I’ve talked about risks associated with traveling in earlier posts in this series. Credit cards are amazing for protection against unfortunate events along your travels, and apparently they are helpful even if you cannot make your trip or cannot complete your trip for unforeseen reasons.
Say you plan a family vacation trip to France and everyone is about to leave. In the unfortunate event that you or an immediate family member falls ill to the extent that prevents you from starting or completing your trip, you, your spouse, and your unmarried children will be covered for non-refundable common carrier expenses. You will have to have proof from a doctor for the illness, but then your credit card will reimburse you and your family up to a certain limit.
Other qualified reasons for trip interruption/cancellation include death and accidental injury. You will be covered for common carrier expenses that you paid fully with your card up to the coverage limit. And as usual, the coverage is subject to certain restrictions.
This benefit is relatively rare to find. The cards I know that offer the benefit are:
- Discover Escape which you cannot apply online for
- World Mastercard and Elite World Mastercard cards
- Select Chase cards: Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, United Explorer, Marriott, Hyatt, and Ritz-Carlton
Notice that no American Express card is on the list, and neither is any Visa credit card except those issued by Chase. Chase is a rare exception among Visa credit card issuers, and I have found their coverage to be the best. In addition to covering the causes I mentioned above, these Chase cards also cover severe weather conditions. They have the highest coverage limit as well.
On top of this, the Sapphire Preferred and United Explorer will also reimburse you for costs incurred as a result of a common carrier travel delay: if your flight gets delayed for more than 12 hours, they will reimburse you for the meals and lodging during the delay, up to $500. Frankly, I find this coverage almost too good to be true. And this is one of the reasons the Chase United Explorer is my favorite travel rewards credit card.
If you are lucky enough to have one of the cards on the list, make sure you use it to pay for your travels. If you don’t have one already, think about applying for one. You never know when it will come in handy.
-Richard (Hiep Tran)