Credit Cards

Summer flight cancellations are likely. Will your credit card cover you?

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If you experience delays or cancellations while traveling this summer, your credit card benefits can help you minimize the experience of negative financial impacts.

Key points

  • Your summer travel plans may not go as planned due to potential flight changes and cancellations.
  • Travel credit card protections may help you recover financial losses, but it’s critical that you review the terms of your benefits because not all incidents are covered.
  • Find out what to consider before your summer vacation begins.

Several airlines have announced plans to divert routes and cancel flights this summer amid staffing shortages and weather concerns. If your vacation doesn’t go on as scheduled this summer, you may be in for a tough spot. Find out if your credit card will cover it.

Many travel rewards credit cards include additional benefits that can add value. Benefits may include trip cancellation and trip interruption or trip delay insurance. If you’re on the road and your plans go awry, you may be able to use your benefits to recover some of your prepaid non-refundable travel costs or request reimbursement for eligible travel expenses.

If you have a credit card with these types of benefits, you should make sure you know what to expect before you have to file a claim.

Review the terms and conditions of the benefits

While trip cancellation, trip interruption and trip delay insurance can be beneficial, you may not always be able to use this type of coverage when you experience trip interruptions. These benefits often have exclusions and not all situations will qualify.

You’ll want to take a look at your coverage to understand what’s covered and what’s not. Benefits and exclusions may vary from one credit card to another, and some may be more generous than others.

As you review your coverage, ask yourself the following:

  • What situations are covered and which are not?
  • Are there set time requirements?
  • What are the reimbursement limits?
  • What types of expenses are covered?
  • Will traveling companions be covered?
  • What paperwork is needed when filing a claim?

You must use your eligible card to pay for your trips. If you have a card with travel protections, but used a different card to book your trip, you’re out of luck.

The benefits of your credit card can be useful against interruptions

If you’re experiencing travel delays or problems this summer, your travel rewards credit card benefits may come in handy. If you experience significant delays or interruptions, your card issuer may reimburse you for eligible expenses, such as meals, lodging, and toiletries purchases.

But you may not qualify for reimbursement depending on the specific circumstances of your trip. It’s best to be prepared before your trip begins by reviewing the terms of your benefits.

If you’re not sure if you’re eligible for coverage or if you need to file a claim, contact your credit card issuer’s benefits line for more information.

Other ways to protect your investment when you travel

If you’re worried about travel interruptions, you may want to protect yourself even more. If you’ve been saving for your trip for a while, you may want to protect your investment.

Some travelers choose to purchase a travel insurance policy. An insurance policy could give you added peace of mind. While this is an additional expense to factor into your vacation budget, it could help you avoid financial stress if your trip doesn’t go as planned.

Before you buy a travel insurance policy, review the policy details to make sure you get the coverage you expect.

Using a rewards credit card to pay for your trip is a great way to earn rewards for your spending. Read our list of the best travel credit cards to find the right credit card for your needs.

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