Flight Cancelled? Your Credit Card Might Help!

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Knowing which credit card you used to book your flight is huge! It looks like the Northeast is getting hit pretty big by the snowstorm today and thousands of flights were cancelled for both Thursday and Friday. While many people might be happy extending their long weekend vacation, the cost of spending an extra night at a hotel can absolutely add up. Fortunately, many credit cards offer trip delay insurance and you might actually be able to collect on some lodging and good expenses you incurred due to your flight being delayed.

If you booked your airfare with the following credit cards, you are entitled to these reimbursements:

  • Chase Credit Cards (Marriott Premier Rewards, Ritz Carlton Rewards, IHG, Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink Preferred, United MileagePlus, United MileagePlus Explorer): For delays of 12+ hours or if you are required an overnight stay, you can get reimbursed up to $500 per ticket for lodging and meals. From the terms it says you need to purchase either a portion or the entire cost of your airfare using your card. This means, as long as you put a $1 on your credit card for the airfare, you are eligible! FYI – The Chase Ritz Carlton and Chase Sapphire Reserve card only requires a 6+ hour delay.
  • Escape by Discover Credit Card: For delays of 6+ hours get up to 3 consecutive days of expenses covered of $150 per day for lodging and meals. You can learn more about this here.
  • Citi: If your flight is delayed for 12+ hours, you can get up to $500 in reasonable travel expenses (including hotel, ground transportation, meals, toiletries). If you have the Citi Prestige or Citi AAdvantage Executive card you can get a refund for these expenses if you trip is delayed just 3+ hours. These cards no longer requires that you to have purchased your ticket in full on your card. As long as your card or ThankYou Points have been used to purchase at least a portion of the fare, you qualify. You can learn more about this here.

If there are any others that I am forgetting, feel free to list them in the comments section to help out other readers. Make sure to get full documentation of your flight delay or flight cancellation. I personally recommend asking an agent to give you official documentation of the delay – ask them for a military excuse. You will need this information when submitting it to the respective credit card company. Also, you’ll need to use the card you used to book the flight on your extra out of pocket expenses. Also, make sure to keep all receipts for reimbursement.

I’ve only used this before with Chase and the process went smoothly. I personally only use Chase credit cards that offer this protection when booking flights.

Has anyone used this benefit before and what was your experience?

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  1. What do you do about a cancellation and the airline refuses to put you on a flight in a timely matter? Can you cancel the flight and buy a new flight and claim the difference?

    • @Paul – unfortunately I do not believe so. That would be covered by trip insurance, but the credit card travel delay insurance does not cover that.

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