Credit card trip cancellation insurance covers certain nonrefundable travel expenses when a trip is cancelled or interrupted due to illness, injury, severe weather, or another covered reason. Credit cards with trip cancellation insurance typically reimburse cardholders for common carrier fares (airfare, train tickets, etc.), tours, lodging and other eligible travel expenses – up to a maximum amount per person, per trip and/or per year. Cardholders must pay for all or part of the trip with the covered credit card in order to be eligible, but these rules vary by card issuer.
The average credit card trip cancellation insurance policy provides about $4,400 in coverage, but the maximum reimbursement amount per trip can vary between $1,500 and $10,000. The coverage will vary depending on the card network and the card issuer, as some issuers will add their own rules. Most credit card trip cancellation insurance policies cover both the primary cardholder and any authorized users, plus their immediate family members if they are traveling. Some credit cards cover family members even if the cardholder is not travelling with them. Typically, trip cancellation insurance is offered to cardholders for free, so there’s no extra cost to keep the benefit active.
To file a trip cancellation insurance claim, you will need to call your credit card’s benefits administrator and notify them of your intention to file a claim, or visit the card’s benefits website. Generally, you must give notice of your claim within 20 to 60 days after the cancellation to be eligible for reimbursement, but the exact window will depend on your card issuer’s rules. You’ll be able to find the phone number and/or web address in the benefits guide that came with your credit card.
After you give notice of your claim, the benefits administrator will give you further instructions to file your claim. You will likely need to submit documentation with your claim, such as ticket receipts, billing statements, notes from your doctor, and anything else that may validate your claim. There is also a window of time to provide these documents, and it will depend on your card issuer, but it could be 90 to 180 days after the trip is cancelled.
If you think you may need to use your credit card’s trip cancellation insurance, it’s important that you review your benefits guide before booking your trip so you know exactly what’s covered and what’s not. And because credit card benefits change all the time, it’s a good idea to call your credit card’s customer service line to make sure your card is still covered.