Coronavirus Cancellation and Change Policies for Credit Card Travel Portals

You may be able to get refunds or credits when you cancel your trip booked through a credit card travel portal.

JT GenterApril 28, 2020

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more people are needing to cancel trips. Travelers who booked flights or lodging directly with an airline or hotel should check out NerdWallet’s up-to-date resources on airline and hotel/vacation rental travel waivers.

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However, travelers who booked through a credit card travel portal may not be able to work directly with the airline or hotel. If you booked a trip through the American Express, Chase, Citi or Capital One travel portals, here’s what you need to know to change or cancel your trip.

American Express Travel

Booking travel through American Express Travel is a lucrative way of earning Membership Rewards points. The Platinum Card® from American Express, and its business version, both earn cardholders 5 points for every $1 spent on qualifying travel purchases through AmexTravel.com. Terms apply.

For cardmembers who booked through AmEx Travel, here are the policies for changing and canceling upcoming travel:

Flights

AmEx Travel is requesting that customers use an online form to cancel flights booked with AmexTravel.com. If you booked within the last 24 hours or depart within three days, travelers are instructed to call 1-800-297-2977 to make changes.

To help reduce the sting on travelers, AmEx Travel is waiving its fees for flight modifications between now and May 31, 2020.

Points redemptions

If you used American Express Membership Rewards points to book your trip, you may be wondering how cancellations will be handled. If the airline provides you with a voucher toward future travel, you won’t get a refund of points from AmEx or a statement credit.

If the airline refunds your flight, you will receive a statement credit for the amount of the refund. AmEx notes that travelers “may be able to convert it back into points by contacting Membership Rewards at 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276).”

If you transferred points to an airline or hotel, AmEx Travel specifically notes that “points transferred from the Membership Rewards program to an airline loyalty program cannot be transferred back.”

Hotels

Hotel bookings made through AmEx Travel before March 19, 2020, for stays with check-in between March 20, 2020, and April 30, 2020, can be canceled for a full refund. However, you’ll need to cancel via the My Trips section of AmEx Travel a minimum of 24 hours prior to check-in.

For arrivals after April 30, trips can be canceled online, but the hotel’s cancelation policy will apply. Check NerdWallet’s list of hotel cancellation and change policies for details of what reservation flexibility hotels are offering.

Car rentals

Travelers who booked rental cars through AmEx Travel are instructed to cancel via the My Trips section of the website.

Calling to speak to a representative

AmEx Travel asks that travelers call only “within a week of your travel date as we continue to help those with urgent travel needs.” However, a recent attempt took less than a minute to reach an agent about an upcoming flight.

Chase

Chase cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards® points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Travel Portal. Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders are able to redeem points at 1.5 cents per point, and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card holders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each toward paid travel.

Especially when paid travel is cheap, using points through the travel portal can be an appealing redemption option. For cardholders who have utilized this resource to book a trip, here’s what you need to know to change or cancel your travel.

Flights

Chase’s travel portal, which is now powered by Expedia, is allowing travelers to cancel flights through May 31, 2020, as long as the airline is waiving cancellation fees. First, check if your airline is waiving cancellation fees. Then start the cancellation process by logging in to your Chase account and going to Chase’s My Trips page.

On that page, you have the option to chat with a “virtual agent” about your options or fill out a form to submit a cancellation request. Once you do, Chase will “work with the airline on your behalf to cancel your travel and help with any refunds or airline credits you may be eligible for.”

Hotels and car rentals

Many hotel and car rental reservations can be canceled until shortly before travel, so Chase’s Travel Portal directs users to first try to do that through the My Trips page.

If there isn’t an option to change or cancel, check to see if your hotel chain is waiving cancellation fees. Next, chat with Chase’s Travel Portal through My Trips or use the link on that page to submit your request through the online form. Then Chase will “work with the travel provider on your behalf to cancel your travel and help with any refunds or credits you may be eligible for.”

Calling to speak to a representative

Travelers are directed to call 1-888-511-5326 if you're departing in the next 72 hours and need to cancel a flight, hotel, car rental or activity. However, note that representatives are available only from 8 a.m. to midnight ET Monday to Friday. So, you may want to call more than 72 hours from departure if you are traveling on a Monday or Tuesday.

Capital One and Citi

Both Capital One and Citi use cxLoyalty to power their travel portals, and both portals refer to the same COVID-19 travel advisory.

Flights

On its COVID-19 page, cxLoyalty links travelers to airline websites for the latest cancellation fee waivers, but you might want to check out NerdWallet’s easier-to-understand airline waiver resource as well.

You may be able to make changes by going to the Capital One MyTrips page or Citi MyTrips page and clicking “Check Current Change Options” when logged in. If your flight has been canceled by the airline, travelers are told that cxLoyalty will process a refund, and there’s no need to call.

Hotels and car rentals

Travelers looking to change hotel and car rental reservations should first check the Capital One MyTrips page or Citi MyTrips page to see if they can change or cancel for free, since most reservations come with free cancellation until 72 hours before check-in or pickup. If you are within three to five days of your trip, travelers are advised to contact cxLoyalty to see if any cancellation fees can be waived.

Calling to speak to a representative

Notices on both portals state that cxLoyalty is experiencing “very high call volumes and lengthy wait times, possibly over 2 hours.” Travelers are advised to wait until their trip is within five days before calling. The number to call for changes and cancellations is 1-844-527-6779 for Capital One and 1-800-842-6596 for Citi.

Restrictions

Currently, cxLoyalty is unable to book travel to The Bahamas, China, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

Nerd tip: If your flight has been canceled by the airline, you are entitled to a refund. Airline representatives may try to convince you to take a voucher instead. If you are willing to take a voucher, try to get a voucher for more than the price that you paid for the flight.

All information about The Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Platinum Card® from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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