For Airfare Purchases, I am Only Using Chase

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Last month when there were major flight delays/cancellations due to the hurricane, I did some research on the credit cards that offer travel delay reimbursement. I’ve never really looking into this much, but came to find out that some of the Chase cards can offer great benefits when when you incur a flight delay. Now, you must have actually booking your airfare with one of these cards, not just be a cardmember.

With the following Chase cards if you are delayed for 12 or more hours or require an overnight stay, you’ll get reimbursed up to $500 per ticket for lodging and meals. You must, however, provide receipts when making your claim. I really wish I knew about this when I got stuck in Chicago last April and had to spend the night suddenly at a hotel.

I think many times people automatically think of American Express when helping them out of a bind, but they do not offer any free insurance. American Express does give you trip delay reimbursement, but you must have purchased this add-on option for $9.95/person when you purchased your ticket with an already enrolled card. You can learn more about this here.

In the past, I’ve been diligently using my American Express Business Gold Rewards card. It gives 3x points per dollar which is more than I get with any other card, so of course I book with the best point earning card. Going forward, however, I am going to exclusively use my Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x points on airfare). This will ensure that if I have a trip delay and incur additional costs I’ll be covered. Now, I might break this theory for some flights if I truly do not believe an additional cost will exist if I am delayed/cancelled – such as a flight from New York to DC in the summer. But for those fall and winter flights were hurricanes and snow storms exist, I’ll absolutely be changing my habits.

Chase Cards with this benefit:

The point of this post is that while maximizing points when making a purchase is great, there are other benefits of certain cards aside from the sign on bonus and spend bonus categories.  There are many other insurance type benefits with these cards as well with I will outline in another blog post. There is a Discover credit card that offers trip delay insurance as well, but will outline that in another post along with other benefits of that card.

To learn more about many of these credit cards listed above, check out this page. I have many of the cards listed out, including full blog posts on the perks, sign up bonus, benefits, etc.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for supporting the blog and enjoy traveling on a deal!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. […] You will earn 3x points on all airfare purchases, which is much more than any of the airline specific credit cards will give you. You will also earn 2x points on purchases in the U.S. for advertising in select media, gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, and shipping.  You will then earn 1x point on all other purchases. This card and the personal American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card have great values when it comes to purchasing airfare. I actually used to use this card for all my airfare purchases, but I’ve started to move over to my Chase Sapphire Preferred as it has better travel delay insurance (along with a bunch of other Chase cards). […]


    • @Dan – I included the links to the application pages. There is a better offer out there for some though through your personal United frequent flyer account.

    • @g-flyer & swag- There really is no real page describing this benefit. For each card, you should see something that reads “Travel Delay Reimbursement” or something of that sort. Some cards though do not fully list it out. It is pretty hidden.

    • @Lawrence – I personally think 2 UR points is more valuable than 3 MR points. It really depends on what you are looking for those. If it is Hyatt or United then Ultimate Rewards has much more value. But if you are looking for British Airways, for example, Membership Rewards constantly has promotions when transferring, making it more valuable than Ultimate Rewards. While Amex has Delta, they have inflated their point redemption so much, it is no longer a great transfer option.

  1. Thanks for the tip, Dealswelike. Have you used Chase or anyone else’s protection yet? And any reason for your choice to use the Ink Bold (1x) vs. Sapphire Preferred (2x)?

    • @Tim J – Not quite sure why I wrote that! Meant to say Chase Sapphire Preferred since 2x points on airfare. Thanks for that catch – I’ve updated the post.

  2. Question: is it the fact that they are Chase cards (and coincidentally pay you hundreds of dollars in referrals)?

    Or is it just that it is a Visa Signature perk?

  3. OMG… I am going to sign up for ALL of them right away.

    Wait, what? My Citicard has the same feature? So I don’t have to follow 10 affiliate links to be saved in the rare case of a flight cancellation where the airline doesn’t take care of me? Which has happened to me in 20 years of flying exactly… once?

  4. Question about how this works in practice:

    If you pay for the ticket with a Chase card, which of the scenarios are covered by the benefit:

    A. Pay for trip delay expenses with the same card
    B. Pay for trip delay expenses with a different Chase card
    C. Pay for trip delay expenses with a different non-chase card (assuming you have receipts).

    I know “A” is covered, not sure about the rest…

  5. Another great option is looking at Travel Insurance as a way to recover trip delay or travel cancellation loss as well. So for those who are looking to collect points outside of the Chase family of cards (SPG, Membership Rewards, etc.), looking at a balanced travel insurance product may also be a solution as well.

  6. @David — I called Chase specifically to ask, and was told that they would cover me for award redemptions if I paid any taxes, booking fees, etc. with the Chase Sapphire Preferred

  7. Deals, I think you mean “I’m Using Only Chase for Airfare Purchases” which means you’re putting all your airfare spend on Chase. OTOH, “I’m Only Using Chase for Airfare Purchases” means that you’re not putting anything on Chase except airfare spend, which would be crazy.

    • @HansGolden – You are absolutely correct. Airfare purchases are Chase, but many other purchases are Chase as well. While airfare purchases are Chase Sapphire, many many purchases are Chase Ink Bold 🙂

  8. I find this to be really odd logic. If you value 2 UR points more than 3 AmEX points, then theoretically shouldn’t you have been using the Sapphire to book airfare even before you knew about this?

    And if not, is something that literally happens less than 1% of the time worth this much of a behavior change? I’ve probably had this situation 2 or 3 times in 600+ flights in my life.

    Further, even if it is worth it, this is assuming a high expense for the extra time. Unless you’re getting stuck in NYC, there’s really no reason why you’d need to spend $300 on lodging and such.

    • @HansGolden – I get what you are saying. But already posted and no where in the post does it state that I am limiting myself, so I think I’m good. But thanks for pointing it out.

  9. @dealswelike:

    You know you can book travel via Chase UR Mall itself and get an extra 1 UR point making it a total of 3x (actually 3.21x) for Chase Sapphire Preferred, right?

    If you redeem 0 points and pay in full with the card I am pretty sure all the benefits will be kept.

    Any reason you did not mention it?

    • @James – That is correct. I checked back at old posts and noticed that I have yet to post on that, so thank you for reminding me! Will post on that in the near future.

  10. US Air was terrific with Hurricane Sandy cancellations. They provided my family and me full refunds on nonrefundable tickets for a cancelled Disney vacation. I will fly US Air again, great customer service!

    • @Webazold – I do not see it listed anywhere, but that does not mean it is not included. I’d suggest calling the number on the back of your card and inquiring.

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