Bank of America content was last updated on May 3, 2021.
Everything from hurricanes to health problems can disrupt your travel plans.
Credit cards can provide some peace of mind by refunding your prepaid fees if your trip is canceled or interrupted. However, coverage has become harder to come by in recent months.
Citi, which has provided up to $5,000 in travel cancellation and interruption insurance, is eliminating the cover, as well as other benefits, including car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and baggage delay protection for many of its credit cards. The change will apply to purchases made on or after September 22, 2019.
The company “constantly evaluates our products to ensure that the associated benefits best meet the needs of our customers,” and eliminates the coverages, “so that we can continue to provide key benefits that our customers use and value the most, at no additional cost.” cost,” Citi says.
However, American Express announced in late September that it would be add travel cancellation and interruption insurance up to six of its travel cards from January 1, 2020.
See related: Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards
Call your publisher before booking a trip
Citi’s promotion underscores the need to check your credit card before making a travel purchase to ensure you are covered for cancellation and interruption of the trip. If you do, you should check how much it covers and under what circumstances the coverage kicks in.
Usually, “if credit card companies actually offer cancellation or trip interruption insurance, it’s very limited and very limited,” says Erin Gavin, product analyst for the travel insurance site InsureMyTrip.com.
The company surveyed nearly 100 credit cards in 2017 to see what travel insurance they offered.
Meanwhile, a poll of more than 2,000 travelers by InsureMyTrip.com in 2017 found that 40 percent were unsure whether their primary credit card offered travel insurance benefits.
“It’s very difficult for consumers to stay informed when they use their credit card for travel insurance,” says Gavin.
That is why it is important that you credit card company and check your coverage before booking your next trip, she says.
Credit cards that offer cancellation or interruption insurance
|Map||Cover amount||Insurance Coverage|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Map||Up to $10,000 per trip covered; $40,000 per year||
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Up to $10,000 per trip covered; $40,000 per year||
|Chase Freedom||Up to $1,500 per passenger; $6,000 per trip||
|United Explorer Map||Up to $1,500 per trip, $6,000 per year||
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card||Up to $1,500 per trip||
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card||Up to $5,000 per trip, $10,000 per year||
|US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card||Up to $2,000 per trip||
How travel cancellation and interruption insurance works
Travel cancellation insurance covers you if due to certain circumstances you are unable to travel on or before your planned departure date and you have to cancel your flight, hotel or other travel arrangements that you have already paid for.
Trip interruption insurance comes into effect if certain covered circumstances arise while you are traveling and your trip is interrupted.
“Most credit cards only cover travel payments purchased with that particular card,” said Steven Benna, content director at the travel insurance site Squaremouth.com.
So if you charge your flight on a credit card that offers cancellation or interruption insurance, and your hotel on a card that doesn’t have such coverage, you can get your flight reimbursed, but not your hotel.
You are likely to be eligible for coverage if you or your travel companion is injured or ill, unable to travel due to inclement weather, or if a terrorist incident occurs.
The amount of coverage can vary widely, from $1,500 to $10,000 per incident, depending on the credit card. So coverage that may be sufficient if you are flying to visit your grandmother in California may not be sufficient if you are on an expensive trip, such as an African safari.
Your credit card may also have an annual limit on trip interruption and cancellation insurance.
See related: Making a Baggage Claim Using Your Credit Card
Another option: take out travel insurance yourselfverzekering
Some major credit cards, including American Express and Discover, do not offer trip interruption or cancellation insurance.
If your credit card does not offer such coverage, or if you require high limits or a wider range of coverage, you can also purchase travel insurance yourself.
In 2018, consumers spent almost $3.8 billion on travel insurance, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, up 40 percent from 2016. That travel insurance covered more than 65 million people, and 90 percent of policies included trip interruption and cancellation coverage.
Most policies you purchase are considered comprehensive and often include things like medical coverage and compensation for travel delays and baggage delays, Benna says.
Travel insurance typically costs between 4 and 10 percent of the cost of your trip, according to InsureMyTrip.com.
You can also buy more expensive cancellation policies for any reason, which usually allow you to cancel your trip for any reason up to 48 hours before your scheduled departure. It reimburses you for most of your prepaid travel expenses.
You should get travel insurance sooner rather than later, says Benna. For example, if a hurricane hits your destination, it’s too late to buy it.
If you purchase your own travel insurance, the cancellation and interruption coverage of your credit card travel may be secondary, meaning that your credit card will cover all costs that your independent travel insurance will not cover.
To redeem your travel insurance, you must submit a written claim, documenting the costs you prepaid and the reason for your claim, such as a letter from your doctor if you are unable to travel due to a medical problem, says Benna.
See related: Credit card declined while travelling? How to avoid it, what to do if it happens?
‘Cancel for any reason’ insurance: Expensive and limited
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) insurance will you allow to earn refunds on hotels and flights, even if you cancel those reservations for reasons not covered by traditional travel insurance policies.
- These policies can be expensive, with most carriers offering them offering them as an upgrade to traditional travel insurance.
- You can pay about $150 on average for a CFAR addition to your policy, according to a search for various policies online.
- Not all CFAR policies cover all your travel expenses. For example, some policies will only reimburse 75 percent of your costs.
Read the fine print before using your card’s insurance
Your credit card will likely have certain exclusions so you won’t be reimbursed, such as if you are unable to travel due to a pre-existing medical condition, or if your airline or tour operator cancels your trip other than because of extreme weather or a strike.
“Consumers need to be very wary when using credit cards [for trip interruption and cancellation insurance] without digging into the details,” says Gavin.
Information about Chase Freedom and US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card is independently collected by CreditCards.com. The publisher has not provided the content and is not responsible for its accuracy.