We hate to think about it, but it is a fact of life that sometimes you will have to cancel a much anticipated trip. Did you know that some credit cards provide trip cancellation, trip interruption/delay or lost and delayed baggage insurance free of charge?
Only a small number of credit cards offer any form of travel protection and they do not publicize this benefit much. In addition, the terms and level of benefits differ between cards.
We have found that the Chase Sapphire Preferred VISA and the United MileagePlus Explorer VISA cards provide the most generous benefits and the most encompassing terms. Each card provides $10,000 of trip cancellation coverage for non-refundable travel expenses, airfare and hotels. With these cards, trips are covered even if only a portion of the trip cost was charged on the card. Eligible reasons for trip cancellation include injuries and illnesses to you, your travel companion, as well as immediate family. These cards, which come with the normal benefits of cash back or miles, are free for the first year, but cost $95/year thereafter.
Note that cards that provide insurance may have differing definitions of immediate family and other terms, such as what constitutes a trip delay. Most cards also have preexisting condition exclusions, although that is also common in trip insurance policies. Lastly, some cards require that you purchase the entire trip using the card, while others only require that portion of the trip be paid on the card.
In general you have up to a year after the trip date to submit any claims.
If you are not sure whether your credit cards cover trip cancellation insurance, just call them and ask.
At Adventures in Tandem, we strive to keep our trip costs as low as possible. We have priced our tours for cash payments; however, we are happy to accept payments via a credit card with a 3% surcharge to cover credit card fees.
While having trip cancellation insurance via your credit card is a very valuable benefit, there are other reasons why you may still want to purchase trip cancellation insurance. We will cover that in our next newsletter.