Nobody likes to be delayed during a trip, especially if one delay ends up resulting in a missed connection. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your travel investments without insuring the flight directly through your airline.
If you’re a Chase credit card holder, you may be entitled to a suite of travel insurance protections when you purchase tickets with your card, including trip delay reimbursement if you’re caught in a delayed itinerary.
Which cards are eligible?
How do you know whether you’re covered or not? Several Chase credit cards offer built-in trip delay reimbursement coverage, including the Sapphire branded cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
- Ritz-Carlton® Rewards Credit Card.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.
- United Club℠ Card.
- The World Of Hyatt Credit Card.
For most of these cards, you’ll need a pretty significant delay of 12 hours or more before your coverage kicks in. However, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Ritz-Carlton® Rewards Credit Card, coverage kicks in if your delay is only six hours or longer.
If your delay results in a required overnight stay, all five of these credit cards will provide coverage, regardless of the delay length.
Who is covered?
You may have one of these cards, but what if you’re traveling with family? Are they covered, too? Yes, but within certain parameters.
Chase will cover your spouse or partner as well as any dependent children under the age of 22. You are all entitled to up to $500 in reimbursement per ticket, per trip. Only one hazard will be covered for each trip. Keep in mind that your fare must be purchased with a qualifying credit card. If you have done that, then the coverage will be active.
How to file a claim
If you find yourself in need of filing a claim, remember that this is reimbursement coverage. This means that Chase won’t front the cost of your emergency meals and lodging, but you can file for reimbursement of that cost later.
The coverage includes the cost of meals and lodging, but you may also claim things like medication, toiletries, extra clothing, or transportation that would not have been necessary without the delay. You are not covered for prepaid expenses or any hazard that was made known to you before the delay. This may include things like preplanned strikes, large-scale mechanical failures, or sometimes even inclement weather events.
Using, for example, the recent hurricanes and tropical storms, insurance companies have the right to define a cutoff date that recategorizes the storm from something unpredictable to a known hazard. If you’re caught in a situation with inclement weather, check with your airline for a possible itinerary change or voucher rather than relying on credit card coverage.
How long you have to file a claim
If you’re too wiped out to file a claim right after surviving your unexpected detour, don’t sweat it. You have 60 days following the date of the delay to file a claim with Chase. That gives you plenty of time to collect a list of relevant charges to report. You can file and manage your claim online via the Eclaims Line.
The interface is relatively straightforward. You enter your personal and card information, select the type of insurance you need to use and enter a reason for the delay. You may enter an itemized list of the expenses you incurred as a result of the delay by simply uploading your Chase charge statements.
Make sure to upload all of the supporting documents that you have on hand, such as the delay statement by the carrier, a copy of your original itinerary, a copy of the settlement from the carrier (if you have one) and documentation of any other payment methods you may have used besides your Chase card.
After that, you should hear back from Chase as soon as they can review your claim, which shouldn’t take more than a month or so. When you’re approved, Chase will send a reimbursement check that you may use at your discretion.
The bottom line
If there’s one thing that can ease the pain of a long delay, it’s travel delay insurance through Chase. If you aren’t a Chase cardholder, consider applying today just in case you’re stuck in a delay on your next trip.
The information related to the Ritz-Carlton® Rewards Credit Card and United Club℠ Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
Oh no, #travelfail? Your credit card’s insurance could bail you out
How to find the best travel insurance