Just when many people thought the pandemic was over, the delta variant of COVID-19 threatened fall and winter travel plans. But if you’ve booked travel with a credit card that offers travel insurance, you may be able to recoup some of your expenses.
For example, your card may provide some coverage if your trip is canceled or disrupted, and it may cover the cost of delayed or lost baggage. In general, premium rewards cards, which typically charge an annual fee, provide better coverage.
The protections usually come into effect when events that affect your travel are beyond your control, says Nick Ewen, travel rewards expert at The Points Guy, a consumer travel website. For example, suppose a flight delay caused you to miss a night in a hotel room that you reserved with a non-refundable prepayment. If you paid for the room with a credit card that includes travel insurance, the card will more than likely cover your loss. But if you decided you didn’t want to go on a trip anymore, perhaps because of concerns about COVID-19, your card’s travel insurance likely wouldn’t cover your losses.
Not all cards are created equal. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card (annual fee of $ 550) offers cancellation / interruption coverage of up to $ 10,000 per person, for example, while the American Express Platinum card (annual fee of $ 695 for new cardholders card) offers up to $ 10,000 per trip.
Most travel insurance offered by credit cards is secondary to any coverage provided by the airline or hotel. For example, if an airline pays you $ 2,000 to cover the cost of lost baggage and your credit card’s lost baggage coverage is limited to $ 2,000, your application will be denied. If your card’s lost baggage coverage exceeds this amount, you may receive the difference between $ 2,000 and the card’s coverage limit.
If you’re not sure what type of travel insurance your card provides, log into your credit card account and read the benefits guide. The guide usually provides a toll-free number that you can call if you have any additional questions.