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Travel is back this summer, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for vacationers.
Commercial airlines were pushed to the brink of bankruptcy during the pandemic, and they now face a myriad of issues, including fuel and personnel shortages, as well as a lack of planes, preventing them from meet growing customer demand.
A combination of these issues led to thousands of Americans being stranded last weekend, mostly American Airlines and Spirit Airlines passengers, when their flights were canceled or delayed. This growl has left many travelers in dire straits, forced to foot the bill for hotels, meals and other incidental expenses.
A last minute hotel room is expensive, meals at the airport can be extremely expensive and before you know it, travelers facing a delayed or canceled flight can find themselves spending hundreds of dollars they never expected. However, the right travel credit card that includes travel insurance can save you money on those unexpected expenses.
As long as you book your trip with an eligible credit card and are able to provide proof of this through receipts and travel itineraries, travel insurance programs offered by credit card issuers will reimburse to consumers the costs incurred when facing delayed or canceled travel plans.
So before you panic the next time your flight is canceled, Select is here to walk you through the various travel insurance policies that credit cards have and how they work, as well as the best credit cards that offer those policies.
Several types of travel insurance are included in some credit card benefit programs, including trip cancellation / interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, and baggage insurance. Along with that, many maps offer a travel assistance service in case you need help planning new routes or accessing resources while away from home.
Here are the different types of insurance, and what each covers.
Trip cancellation / interruption insurance
Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance is a two-in-one policy, helping travelers when their routes are interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather, a medical emergency or even a jury assignment.
Trip Cancellation Insurance covers your losses if an eligible event prevents you from traveling on or before the departure date and causes your trip to be canceled.
Trip Interruption Insurance covers losses if your trip is interrupted on the way to the point of departure or after departure. This means that if you have car problems on the way to the airport for example, or a serious injury during your trip, or any other event that interrupts your travel plans, you may be eligible for coverage.
Travelers can also be reimbursed for expenses that arise if a trip is postponed and they need to book an additional hotel room, rent a car, or pay for additional meals.
Each credit card issuer has different terms and conditions, so be sure to read the fine print carefully so you understand what is covered by your insurance and how much you could be reimbursed.
For example, the Chase Sapphire PreferredÂ® Card provides up to $ 10,000 per person and $ 20,000 per trip for prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses. This covers the cardholder and their immediate family members, even if the primary cardholder is not traveling with them. So if you have to cancel your Cancun vacation due to a hurricane, you may be reimbursed for some, if not all, of the cost of the trip.
Travel delay insurance
If your vacation was ruined because of a canceled or delayed American Airlines or Spirit Airlines flight last weekend, you probably could have used travel delay insurance.
The policy comes into effect if your trip is delayed by a specified number of hours or if it requires an unscheduled overnight stay.
You benefit from travel delay insurance from the American Express PlatinumÂ® Card, which is triggered if your flight is delayed for more than six hours. You are entitled to up to $ 500 in compensation per trip, which covers expenses such as meals and accommodation. The compensation is sent in the form of a check by mail.
There were nearly 3 million mishandled bags among U.S. airlines in 2019, according to the Air Travel Consumers Report. While it may sound like a lot, over 480 million pieces of baggage have been checked in, meaning over 99% of baggage has reached its final destination without a problem. But for the less than 1%, their bags were either misplaced, lost, damaged or stolen.
Credit card issuers usually offer two different policies: baggage delay insurance and lost baggage reimbursement.
Policyholders benefiting from baggage delay insurance will be reimbursed if they need to purchase essentials while waiting to collect their baggage. For example, if you have a Chase credit card with baggage delay insurance, you can be reimbursed up to $ 100 per day for five days for essentials like toiletries and clothing.
If your bags are completely lost, Chase Sapphire ReserveÂ® cardholders can get up to $ 3,000 with their lost baggage refund policy.
Travel assistance services
When system-wide issues arise at a specific brand of airline or airport – whether it’s an IT malfunction or bad weather – it puts a strain on call centers. This can cause customers to face long wait times, with no easy fix to get on the next flight.
If your travel plans fail, check to see if your travel credit card offers travel assistance services. This is a hotline for credit card customers that can provide advice on travel issues, medical / legal referrals, emergency ticket replacement, lost baggage tracing, and other emergency resources.
These services are typically offered 24/7 and can be found on several travel credit cards, including the Bank of AmericaÂ® Premium RewardsÂ® credit card, Chase Ink Business PreferredÂ® Credit Card and the Delta SkyMilesÂ® Reserve American Express Card.
How to file a travel insurance claim with a credit card
It’s good to have insurance, but you hope you never need to use it. In the unfortunate event that you do, here’s how you can file a claim with each credit card provider.
- American Express card holders: File a claim by calling Amex at 1-844-933-0648 or filing a claim on the app within 60 days of the incident.
- Chase Card Holders: File a complaint by calling 888-320-9961 or online at http://www.eclaimsline.com/
- Citi card holders: Call the Benefits Administrator at 800-847-2911
- Visa Signature card holders (including certain Capital One cards): Make a claim by calling 800-757-1274 within 20 days of lost baggage.
When submitting the claim, you will need to provide the receipts and documentation of the incident, so be sure to gather your documents in advance.
There are a handful of credit cards that offer travel insurance, and most come with an annual fee. For frequent travelers, it may be worth it, but it’s important to choose a card that best suits your financial situation.
Here are some credit cards that offer travel insurance.
the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a long list of travel insurance coverages including: Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance, Rental Car Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, Travel Delay Reimbursement, Lost Baggage Reimbursement and Emergency Travel Assistance .
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers the same travel insurance as Sapphire Preferred.
The Amex Platinum offers Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance, Rental Car Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, Travel Delay Reimbursement, Lost Baggage Reimbursement and Emergency Travel Assistance.
The Delta SkyMilesÂ® Reserve American Express card offers the same insurance coverage as the Amex Platinum.
The American Express Business Platinum card offers the same insurance coverage as the Amex Platinum.
Bank of America Premium Rewards offers Travel Delay Reimbursement, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance, Baggage Delay Coverage, Lost Baggage Reimbursement, Emergency Assistance Services as well as Transportation Coverage. ’emergency.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card provides trip cancellation / interruption, rental car insurance, road dispatch, and emergency assistance services.
Travel insurance faqs
Does travel insurance cover medical expenses?
Depending on the policy, yes. If your policy includes trip interruption / cancellation coverage, medical expenses incurred during the trip are likely covered, even if you get sick from Covid-19.
In addition, cards like the Chase Sapphire PreferredÂ® Card have accidental death and dismemberment policies covering eligible cardholders up to $ 500,000.
Is travel insurance worth it?
Travel insurance offered by credit card can save you hundreds of dollars in case your travel plans go wrong. And not all travel credit cards with travel insurance have exorbitant annual fees, including the Chase Sapphire PreferredÂ® Card, which offers solid travel insurance coverage and other benefits for $ 95 per year.
How to get travel insurance?
The easiest way to get travel insurance is to purchase a credit card that offers it as a benefit to customers. By simply using a card with travel insurance to make your travel purchases (including flight and hotel), your trip will be automatically insured.
However, if a travel credit card isn’t right for you, you can purchase coverage for your trip through third-party insurance policies. These can sometimes be expensive and difficult to use, so be sure to read the fine print before purchasing such a plan.
Bank of AmericaÂ® Premium RewardsÂ® credit card information was independently collected by Select and was not reviewed or provided by the card issuer prior to posting.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.