For trip delay and trip interruption insurance, which credit cards are best? Perhaps surprisingly, for those used to U.S. miles and points credit cards trumping those of most other countries, at least in terms of sign up bonuses, the best one that I've found so far is for a Canadian credit card.
I'm sure that there are some great trip delay and trip interruption insurance policies I'm missing, so please let me know in the comments your favorite credit cards for these benefits, including the amount paid and specific terms from your cardholder agreement, and I'll add them to the list.
First, let's define trip delay vs. trip interruption.
Trip Delay: your flight is delayed, whether because of a mechanical issue, a storm or other bad weather, a labor strike, congestion on the runway, etc. You need to read your card benefits to see how long your trip must be delayed for, before you qualify for benefits, and whether there are any restrictions based on the reason for the trip delay.
Trip Interruption: You started your trip but need to come back earlier due to a medical emergency, such as your own or an immediate family member. Some policies also cover other reasons, such as natural disaster; your home or place of business being rendered uninhabitable due to fire, flood or burglary; being subpoenaed as a witness, etc.–again, it's important to check your specific card's terms for this benefit.
Keep in mind that in virtually all cases, you'll need to have paid for the airline ticket with the credit card you're seeking to receive the trip delay or trip interruption insurance benefits from. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in Travel Insurance for Frequent Flyer Award Tickets, it won't work if your ticket was purchased with miles and points, *with the sometimes exception* of if those miles and points came directly from that credit card (for example, see the terms below for the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite card). It generally isn't sufficient to have just paid the taxes and fees using the card.
1. Citi Executive AAdvantage Card
Trip Delay: After a delay of 3 or more hours, up to $500 in reasonable and necessary travel expenses reimbursed, provided the trip was paid for in full with a Citi Executive AAdvantage card. See Credit Card Trip Delay, Trip Interruption Insurance with Citi Executive AAdvantage Card
Trip Interruption: Up to $5000 per person for trip for non-refundable, non-reimbursed expenses for a trip paid for in full with a Citi Executive AAdvantage card when you notify all affected travel suppliers within 48 hours of realizing you need to cancel/interrupt your trip, and your trip interruption / trip cancellation is for a covered reason. See above link for details.
2. CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite
Trip Delay: After a delay of more than 4 hours from the scheduled departure time, up to $500 CAD total for reasonable living expenses. Receipts are required.
“The Company will reimburse the cardholder for reasonable living expenses
incurred during the period of flight delay/missed connection subject to an
aggregate limit of $500 provided that:
a) The full fare for the delayed flight was charged to the card or was obtained
through the redemption of points from the card travel reward program;
b) The delay lasted in excess of four (4) hours from the time of scheduled
departure causing you to:
• delay your travel arrangements; and/or
• miss a connecting flight;
c) The delayed flight was a scheduled service by an airline;
d) The delay of the flight was the result of strike by airline personnel,
quarantine, civil commotion, hijack, natural disaster, inclement weather,
mechanical breakdown or air traffic delays caused by congestion in the
e) The insured provides receipts for reasonable living expenses”
TO CLAIM FOR BENEFITS, as described in Part 1, the following must be
submitted to the Company:
a) Verification by the airline of the delay, including the reason for and duration
of the delay; and any compensation issued;
b) Original itemized expense receipts;
c) A copy of the travel agent’s invoice/itinerary, or a copy of the account
statement on which the full fare expense appears, showing your card as
the method of payment or showing it as a free ticket obtained through the
redemption of points from the card travel reward program; and
d) A copy of the airline ticket.
Trip Interruption: If you must interrupt or discontinue your trip due to a medical emergency of a covered person (you, your spouse, dependent children, and up to two traveling companions) you can be reimbursed for the proportionate cost of the remaining trip (excluding the cost of prepaid unused transportation back to your departure point) that was unable to be completed due to the trip interruption.
Additionally, you receive the cost of a one way fare for similar type of transportation, by the most direct route, to allow you to either rejoin the trip or return to your origin.
Total amount of coverage per covered person: $2000 CAD
3. AMEX Gold Rewards Card, Canada
Trip Delay: After a delay of more than 4 hours from the scheduled departure time, if no alternate transportation is made available, up to $500 CAD total (aggregate maximum with Baggage Delay Insurance) for “all necessary and reasonable hotel, motel, restaurant expenses and sundry items purchased within 48 hours.” Receipts are required.
Trip Interruption: Provides coverage for the non-refundable unused portion of your prepaid travel arrangements, as well as transportation up to $1,500 CAD per trip per insured person up to a maximum of $6,000 CAD for all insured persons combined should your trip be interrupted or delayed for a covered reason.
4. AMEX Travel Assure (U.S. American Express Cards)
Note: Unfortunately AMEX Travel Assure is currently (as of August 27, 2013) closed to new enrollments. If you enrolled prior to that date, however, your benefits are intact. Per the representative I spoke with, they're in the process of reviewing their offer, and there's no ETA yet for if/when it will again be possible to enroll in AMEX Travel Assure with any of your AMEX cards.
Trip Delay: After a delay of more than 3 hours from the scheduled departure time, up to $250 total for reasonable living expenses. Receipts are required.
Trip Interruption: If you must interrupt or discontinue your trip due to a covered reason (includes not only medical emergency of you or a family member, but also a number of other reasons, such as natural disaster, home rendered uninhabitable, airline labor strike, jury duty, etc.) you can be reimbursed up to $500 of travel-related expenses.
5. Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
Trip Delay: After a delay of more than 12 hours from the scheduled departure time, up to $300 total for reasonable living expenses. Receipts are required.
Trip Interruption: If you must interrupt or discontinue your trip due to a covered reason (death or medical emergency of you or immediate family member), you can be reimbursed the non-refundable amount of the passenger fare or $5,000, whichever is less.
Meanwhile, I see this language on the World MasterCard site, but unfortunately, since I don't currently have a World MasterCard, I don't have actual cardholder benefits with terms to verify or see which World MasterCard actually has some of these lofty amounts:
“World MasterCard provides coverage for lost luggage and delays, trip delays, trip cancellations, missed connections, and more:
• Loss of baggage up to USD 3,000
• Delay of baggage up to USD 450
• Trip cancellation up to USD 7,500
• Trip curtailment up to USD 7,500
• Trip delays of more than 6 hours up to USD 100 per hour and a maximum of USD 900
• Missed connection up to USD 650″
Which of your credit cards offers great trip delay and/or trip interruption insurance, and what are the terms?
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