The 8 Best Credit Cards for Trip Delay Insurance and Coverage

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If you travel frequently, you’ve probably experienced a trip delay. It’s inevitable that your plane will be stranded on the tarmac, the crew will be late, or the last flight of the evening is canceled due to weather. Regardless of why your trip is delayed, chances are you’ll incur an added expense to your journey.

In some cases, the travel provider may provide compensation, but in situations such as severe weather, they may not. If you have trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance on your credit card, you may also receive funds to offset some of this cash outlay. This protection normally kicks in when your trip has to be canceled or you are unable to continue your journey due to a covered loss.

There is another little known protection that can help if you’re in a delayed trip situation. Trip Delay coverage, offered on several travel rewards credit cards, can reimburse you for out-of-pocket costs when a covered incident causes your delay.

Here’s all the information that you need to know, including what you can expect, and which travel rewards cards offer this under-the-radar, but useful, coverage.

What is Trip Delay Coverage?

Trip delay coverage, often referred to as trip delay reimbursement, will reimburse you for covered expenses you incur due to a qualifying delay during your trip. The length of delay before coverage kicks in can vary by card but will range from a qualifying delay requirement of as few as 6 hours to a delay requirement of more than 12 hours.

Trip delay reimbursement is a supplemental coverage and is only paid in excess of any reimbursement you would collect elsewhere, whether from the common carrier or other insurance policy. Examples of covered expenses include the reasonable cost of meals, transportation, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other necessary personal items.

Typical covered trip delays would include those that are due to equipment failure, severe weather, labor strikes, or hijacking.

Trip delay coverage is different than trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance in that it does not cover prepaid or nonrefundable expenses. It also does not cover delays that you are informed of prior to your trip, which may or may not cause you to cancel your trip.

Bottom Line: Trip delay coverage is designed as ancillary coverage to reimburse you for unexpected expenses incurred due to a covered trip delay. Trip delay coverage that comes with your credit card normally has a payout limit of $500 or less.

Itinerary for Trip Organization Apps & Resources Review
It’s smart to review the travel protections and benefits that come with your credit card during your trip planning. Image Credit:

The Best Credit Cards for Trip Delay Coverage

When it comes to offering Trip Delay Reimbursement coverage, Chase shines as a consistent provider of this complimentary protection on several of its travel rewards credit cards.

Here are some of the Chase cards that provide Trip Delay Reimbursement and the level of benefits each card provides.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If your trip is delayed 12 or more hours or requires an overnight stay, you could receive up to $500 for each ticket purchased. In addition, the Sapphire Preferred offers travel insurance.

Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Coverage for Trip Delay Reimbursement kicks in after a delay of 12 hours or more or if you’re required to stay overnight. The limit of coverage is $500.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Your trip delay of more than 6 hours is covered for up to $500 in reimbursement per ticket purchased.

Marriott Bonvoy Branded Credit Cards

You or your family may receive up to $500 per ticket purchased partially or in full with your qualifying card. Coverage becomes effective after a delay of more than 12 hours or if an overnight stay is required.

Specifically, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offer complimentary Trip Delay Reimbursement along with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt card covers expenses up to $500 due to a covered trip delay of 12 hours or more or one requiring an overnight stay.

United℠ Branded Credit Cards

The following United Airlines branded credit cards provide a $500 benefit for reimbursement of expenses due to an overnight delay or one exceeding 12 hours.

You’ll find the coverage offered complimentary on these cards:

Coverage Details, Conditions, and Process

Who is covered?

Chase defines covered persons for its Trip Delay Reimbursement as being the cardholder, their spouse, and dependent children under the age of 22.

Conditions for Chase Trip Delay Reimbursement Coverage to be Valid

  • Must be round trip travel of 365 days or less to a destination that is not your city of residence
  • A portion of the trip must be paid for with an eligible Chase credit card
  • Expenses reimbursed or provided for free by other parties are not covered
  • Trips in taxis, limousines, commuter rail, buses, or rental vehicles are not covered

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve has trip delay coverage that kicks at more than 6 hours after a travel delay versus most cards that require a 12 hour delay or more before coverage is effective. 

Submitting A Trip Delay Claim to Chase

While you have 60 days to report the incident, you’ll want to call the benefits administrator as soon as possible after a trip delay occurs. They will take down some initial claim information then send you a claim form to complete.

Documentation you can expect to be asked to provide will include:

  • The completed claim form
  • Receipts showing that at least a portion of the trip was paid for with your qualifying card
  • A copy of your ticket
  • A statement from the carrier which includes the reason for the delay
  • Copies of receipts for qualifying purchases
  • Other documentation the benefits administrator deems important

You will have 100 days from the date of the trip delay to submit the completed claim form and associated documentation.

Airport Delay Unsplash
Trip delays can be inconvenient and costly. Image Credit: Sebastian Dreßen via Unsplash

Additional Credit Cards that Offer Trip Delay Reimbursement Coverage

There are several other travel rewards cards that offer complimentary trip delay coverage to varying degrees.

The JetBlue Plus Card — Reimburses up to $300 per trip for covered expenses. You can use the benefit up to 2 times within a 12 month period.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card — Receive reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket purchased for a trip delay reimbursement on delays more than 12 hours.

Visa Infinite Credit Cards – Receive up to $500 per ticket for trip delays of 6 hours or more. Ticket must be purchased entirely with your Visa Infinite card.

Final Thoughts

While you wouldn’t select a travel rewards credit card based solely on the fact that is comes with complimentary trip delay coverage, you may consider a card that has a whole package of travel protections such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

You won’t find specific trip delay coverage on American Express or Citi issued credit cards (after September 2019). However, travel rewards cards can offer other exceptional travel benefits, such as complimentary worldwide lounge access and travel statement credits, that make their entire package a fit.

If you’re looking for more travel rewards card and want to focus more on benefits, explore the best travel rewards cards to review and compare your options.

Frequently asked questions

Which is the best card for trip delay coverage?

The best credit card for trip delay coverage is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The card offers $500 reimbursement per ticket for delays of 6 hours or more and is packed with other travel benefits.

With that said, whether a card has trip delay coverage will not be the sole reason to select a travel rewards card. You’ll want to look at the entire package of trip protections and benefits, how the card earns rewards, redemption options, and other benefits you can use.

How does trip delay coverage work?

Trip delay coverage is a reimbursement benefit that comes complimentary on several credit cards.

If your trip is delayed due to a covered reason, you will receive reimbursement for unexpected expenses such as lodging, transport, personal incidentals, and meals.

Coverage is usually limited to $500 or less for a delay that exceeds 12 hours. A few credit cards provide coverage for delays of just 6 hours or more.

What is the difference between trip delay and trip interruption coverage?

Trip delay reimbursement coverage is designed to assist with the unexpected expense of a trip delay of several hours in length or if an overnight stay is required.

Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance is more comprehensive and covers events that cause you to cancel your trip or that severely interrupt your trip.

Benefit payouts are larger for trip cancellation and trip interruption because these protections are broader and cover additional perils such as illness, severe weather, and mechanical breakdown, among other incidents.

Trip delay reimbursement also does not cover prepaid non-refundable expenses the way trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance coverages are designed to do.

Does trip delay insurance cover me if I miss my flight?

Trip delay reimbursement is meant to cover trip delays that are out of your control and do not include missing your flight due to circumstances within your control.

Coverage also starts once your trip has commenced.

If your flight is delayed due to severe weather, mechanical delay, or other covered event, and the required time frame is reached (usually 12 hours or overnight) then you may qualify for reimbursement.

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.

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