How Credit Cards Can Help You Cope With Travel Troubles

“Revenge journey” has been an enormous theme the previous couple of years as People have been raring to go right here, there and in all places after hunkering down throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In consequence, the Transportation Safety Administration screened a record-high 858.5 million passengers in 2023.

However it hasn’t been a easy trip for vacationers. In actual fact, in case you flew in 2022 or 2023, there was a one-in-five likelihood your flight was delayed, in keeping with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Cancellations had been an particularly massive drawback in 2022, when the airline trade had a tricky time ramping again up after the pandemic. That yr, 2.7 p.c of flights had been scrapped fully, usually as a consequence of staffing and/or tools shortages. Final yr, nevertheless, the cancellation fee was a mere 1.3 p.c. Larger costs — not cancellations or delays — had been vacationers’ greatest concern final summer season and final vacation season, in keeping with Bankrate analysis.

Nonetheless, there may be hidden prices related to delays, cancellations and different journey snafus. As an illustration, my household flew from New Jersey to California final month, and each of our flights had been delayed about two hours. With two younger children in tow, our nerves had been strained greater than our wallets, although we nonetheless ended up spending a bit further on meals (which isn’t low cost when even a primary airport sandwich appears to value no less than $15).

I’ve had a couple of different journey experiences in recent times which made me want I had paid with a bank card with robust journey insurance coverage advantages. These perks wouldn’t have kicked in for my two-hour delay, however they undoubtedly may have helped me out the time my flight from Chicago to New York was diverted to Virginia in the course of the evening and the airline principally simply left us there. Or the 2 occasions in 2022 when airways canceled our flights the evening earlier than they had been scheduled to go away (seemingly as a consequence of operational points) and couldn’t rebook us for a number of days — or after I got here down with COVID and needed to cancel a visit final fall.

Bank cards with robust journey insurance coverage advantages

Not all journey insurance coverage advantages cowl the identical conditions, however listed below are a couple of of the commonest bank card journey insurance coverage coverage perks:

The Chase Sapphire Most popularⓇ Card is a good instance. For a reasonably modest $95 annual price, it gives plenty of journey insurance coverage (amongst different perks). In my estimation, its journey cancellation/interruption profit (as much as $10,000 per particular person and $20,000 per journey) ought to have utilized to each of my 2022 flight cancellations. I ended up getting these refunded by the airways and booked new flights on totally different carriers (for the reason that authentic carriers couldn’t accommodate us till almost every week later), however that value further.

If I had paid for my authentic airline tickets with this card, I consider that Chase would have reimbursed me for the distinction between my canceled flights and my new bookings (though I’d have needed to request that refund by a claims administrator). However there’s an opportunity my request wouldn’t have been authorised, maybe if the corporate argued I ought to have taken the airline up on its provide to fly a couple of days later, quite than rebooking myself extra instantly at a better value on a distinct airline.

These packages aren’t at all times simple to navigate; a coworker wanted to be very persistent and needed to submit a number of rounds of documentation to win a reimbursement declare involving the Chase Sapphire ReserveⓇ and a visit disrupted by a hurricane. I want it had been simpler to make the most of, however this protection can nonetheless be very worthwhile.

For a heftier annual price ($550), the Sapphire Reserve gives higher journey delay insurance coverage, triggering after six hours or an in a single day delay, whereas the Sapphire Most popular triggers after 12 hours or an in a single day delay. Each the Sapphire Most popular and the Sapphire Reserve provide the identical main rental automotive insurance coverage, journey delay insurance coverage (as much as $500 per ticket), delayed baggage insurance coverage, emergency medical protection and extra.

Each playing cards would have been helpful the time I obtained stranded in Virginia (I ended up renting a automotive and driving about 5 hours to get dwelling; my firm paid for that because it was a enterprise journey, but when it had been a private journey, I probably may have gotten a reimbursement from a journey card with good journey cancellation/interruption protections).

The Platinum CardⓇ from American Categorical and the Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card additionally made our listing of the very best bank cards for journey insurance coverage.

It’s additionally price asking what the airline, resort or rental automotive company can do for you if it is advisable to cancel. I misplaced out on a pay as you go rental reservation in 2020 after I was afraid to journey within the early days of the pandemic. However in 2023, after I had COVID and wanted to cancel a resort keep, the resort generously refunded my supposedly non-refundable reservation. Maybe it made a distinction that I used to be truly sick that point as a substitute of anxious about probably getting sick, nevertheless it by no means hurts to ask.

The underside line

Many airways and resort chains have relaxed their change and cancellation insurance policies in recent times. So in case you do encounter an sudden challenge, it’s rule of thumb to begin with the journey provider, after which pull in your bank card firm as a backup.

For that reason, I feel it solely is smart to pay for journey insurance coverage you probably have a very difficult or costly itinerary (particularly a global journey). Typically, that protection is similar to what you might already qualify for between your bank cards and the journey suppliers’ insurance policies.

Paying with a bank card that has robust journey insurance coverage advantages can present extra help with out including to the price.

Have a query about bank cards? E-mail me at and I’d be pleased to assist.

For Capital One merchandise listed on this web page, a few of the above advantages are supplied by Visa® or Mastercard® and will range by product. See the respective Information to Advantages for particulars, as phrases and exclusions apply.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Table of Contents

Find our article helpful?

Join our newsletter!

Scroll to Top