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COVID-19: Requesting a voucher vs. refund for flights, hotels and cruises

April 14, 2020
2 min read
COVID-19: Requesting a voucher vs. refund for flights, hotels and cruises
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Many of you have had to cancel travel plans this year. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing travel providers to cut their offerings to near zero, and stay-at-home orders are having a huge effect on flights, cruises, hotels and every other aspect of the travel industry.

Airlines have been proactive with rebooking options, and have waived cancellation and change fees. Now, with the slump extending for weeks and likely months, they are strapped for cash — so they tend to offer vouchers for future travel, rather than refunds.

Cruise lines have been offering vouchers too, sometimes with an added bonus, in some cases up to a very enticing 125% of the value of the original ticket. But vouchers, be they airline or cruise, expire and often carry other restrictions.

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So, you may opt for a cash refund instead.

When it comes to airlines, we've covered in detail how you are entitled to a refund for your canceled flight. We've also explained why it's a good idea to wait until the last minute to request one. Airlines are legally obligated to offer a refund if they cancel a flight operating to, from or within the U.S.

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The key to understanding the process is knowing the difference between voluntary and involuntary flight changes.

In this video, TPG Audience & Community Producer Wallace Cotton explains what's involved and what you should do when asking for a refund versus a voucher from an airline, a cruise line, an accommodation or a tour provider.

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
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  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

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  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees