The Best Credit Cards for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage [2021]

Plane in Bad Weather
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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 United States.

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 cards that offer this valuable coverage.

What is Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Coverage?

Put simply, trip cancellation insurance reimburses you, eligible family, or covered travel companions for non-refundable prepaid 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

  • Prepaid 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 seventh 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

Several credit cards 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.

The Best Amex Cards for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance

Amex offers trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance on several of its premium cards.

You could receive a benefit of up to $10,000 per trip and a maximum of $20,000 per account per 12 month period for a covered loss.

Let’s look at which cards now offer this valuable coverage.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Additional Amex Cards with Coverage

You’ll also find trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage on these additional Amex cards:

Amex Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance Coverage Details

Amex trip cancellation coverage provides for the reimbursement of non-refundable expenses paid to the travel provider when a covered loss causes the cancellation of your trip.

Examples of potential covered losses causing you to cancel your trip would be illness, weather, jury duty, or a change in military orders.

Trip interruption coverage also reimburses for non-refundable expenses paid to the travel provider, plus it can also provide reimbursement for additional eligible transportation expenses.

Who is Covered?

You, your family, and your traveling companions are covered when the eligible trip has been purchased with your card. Family is defined as a spouse, domestic partner, or unmarried dependent child up to age 19 (age 26 if full-time college/university student).

Conditions for Valid Amex Coverage

For coverage to be active, you must adhere to the following:

  • Pay for your common carrier trip in full with your eligible Amex card or in combination with points accumulated on the card, frequent flyer miles, vouchers, or coupons
  • The trip must be somewhere other than your place of residence
  • The trip cannot exceed 365 days in length
  • The period of travel can consist of round-trip, one-way, or combinations of the 2

How to File a Claim With Amex

The trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance on your applicable Amex card is secondary to any other travel insurance that may apply. For this reason, you’ll want to contact and file a claim with any existing insurance company first before filing a claim with Amex.

You must notify the Amex claim administrator within 60 days of the incident and provide any or all of the following:

  • Copies of your common carrier ticket and travel supplier receipts
  • Billing statement for your card showing the trip charges
  • Documentation showing proof of the loss
  • A copy of the travel supplier’s cancellation policy
  • Other documentation requested by the claim administrator

You will have 180 days from the date of the loss to submit the required information.

Bottom Line: Amex now offers trip cancellation, trip interruption, and trip delay coverage for eligible trips paid for with several of its premium cards.

The Best Chase Credit Cards for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance

flight delay board
Flight delays during your trip can be disruptive and cost you money. Image Credit: Ciurea Adrian via Shutterstock

Chase is a leader when it comes to overall travel insurance coverage, 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 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 for trip cancellation and trip interruption is $20,000 per incident and $40,000 per 12-month period.

For more about the Sapphire Preferred’s travel insurance, explore our in-depth guide.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Credit CardKey Benefits & Info
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $2,000
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 25% more value when redeeming points through Ultimate Rewards® travel
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $95

Must Reads: For more info on the Ink Business Preferred, see our guides on its benefits, 7 things to do as a new cardholder, and our full review. This is our favorite Chase business credit card.

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® Card

If your trip needs to be canceled or becomes 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.

For more information, check out our complete guide to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s travel insurance benefits.

United 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 United Club card.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

World of Hyatt Credit Card - Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent. For a limited time, apply by 9/30/21 and upon approval you'll receive 2 Tier-Qualifying Night Credits for each night you stay from 8/16/21 through 12/31/21.

We like how you also get one free night at any Category 1–4 Hyatt hotel (or resort) every year after your cardmember anniversary. See how to best use your free night for maximum value!

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

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommend (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $89 thereafter

You could receive up to $5,000 per person, $10,000 per trip reimbursement for prepaid, 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:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • 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
  • Aunts and 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 in 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 upfront, 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 prepaid 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.

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.

  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® — 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® Card — up to $5,000 per person, per trip, for reimbursement of non-refundable travel expenses due to a covered loss
  • Visa Infinite cards — 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 of and damage to your rental car. Here’s our take on 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 card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and Amex Platinum card.

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 Amex Platinum Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and United Club card have coverage for emergency evacuation transportation services.

Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, 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 card.

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 coverage 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

Citi discontinued travel insurance coverages on all of its cards effective September 2019.

Cards that are no longer open to new applicants that carry trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage include the Ritz Carlton Rewards® Card (possible to obtain via a Marriott-branded card product change) 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.

Also, note that 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 offers complimentary trip protections and benefits should be on your shortlist of cards to consider.


The information regarding the United Club℠ Card, AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not reviewed nor provided by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business card, please click here.


Frequently asked questions

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

While you might not select a credit card for trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage alone, some of the best credit cards for this coverage would be any premium cards issued by American Express or Chase. These cards include the Amex Platinum card, Chase Sapphire Preferred card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve card that offer at least $10,000 per occurrence.

The best credit card for you overall, however, 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 2.

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. 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.

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10 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.

    Reply

  2. Thank you for the great overview Christine. I had an airline that cancelled a flight to Asheville, NC due to weather. No other airline cancelled flights there, but we were unable to get on another flight and this means that my return flight (separate ticket, separate airline) is useless. Can I cancel this flight and expect my Sapphire Reserve insurance policy to cover me?

    Reply

    • Hi Iggy and thanks for your comment. A canceled flight is always frustrating and especially so when you have another (separate) ticket involved. I would just call the number on the back of your card and ask for the claim administrator. That way, you can give them all of the details and they can give you direction on what to do. That would be much more helpful than my opinion. However, depending on whether you have status with the other airline (separate return ticket), you might be able to explain the situation and ask for them to waive the change fee. You could then use the credit at a later date. I have had success with that, more than once. Thanks again for reading, Iggy.

      Reply

  3. Sandra Goodman April 21, 2020

    Found out our credit cards did not have the coverage. Was not going to pay for travel insurance, so we took a chance on TG card and it went well. But don’t want this to happen again.
    Don’t want to pay a lot for a credit card but we have great credit!

    Reply

  4. I had booked two air tickets of Oman Airways through an agent during Feb 2020 for travel from Bangalore to Manchester during March 2020 but the flight was canceled by the Airlines due to Corona. My ticket rules stipulate that if canceled no refund will be given implying that if canceled by me. But the flight was canceled by the Airlines and we could not travel. The agent now says that the refund to all the passengers affected due to cancellation by Airlines will start only after 12 months of issued date though initially, they said the refund will be issued after 3 to 6 months. Are we eligible for the compensation or not? Please clarify.

    Reply

    • Hi Sembu,

      Though we do not represent Oman Airways, the answer to your question is yes – if the airline cancels your ticket then you are entitled to a refund of the fare you paid.

      Reply

    • Hello Sembu. Trip cancellation insurance that comes with your credit card does not cover COVID-19 related canceled flight events. Regarding your situation specifically, whether you are entitled to a refund depends on the airline’s policy and each airline handles these cancellations differently. Some airlines will refund tickets with flights that were canceled by the airline, some will not. I visited the Oman Airways website and did not see an official Covid-19 policy regarding flight cancellations. (Normally an agent will have to adhere to any policy the airline has published.) Unfortunately, you will have to work through your agent to continue to attempt to secure a refund. It may help to ask the agent to submit a formal refund request on your behalf to Oman Airways if they haven’t yet done so. Be persistent.

      Reply

  5. I have an AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®. My flight was canceled from AA and when I call Mastercard to find out about my coverage, they answered that I have none. Call Chase, call Mastercard. Anyway, I have no coverage from the insurance that was supposed to have been included when I paid the annual fee. Is there anything I can do about it? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Hi Yanina. Sorry for your frustration. There are very limited covered events that fall under the trip interruption/cancelation coverage on your card. I would refer to your Guide to Benefits for the coverage descriptions. American Airlines canceling a flight does not appear to be a covered event for card coverage but even if covered, it would be secondary to anything offered by AA. I would reach out to AA if you had incurred any extra expenses due to the cancellation.

      Reply

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