip for non-recoverable travel expenses due to a covered loss.

IHG® Premier Rewards Club Select Credit Card

You could receive up to $5,000 per person, $10,000 per trip reimbursement for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses.

Chase Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance Coverage Details

Who is Covered?

You and your immediate family are covered for trip cancellation and trip interruption when even a portion of your trip is paid for with your qualifying card. You can also use Chase Ultimate Rewards points or a combination of paying with your card and points to receive coverage.

Chase has a broad definition of immediate family. The definition includes your spouse, domestic partner, your children (including adopted children and step children), legal guardians or wards, siblings or siblings-in-law, parents or parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and aunts/uncles.

You also do not need to be traveling with your family members for coverage to be valid. You must, however, have paid for a portion of the trip with your qualifying Chase card or Ultimate Rewards points.

Bottom Line: While coverage limits vary, the definition of a covered loss, which situations are excluded, and who is eligible for coverage, is consistent across these Chase credit cards. 

Conditions for Valid Chase Coverage

  • The trip must be paid for with your eligible Chase card and/or points accumulated with a Chase card
  • The trip destination must be more than 1 mile from home for coverage
  • The trip cannot exceed 60 days in duration

How to File a Claim with Chase

Most trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance is excess over other coverage you might have whether from a separate travel insurance policy you purchased or from compensation you received directly from the common carrier.

For example, if an airline pays for your hotel room, transport to the hotel, and meals due to a flight cancellation, your credit card coverage is only going to cover reimbursement for eligible expenses you incurred above what the carrier provided or for which they reimbursed you.

For this reason, some of the documentation you’ll need to submit will need to come from the common carrier. It’s best to be informed up front, before you travel, of what may be required should you need to file a claim.

Call the benefits administrator as soon as you are aware of the trip cancellation or interruption. The administrator will take down the basic information and send you a claim form to complete.

Documentation You May Need to Provide

  • Your completed claim form
  • A copy of your travel itinerary
  • Documentation of the reason for the trip cancellation or interruption
  • Medical documents supporting a covered loss
  • Copy of your credit card statement showing the charges for pre-paid travel expenses
  • Proof of other eligible expenses
  • Copy of the carrier’s or travel provider’s refund or cancellation policy

You have 90 days to provide loss documentation but the deadline can be extended to 1 year if there is a valid reason the documentation could not be obtained within the 90 day period.

Chase states that it will pay the claim within 60 days after they have received all of the required documentation.

Hot Tip: It’s prudent to review the claim process for trip cancellation and interruption coverage before you leave on your trip to understand the documentation you would need just in case a covered event happen. Obtaining the needed documents from a travel provider after the fact could be more difficult. 

Leg Cast Emergency Assistance
An injury that causes you to cancel your trip could be a covered incident for a trip cancellation insurance claim. Image Credit: Dariusz Czapski via Unsplash

Additional Credit Cards with Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance

While coverage varies widely, several other credit cards offer trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage.

Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® – Benefit of up to $1,500 for common carrier purchased fares 

United℠ Explorer Card – Up to $1,500 in coverage per person, up to a maximum of $6,000 per trip, and a maximum of $6,000 per 12-month period.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card – Receive up to $5,000 per person, per trip, for reimbursement of non-refundable travel expenses due to a covered loss.

The JetBlue Plus Card – Provides up to $5,000 per trip and a maximum of $10,000 per 12 month period for reimbursement for non-refundable expenses.

Visa Infinite Cards – Pay for your trip with your card and receive up to $2,000 reimbursement per trip for non-refundable eligible expenses.

Other Trip Protections and Benefits You Can Use

There are other travel protections and benefits that can save you money or provide assurance during your trip. Look for these protections and benefits on your current rewards credit card or one you’re considering.

Note that these are general, abbreviated descriptions of complimentary protections or benefits that may come with your card. Coverage varies widely so you’ll want to check the card’s Guide to Benefits for limits, terms, and conditions.

Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver

Most travel cards carry some type of rental car insurance that covers theft and damage of your rental car. Here’s our take on the which cards provide the best rental car insurance coverage.

Trip Delay Insurance

Trip Delay Coverage reimburses you for incidentals should your trip be delayed. Cards that include trip delay coverage include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Lost, Damaged, or Delayed Baggage Insurance

Get reimbursed for incidentals if your luggage is delayed or for damage/theft of your bags.

Emergency Evacuation Coverage

Premium travel rewards cards such as the Platinum Card® from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the United Club Card have coverage for emergency evacuation transportation services.

Lounge Access

The Platinum Card, Sapphire Reserve, and United Club Card all offer different degrees of airline lounge access.

Emergency Medical Coverage

Receive up to $2,500 reimbursement for emergency medical and dental with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Bottom Line: Trip cancellation and trip interruption are 2 of the most valuable trip protections that come complimentary on several travel rewards cards. However, there are other travel benefits including rental car insurance, baggage insurance, emergency evacuation, and trip delay that can be equally as useful. Try to select a card that has a package of trip benefits you find valuable. 

Everything Else You Need to Know

American Express cards do not carry trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance.

Citi will be discontinuing travel insurance coverages on all of its cards effective September of 2019.

Cards that are no longer open to new applicants that carry trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage include the Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card and the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

Final Thoughts

Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage can provide sufficient no-cost insurance to cover your trip. If you’re planning a complicated, expensive, or lengthy trip, however, you should consider purchasing a separate travel insurance policy.

Trip cancellation and interruption coverages generally do not include any medical coverage and may have lower limits than you need to cover the entire cost of your trip. Review your card’s coverage in advance and if it is sufficient, you’re good to go. If not, you’ll want to buy extra coverage to fill in the gaps.

Fortunately, trip cancellation and interruption protection, while one of the most valuable benefits, is just one of many travel perks you’ll find on the best travel rewards cards.

If you travel frequently, a travel rewards card that has offers complimentary trip protections and benefits should be on your short list of cards to consider.


FAQ

Which credit card has the best trip cancellation and interruption insurance??

The best credit card for trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance would be issued by Chase.

The best Chase credit card for you will depend on your spending priorities, if you choose to pay an annual fee, how you wish to redeem your earned points (or miles), and which benefits are most important to you.

How can I tell if my credit card has travel insurance?

There are several ways to find out if your credit card has trip cancellation, trip interruption, or other travel insurance.

The easiest way is to call the number on the back of your credit card. You can also log in to your online credit card account and under “benefits” you may see the listed coverage. While you’re logged in, access your Guide to Benefits for detailed information about all the coverages on your card.

In addition, you can order a copy of your Guide to Benefits to be sent to  you by calling the number on the back of your card or visiting your online account.

Do I need to buy a travel insurance policy if my credit card has trip insurance?

You may. The trip insurance that comes complimentary with your credit card is not meant to replace a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

Although the coverage that comes on your card may be sufficient for a specific trip, it may fall short for other trips you have planned. If you have an expensive, complex trip, that spans an extensive length of time, for example, you’ll likely want to purchase additional coverage.

It’s best to review your guide to benefits or call the benefits administrator to clarify the coverage on your card and then decide if it meets your travel insurance needs.

If I pay for my trip with Ultimate Rewards points am I still covered for travel insurance with my card?

Yes, you will be covered if you pay for your trip or a portion of your trip, with your qualifying card, Ultimate Rewards points or a combination of the two.

In addition, your immediate family is covered if even a portion of their trip is purchased with your qualifying card. You do not have to be traveling with them in order for them to have coverage.

Is the trip insurance that comes on credit cards any good?

Trip insurance that comes with credit cards can be extremely useful. First, it is a complimentary benefit so you won’t be paying extra for the coverage.

Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance that comes on a credit card is not meant to take the place of a travel insurance policy you would purchase separately but it may offer enough coverage to potentially save you from purchasing a separate policy for your trip.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. Thank you Christine for this excellent summary of the travel benefits that many of us already have. I need to start paying the taxes for award travel with my United Explorer card in order to get those protections.

    • Christine Krzyszton · August 2, 2019 · Reply

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words, Miles. Glad you found the information useful.

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