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 may help you minimize the experience of negative financial impact.


Key points

  • Your summer travel plans may not go as planned due to potential flight changes and cancellations.
  • Travel credit card protections could help you recoup financial losses — but it’s essential to review your benefit terms because not all incidents are covered.
  • Find out what to consider before your summer vacation starts.

Several airlines have announced their plans to reroute 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 find yourself in a difficult situation. Find out if your credit card will cover you.

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

If you have a credit card with these kinds of benefits, you want to make sure that you know what to expect before you find yourself needing to file a claim.

Review benefit terms and conditions

While trip cancellation, trip interruption, and trip delay insurance can be beneficial — you may not always be able to put this kind of coverage to use when experiencing travel disruptions. These benefits often have exclusions in place, 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 can 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 time requirements in place?
  • 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 travels. If you have a card with travel protections, but used a different card to book your trip — you’ll be out of luck.

Your credit card benefits may be helpful against disruptions

If you experience travel delays or issues this summer, your travel rewards credit card’s benefits may be helpful. If you experience significant delays or disruptions, your card issuer may reimburse you for eligible expenses like meals, lodging, and toiletry.

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 your benefits terms.

If you’re uncertain if you’re eligible for coverage or if you need to file a claim, contact your credit card issuer’s benefits benefits more.

Other ways to protect your investment when traveling

If you’re worried about travel disruptions, you may want to protect yourself further. If you’ve been saving up 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 added expense to factor into your vacation budget, it could help you avoid financial stress if your trip doesn’t go as planned.

Before purchasing a travel insurance policy, review policy details to ensure you’re getting the coverage you expect.

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

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