When planning a trip, you’re probably planning where you’re going to eat, what activities you’re going to do, and what hotels you’re going to stay at. We often don’t plan for what could go wrong.
Unfortunately, we can’t always plan for unexpected cancellations or interruptions. You can hope it doesn’t happen to you, but the unexpected can strike at any time. That’s why being prepared in advance is key to navigating a trip cancellation or interruption with grace.
When booking a trip, you could check the little box on the checkout page to purchase travel insurance, but before you do that, check to see if your credit card offers the same benefits. Many credit cards out there offer trip cancellation and interruption policies that rival the best travel insurance out there.
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Booking your trip with the right card can provide you with cancellation and interruption benefits that you would otherwise have to pay for.
Before you check that box to buy the expensive insurance before your next trip, take a look through this list to see what benefits you may get from a card you already have.
While we’ve seen some issuers scale back their trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance, American Express has added trip cancellation and interruption insurance to a few of their available cards. Amex is now offering this benefit on the following personal cards:
- Centurion Card from American Express
- The Platinum Card from American Express
- The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial
- The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab
- The Platinum Card from American Express for Goldman Sachs
- The Platinum Card from American Express for Morgan Stanley
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
In addition, American Express is offering trip cancellation and interruption insurance on the following business cards:
- Business Centurion Card
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
If you want to read through all the benefits yourself, you can do so by finding your relevant card here. If you’d like to get the important highlights, keep reading.
One nice thing about Amex’s trip cancellation and interruption insurance is that it’s the same amongst all cards offering this benefit.
Unlike the travel insurance that you can buy when checking out, qualifying for the benefits varies between issuers. Amex’s benefits require that your travel be round-trip and that you return home within 365 days from departing. When they say round-trip, Amex further clarifies that this can be “roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip and one-way tickets.” So if you booked two one-way flights you are eligible for coverage as long as you return home within 365 days.
To get the coverage, you must also charge the entire amount of the trip to one of the eligible cards listed above. This doesn’t mean you have to pay completely in cash, but all charges for the trip must be charged to the card. If you’re booking an award ticket with miles, for example, you’d have to charge all of the taxes and fees to your eligible American Express card.
Receiving trip cancellation or interruption travel insurance does have some limits. You can expect to be covered if you experience any of the following:
- Accidental bodily injury or loss of life or sickness to the eligible traveler, a traveling companion, or a family member of either party
- Weather which prevents reasonable travel from occurring or continuing
- An eligible traveler or their spouse receiving changes in military orders
- Terrorist actions or hijacking
- Receiving orders for jury duty or being subpoenaed, so long as you cannot postpone or waive the orders
- If the eligible traveler or traveling companion’s dwelling is made uninhabitable
- Quarantine imposed by a Physician for health reasons
If any of these cause you to cancel, you are eligible to be reimbursed for any non-refundable costs that were paid with your eligible card with travel insurance coverage. If your trip is interrupted then you can receive reimbursement for any non-refundable transportation costs that are missed. You will also be able to be reimbursed for any extra transportation costs incurred due to the interruption. These additional expenses may not exceed the cost of an economy-class air ticket on the most direct route home.
Additionally, Amex’s trip cancellation and interruption insurance will cover a loss that requires you to temporarily postpone transportation. If you have to postpone your travel, then you can be reimbursed for any additional expenses to purchase tickets for the new departure dates. You can also be reimbursed for any unused, non-refundable land, air, or sea arrangements that were already paid with your eligible card.
There are some limitations, but I think you’ll find them pretty reasonable. You’re eligible for a maximum benefit per covered trip of $10,000, up to $20,000 annually.
All of these benefits from Amex are secondary to any other insurance you have, so be sure to file elsewhere first before using the benefits from your Amex card. If you don’t have any other insurance, then your insurance from Amex will be the first place to go.
Right now, you have to start your claim via phone. If you have a claim to use your trip cancellation or interruption insurance from American Express, call 1-844-933-0648 to begin your claim. You’ll have 180 days after the date of loss to file written proof of loss.
Overall, I’m glad to see American Express add this benefit while other banks have been cutting similar benefits.
Chase offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance on a variety of cards. The benefits from Chase vary between cards.
You may be eligible for trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance if you booked your trip using the following Chase credit cards:
- Ink Business Preferred credit card
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- United Business Card
- United Club Infinite Card
- United Explorer Card
- United TravelBank Card
- World of Hyatt Credit Card
You don’t have to pay everything on your Chase card to receive trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance. You just need to have paid a portion of your trip to be eligible. So whether you just paid taxes and fees on an award ticket, or split the payment up between a few cards you’re eligible for coverage.
The amount that you’re eligible to claim depends on which card you used to book your trip with. Some cards limit it per person, with all having a per-trip maximum.
|Card||Maximum Benefit Per Person||Maximum Benefit Per Trip|
|Chase Ink Preferred||$5,000.00||$10,000.00|
|IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||–||$5,000.00|
|Marriott Bonvoy Premier Card||–||$5,000.00|
|United Business Card||$1,500.00||$6,000.00|
|United Club Infinite Card||$10,000.00||$20,000.00|
|United TravelBank Card||–||$1,500.00|
|World of Hyatt||–||$5,000.00|
Chase’s trip cancellation and interruption insurance extends to you and your immediate family, even if you aren’t traveling with them so long as you paid for a portion of your trip with a card offering the insurance.
Thankfully, immediate family is pretty broad. It extends to your spouse, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles.
You and your immediate family can be reimbursed for non-refundable travel or any alternate travel plans that you have to make due to a cancellation or interruption. If you booked with a Chase card that offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you’re covered in the following situations:
- Accidental bodily injury, death, or illness
- Severe weather
- Named storm warning
- A change of military orders
- A call to jury duty or a subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
- Burglary, fire, flood, or any other action that causes your permanent residence to be made uninhabitable
- Your lodging accommodations at the destination of the trip being made uninhabitable
- Death or hospitalization at your destination
- Quarantine imposed by a physician or by a competent governmental authority due to health reasons
- An organized strike affecting public transportation that causes you to miss at least 20% of the scheduled duration of your trip or the departure of a cruise or tour.
Additionally, the following events qualify you for a claim under trip cancellation only:
- A terrorist incident within 25 miles of your permanent residence within 30 days of your schedule departure date
- Terrorist incident within 25 miles of an airport, lodging, or destination listed on your itinerary within 30 days of your scheduled arrival
- A travel warning due to terrorism issued by the US Government for the immediate vicinity of your permanent residence within 10 days of scheduled departure
- A travel warning due to terrorism issued by the US government within 25 miles of an airport, booked lodging, or destination that is in effect within 30 days preceding your scheduled departure date
Next up, (almost there!) the following are specific to trip interruption:
- Terrorist incident within 25 miles of an airport, booked lodging, or host at destination listed on your itinerary while you’re on the trip
- Travel warning due to terrorism issued by the US Government for a geographic area within 25 miles of an airport, booked lodging, or host destination that is issued while you are on your trip
And finally, what is explicitly excluded from coverage by Chase:
- A change in plans, financial circumstances, and any contractual obligations you may have that cause you to need to cancel or interrupt your trip
- A pre-existing condition that occurs prior to the initial deposit date or booking date of your trip
- Loss due to a voluntary surrender of any vouchers, tickets, or other remedies provided by the travel supplier prior to the expiration date
- Travel arrangements scheduled to happen after the 26th week of pregnancy, so long as the pregnancy occurred prior to the initial deposit or booking date of the trip, or at any time if the pregnancy happened due to an assisted reproductive program
- Any losses that are occurred because you are on a waiting list for specified medical treatment
- Trips booked for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment
- Disinclination to travel due to civil unrest
- Failure to obtain necessary visa, passports, or other travel documents
- Your attempt or actual performance of an illegal act
- Suicide, attempted suicide, or intentional self-inflicted injury
- Being under the influence of non-prescribed controlled substances
- Your disinclination to travel due to an epidemic or pandemic
- Default of the carrier due to financial insolvency
- Financial insolvency of a travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier
- War or any warlike acts by a military force, excluding terrorism
- Trips booked to an area known to be associated with terrorist activity
Chase has stricter limitations on their travel insurance. Your trip cannot exceed 60 days, so those who are on the road for extended periods of time won’t find the coverage as useful as that provided by others such as Amex.
If you need to file a claim with Chase, you’ll need to call the benefit provider at 1-888-320-9961 if you’re inside the US. If you’re outside the US, call 1-804-673-1691. Alternatively, you can submit your claim online.
You’ll need to file your claim within 20 days of the cancellation or interruption, and you’ll have 90 days to submit all requested documentation to the benefit administrator. You’ll be asked to provide things like a completed and signed claim form, travel itinerary, and any documentation relating to your claim.
Keep in mind, Chase’s coverage is secondary, meaning they’ll pay out whatever damages you have that aren’t remedied by other insurance or by the airlines or tour operators.
Bank of America offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance on four of their credit cards. You may notice one peculiar feature about most of the cards offering trip cancellation and interruption insurance from Bank of America: they’re not travel rewards cards.
You’ll find trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance offered on the following Bank of America credit cards:
- MLB Credit Card
- World Wildlife Fund credit card
- U.S. Pride Credit Card
- Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card
Each card comes with $5,000 per person, per trip to provide reimbursement for unused prepaid nonrefundable travel expenses.
There is a catch that applies to the MLB Credit Cards, the World Wildlife Fund Credit Card, and the U.S. Pride Credit Card. In order to receive the trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you must be approved for a World Mastercard. Unfortunately, you don’t know in advance if you’ll get a regular Mastercard or a World Mastercard.
Considering it isn’t a guaranteed benefit, the Premium Rewards card is your only safe bet if you’re thinking about getting a card from Bank of America. Though, even this card wouldn’t be a high priority if you’re hoping to earn points to travel.
Although not advertised, Barclays does offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance on some of their credit cards. The only way to know, however, is to check after you’ve been approved for a card.
Because it isn’t advertised, we can only know based on available data points. As of right now, the following Barclays issued credit cards are confirmed to offer trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance:
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
- Barclays Arrival+ Credit Card (no longer available)
- JetBlue Plus Card
To see if you’re eligible, click “rewards and benefits” at the top of your card page after logging in. You should have the option to select “travel benefits” where trip cancellation and interruption will show up if available.
On these cards, trip cancellation and interruption insurance is limited to $5,000 per trip, with a $10,000 12-month maximum.
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard
60,000 AAdvantage miles after first purchaseLearn more by visiting our
credit cards page.
Capital One offers trip cancellation insurance only, and it is fairly limited. Capital One offers trip cancellation on business cards only. You’ll find trip cancellation on the following business cards:
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business card
The catch is that the card must be issued as an enhanced Visa Signature Business® card to get the benefit. Some are issued as a regular Visa Signature Business card, and some are issued as a Mastercard. There’s no way to know in advance what you’re getting. Even if you get a Visa Signature Business card, you’ll need to check your benefits guide to see if you received the enhanced version.
If you do receive a Capital One card with trip cancellation travel insurance, you’re only eligible for coverage in the event of death, injury, disease or illness of you or an immediate family member. The only other coverable event is financial insolvency of the common carrier.
Coverage is limited to $2,000 per insured person, per claim. You’ll have 20 days to file a written claim to the claim administrator at the following address:
CBSI Card Benefit Services
550 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 309
Harrison, NY 10528
Yep. There’s no phone number, email address, or website. You need to send them written notice that you have experienced a loss and they’ll mail you back the proper forms to fill out.
Finally, there’s a class of credit cards that all earn trip cancellation travel insurance: Visa Infinite Cards.
There’s a few different cards out there issued as Visa Infinite cards:
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
- UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card
- Chase Ritz-Carlton Card (discontinued)
There’s a base level benefit that comes with all Visa Infinite cards, but check your benefits guide from the provider to see if they’ve added any expanded benefits. At a minimum all Visa Signature cards include $2,000 per covered traveler for common-carrier travel. Some cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve are Visa Infinite cards that have expanded benefits.
This means hotels aren’t covered, but any form of mass transportation is covered. Flights, train rides, and cruises all fall under common-carrier travel.
The benefit does require you to book the entire trip with your card, but is extended if you use the rewards program associated with your card. It isn’t clear, but this likely means you are not covered if you transfer the points to an affiliated program and is only limited to the currency that is issued for spending on your card.
You’re eligible to file a claim with your Visa Infinite card if you or an immediate family member suffers death, accidental bodily injury, disease or illness. You’re also covered in case of financial insolvency of the common carrier.
To file a claim, contact the plan administrator. This one may sound familiar to you, but you need to contact the plan administrator by mail within 20 days of a loss at
CBSI Card Benefit Services
550 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 309
Harrison, NY 10528
Again, there’s no phone number, website, or email address specifically listed to begin your claim. You have to start it by mail.
There’s a lot of great options for trip cancellation and interruption insurance. You likely have a card in your wallet that has this benefit right now. While we hope to never need it, recent events have shown the benefit of choosing the right card when booking your trip.
American Express and Chase offer the broadest trip cancellation and interruption policies out there, so if you were considering opening a new card so your future trips will have this insurance, I’d stick with them.
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Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.