If you travel frequently, you’ve probably experienced a trip delay. Your plane will inevitably 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 the delay before coverage kicks in can vary by card but will range from a qualifying delay requirement of as few as 6 hours to more than 12 hours.
Trip delay reimbursement is supplemental coverage and is only paid in excess of any reimbursement you would collect elsewhere, whether from the common carrier or another insurance policy. Examples of covered expenses include the reasonable cost of meals, transportation, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other necessary personal items.
Typically 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 before 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.
The Best Credit Chase 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:
If your trip is delayed 12 or more hours or requires an overnight stay, you could receive up to $500 for each ticket purchased. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also offers travel insurance.
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.
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 offers complimentary trip delay reimbursement along with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
The Hyatt Credit 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 — Chase
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: Most Chase cards that provide trip delay insurance require the covered delay to be more than 12 hours. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card, however, has trip delay coverage that kicks in after a covered delay of more than 6 hours for coverage to be 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.
The 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.
The Best American Express Credit Cards for Trip Delay Insurance
Pay for your entire trip ticket with your eligible American Express card, Membership Rewards points, or a combination of points, vouchers, or certificates to receive trip delay reimbursement coverage.
Trip delay coverage reimburses for incidental expenses you incur as the result of a covered delay, such as lodging, meals, and toiletries.
The following American Express cards have Trip Delay Insurance that provides up to $500 per trip if your trip is delayed more than 6 hours:
The following American Express cards offer Trip Delay Insurance that provides up to $300 per trip if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours:
Bottom Line: American Express offers 2 levels of trip delay insurance. Several premium American Express cards offer trip delay coverage with a benefit that can payout up to $500 for a covered delay of over 6 hours. A reduced benefit level of $300 for delays of 12 hours or more is offered on several other American Express-issued cards.
Coverage Details, Conditions, and Process — American Express
Who Is Covered
Eligible travelers are defined as the cardholder, travel companions, and family members, including a domestic partner. Additionally, unmarried dependent children (up to age 19 or 26 if a full-time student) are considered eligible travelers.
Conditions for American Express Trip Delay Coverage to Be Valid
- The round-trip common carrier ticket must have been purchased in full with the eligible card or a combination of points, vouchers, certificates
- The trip cannot exceed 365 days away from the traveler’s city of residence
- Coverage is secondary to other insurance that might apply
- There is a limit of 2 claims per 12 month period
Submitting a Trip Delay Claim to American Express
You must notify the benefits administrator within 60 days of a covered loss event.
The following items could be requested:
- Documentation from the common carrier that the trip was delayed
- Copies of your ticket
- Charge statements showing that the card was used to pay for the trip
- Receipts for the incurred expenses
- Other necessary documentation
You’ll have 180 days from the date of the loss to submit the required documentation.
Additional Credit Cards That Offer Trip Delay Reimbursement Coverage
Several other travel rewards cards offer complimentary trip delay coverage to varying degrees:
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card — Receive reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket purchased for a trip delay reimbursement on delays of more than 12 hours.
- Visa Infinite Credit Cards — Receive up to $500 per ticket for trip delays of 6 hours or more. The ticket must be purchased entirely with your Visa Infinite card.
Note that this is not an all-inclusive list of every card that offers trip delay insurance, just our picks of some of the best cards that offer the coverage.
While you wouldn’t select a travel rewards credit card based solely on the fact that it comes with complimentary trip delay coverage, you may consider a card that has a whole package of travel protections such as the Amex Platinum card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
These travel rewards cards come with additional benefits such as complimentary worldwide lounge access, hotel elite status, travel statement credits, and other valuable benefits that can result in an entire value-added package for the frequent traveler.
If you’re looking for more travel rewards cards and want to focus more on benefits, explore our article on the best travel rewards cards to compare your options.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card, Corporate Platinum® Card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Corporate Platinum® Card, American Express® Business Gold Card, American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.