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No one expects a trip to be cancelled or interrupted. But, sometimes things happen. Perhaps a family member is suddenly hospitalized, you’re called to jury duty and you can’t postpone it or the airline you’re booked on ceases operations, as we’ve just seen happen with WOW air. Generally, you’d lose any prepaid, nonrefundable expenses such as hotels, flights and tours if you decide to not go on the trip.  You’d also be on the hook for change fees other other arrangements if you need to return home early.

But, if you pay for your trip with select cards cards you might be covered. One credit card benefit provided on select credit cards that many people overlook: the trip cancellation and interruption protection benefit. This benefit provides reimbursement for non-refundable prepaid trip expenses when a trip must be canceled or altered due to a covered situation. Covered situations, maximum coverage amounts and eligible expenses vary across the cards that offer this benefit — so this guide presents some of the best trip cancellation and interruption protection benefits offered by select credit cards.

In This Post

What’s Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance?

Generally, trip cancellation insurance provides reimbursement when a trip must be cancelled before its departure date and trip interruption insurance provides reimbursement when an ongoing trip is interrupted or cancelled.

Although you can often buy travel insurance that will allow a refund if you cancel your trip for any reason, credit card trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance doesn’t work this way. Instead, this insurance has set covered losses and exclusions that define the situations in which you can claim reimbursement — and these vary from card to card.

Many different types of cards — including some credit cards with no annual fee — offer trip cancellation and interruption benefits. However, no American Express cards are discussed in this guide because American Express cards don’t offer this benefit.

(Photo by Beatrix Boros/Stocksy)
(Photo by Beatrix Boros/Stocksy)

Premium Chase Credit Cards

The Chase credit cards in the table below provide trip cancellation and interruption insurance with relatively high maximum coverage amounts.

Credit Card Maximum Coverage Amount Per 12 Month Period Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve $10,000 $450
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card $10,000 $95
United MileagePlus Club Card $10,000 $450
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card (no longer accepting applications) $10,000 $450
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card $10,000 ($5,000 per person) $89
The World of Hyatt Credit Card $5,000 $95
The Hyatt Credit Card (no longer available) $5,000 $75
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card (no longer available) $5,000 $85
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card $5,000 $95

When you use one of the above credit cards to pay for a prepaid tour, trip or vacation you and your immediate family will be covered when:

  • Some portion of the cost has been charged to your Chase credit card
  • The destination is more than one mile from your primary residence
  • The trip will be less than 60 days in duration

If you used Chase Ultimate Rewards to pay for part or all of the trip, you’ll be reimbursed the monetary value of the redemption or $0.01 per point if the value doesn’t appear on your itinerary or confirmation.

However, you’ll only be eligible for reimbursement if one of the following events cause cancellation or interruption of your travel arrangements:

  • Accidental bodily injury, death or sickness experienced by you, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of you or a traveling companion
  • Severe weather, which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from beginning or continuing on a covered trip
  • Change in military orders for you, your spouse or your domestic partner
  • A terrorist action or hijacking
  • A call to jury duty or receiving a subpoena from the courts, neither of which can be postponed or waived
  • Finding your or your traveling companion’s dwelling to be uninhabitable
  • Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons
  • Financial insolvency of the travel agency, tour operator or travel supplier whose services you booked

For trip cancellation, you won’t be eligible for reimbursement if any of the following directly or indirectly cause the trip cancellation:

  • Travel arrangements canceled or changed by a common carrier, tour operator or any travel agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation
  • Change in plans, financial circumstances and any business or contractual obligations applying to you, your traveling companion, your immediate family member or an immediate family member of your traveling companion
  • A pre-existing condition
  • Additionally, this insurance does not apply to any accident, accidental bodily injury or loss caused by or resulting from, directly or indirectly: the commission or attempted commission of any illegal act including but not limited to any felony
  • Any occurrence during incarceration
  • Being engaged in or participating in a motorized vehicular race or speed contest
  • Participating in any professional sporting activity for which a salary or prize money is received
  • Traveling or flying on any aircraft engaged in flight on a rocket propelled or rocket launched aircraft
  • Suicide, attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injury
  • When: a) the US has imposed any trade or economic sanctions prohibiting insurance of any accident, accidental bodily injury or loss; or b) there is any other legal prohibition against providing insurance for any accident, accidental bodily injury or loss
  • A declared or undeclared war

For trip interruption, you won’t be eligible for reimbursement if any of the following by you or your traveling companion directly or indirectly caused the trip interruption:

  • Traveling against the advice of a physician
  • Traveling while on a waiting list for specified medical treatment
  • Traveling for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment; or traveling in the third trimester (seventh month or after) of pregnancy
  • Traveling with a pre-existing condition
  • Commission or attempted commission of any illegal act including but not limited to any felony
  • Being engaged in or participating in a motorized vehicular race or speed contest
  • Participating in any professional sporting activity for which the insured person received a salary or prize money
  • Traveling or flying on any aircraft engaged in flight on a rocket propelled or rocket launched aircraft
  • Suicide, attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injury
  • Additionally, this insurance does not apply to any accident, accidental bodily injury or loss caused by or resulting from, directly or indirectly:
    • Common carrier caused delays, unless they are as a result of an organized strike that affects public transportation
    • Travel arrangements canceled or changed by a common carrier, tour operator or any travel agent unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation
    • Change in plans, financial circumstances and any business or contractual obligations of the insured person, traveling companion, immediate family member of the insured person or immediate family member of the traveling companion
    • Any occurrence while the insured person is incarcerated
    • When: a) the US has imposed any trade or economic sanctions prohibiting insurance of any accident, accidental bodily injury or loss; or b) there is any other legal prohibition against providing insurance for any accident, accidental bodily injury or loss
    • A declared or undeclared war

On a covered canceled trip, you can be reimbursed for non-refundable amounts
paid for the tour, trip or vacation. On a covered interrupted trip, you can be reimbursed for the forfeited, non-refundable prepaid land, air and/or sea transportation arrangements that were missed. Or, if you’re able to postpone a trip you can be reimbursed for change fees and the unused non-refundable land, air and/or sea arrangements.

Other Chase Credit Cards

The United Explorer Card  and Chase Freedom also provide trip cancellation and interruption insurance. However, if you have a covered loss — which is defined similarly to the premium Chase cards discussed in the previous section — these cards will only reimburse non-refundable, prepaid passenger fares charged by an airline, cruise line, railroad or any other common carrier. If a covered loss results in cancellation or interruption of a trip, the insurance will reimburse up to $1,500 for each covered person per trip to a maximum of $6,000 for all covered persons traveling together on the same trip.


Premium Citi Credit Cards

The following Citi credit cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance to the card holder (you) and your immediate family. The insurance can reimburse you the lesser of $5,000 per trip or the amount actually charged to your Citi card for the trip (including points/miles associated with the card):

You can’t simply cancel or interrupt your trip for any reason. Indeed, only the following reasons for cancellation, interruption or reasonable extension are covered:

  • The covered traveler(s) becomes sick or injured and is advised by a licensed medical practitioner not to travel.
  • The covered traveler(s) is advised by a licensed medical practitioner not to travel after the purchase date of the trip due to a medical advisory issued by a health or government agency, that directly affects the covered traveler’s trip destination.
  • The covered traveler’s family member, not traveling on the trip, has an injury or illness that is either life threatening or requires care from the covered traveler(s) and is verified by a licensed medical practitioner.
  • The covered traveler(s) dies.
  • The covered traveler’s family member, not traveling on the trip, dies.
  • The covered traveler(s) is laid off or fired from their job.
  • The covered traveler(s) is called to jury duty or receives a subpoena from the court, neither of which can be postponed or waived.
  • The covered traveler(s) or the covered traveler’s family member(s) is called into active military service.
  • The covered traveler(s) or the covered traveler’s family member’s permanent residence is burglarized or deemed unsafe or unfit to live in.
  • The covered traveler(s) or the covered traveler’s family member(s) is the victim of an assault within 10 days of the trip departure date.
  • Severe weather or natural disaster causes all travel to or from the covered traveler’s trip destination to stop for at least 24 hours.
  • A mandatory evacuation is ordered by a government or public safety agency at the covered traveler’s trip destination.
  • A terrorist incident certified by a government agency, occurs in the covered traveler’s trip destination or a connecting city used to reach the covered traveler’s trip destination.

Additionally, coverage doesn’t apply to any claim under the following conditions:

  • The covered traveler(s) decides to cancel, interrupt or extend their trip for any reason not covered in the previous bulleted list
  • Any event/incident (such as severe weather or terrorist incident) that occurred prior to the trip being booked.
  • Death, serious injury or sickness of a non-family member that is not traveling on the trip.
  • The covered traveler(s) elects to shorten their trip prior to the trip completion date due to sickness or injury and the return was not at the direction of a licensed medical practitioner.
  • The covered traveler(s) has been advised against traveling by a licensed medical practitioner prior to the trip being booked.
  • The covered traveler(s) did not get the required travel documentation, such as a passport or visa.
  • The covered traveler(s) is unable to start or continue their Trip due to being involved in or under suspicion of any criminal act, illegal activities, disruptive/abusive behavior or is otherwise prevented from traveling by a government agency.
  • The covered traveler(s) incurs additional expenses (not listed above) by electing to change their trip destination or a connecting city used to reach their trip destination.

In general, these Citi credit cards reimburse the same types of expenses that the Chase credit cards discussed above reimburse. But, up to the maximum coverage limit, Citi will also reimburse:

  • Expenses incurred to rejoin a trip that has been interrupted
  • Reasonable expenses for similar accommodations and meals that are incurred because of an interruption or reasonable extension of the trip
  • Fees charged by a travel supplier(s) if one person cancels the trip for a covered reason and another person continues with the trip alone
  • Reasonable costs to return the covered traveler’s vehicle to their residence if they need to get home another way

Other Citi Credit Cards

The Citi Rewards+ Card and Citi® Double Cash Card — which are both cards with no annual fee — also provide trip cancellation and interruption insurance. These cards will reimburse up to $5,000 per trip when a trip is cancelled, interrupted or extended for a covered reason. As with the coverage provided by the premium Citi cards discussed in the previous section, coverage is capped at the lesser of $5,000 per trip and the actual amount charged to your Citi card (including Citi ThankYou Points).

Although the covered reasons for these cards are similar to the premium Citi cards described in the previous section, these cards don’t include being laid off or fired from a job, being called to jury duty or receiving a subpoena from a court as covered reasons for trip cancellation or interruption.

Bank of America Credit Cards

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card provides reimbursement of up to $5,000 per person, per trip, for unused prepaid non-refundable travel expenses including passenger fares, tours and hotels if you have to cancel due to a covered reason.

Visa Infinite Cards

All Visa Infinite credit cards offer a Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption benefit that covers the cardholder (you) and your immediate family. When you purchase your travel ticket with your Visa Infinite card, this benefit can help reimburse you for the nonrefundable cost of your passenger fare if you must cancel or interrupt your trip. Up to $2,000 per trip can be reimbursed for air, ferry, train, bus and cruise ship tickets that are purchased with your Visa Infinite card.

Your guide to benefits will have the full list of exclusions, but Visa’s website provides the following examples of instances when you would not be covered: trips cancelled as a result of a pre-existing condition; accidental injuries arising from participation in some sporting events, racing or speed contests; most type of cosmetic surgery; illness or injury that occurred under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and uncertified scuba diving.

Bottom Line

The trip cancellation and interruption insurance provided by select credit cards can come in handy when something unexpected forces you to cancel or interrupt a trip. If you need to cancel a trip for a covered reason and you put your trip expenses on a credit card offering trip cancellation insurance, you’ll usually be reimbursed your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses up to a particular maximum. But, if you need to interrupt a trip, most cards offering trip interruption insurance will simply cover any change fees and/or reimburse unused portions of your trip. Citi cards offering a trip cancellation and interruption benefit will also cover expenses incurred to catch up with a trip or wait out an interruption — which could be extremely handy if you get temporarily interrupted.

Know before you go.

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Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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