Credit Card Trip Cancellation Insurance: Will It Cover Covid?

image- Jan 10, 2021Credit Card Info0 comments

As people are slowly ripping their face masks off, travel is slowly coming back to normal.

During this pandemic, many are wondering whether their airfare will be covered if their trip is canceled or interrupted due to COVID.

In this post we will go through the answers based on each credit card issuers policy.

There is a lot of confusion on this subject. And btw, it IS indeed very confusing. I’ll try to be as clear as possible but please read and then reread this post to make sure you understand the details properly. Please note that the information is based on how I understand the benefits & terms and conditions, or based on the answers I got from speaking to benefit administrations.

I can’t confirm if the information is played out accurately in real life, though.

What is trip cancelation and trip interruption insurance?

Before we start, let’s go through the basics. Trip cancelation and trip interruption insurance is a benefit offered by many credit cards. They refund you for prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses in the case that your travel is canceled due to a medical emergency (you or an immediate family member), severe weather conditions that force you to cancel your travel plans, terrorist threats etc. Some credit cards will only cover airfare expenses while some will cover all travel expenses- including your hotel, auto rentals, and more. You need to pay for the travel expenses with your eligible card in order to activate the coverage. (Some cards require you to pay the full amount on your card and some allow you to pay only part of the expenses. See your card benefits guide for details).

Which credit card issues cover trips cancelled due to COVID?

Here we will go through the benefits policies from all major credit card issuers regarding insuring COVID cancellations.

Chase

Chase provides one of the best trip cancellation insurance on only some of their credit cards. Their coverage is extremely broad- they will even cover award redeposit fees or refunds for lost Chase Ultimate reward points as long as you paid at least part of the travel expenses with your card. Coverage extends to you and/or your immediate family members, and covers all travel expenses including air, hotels, cars, and more. You can check out a list of Chase cards with trip cancellation insurance here.

Will Chase cover a pandemic?

In the Chase terms, it states that if your disinclination to travel is due to an epidemic, then you will not be covered. After speaking to the Chase Benefit Administration, I was advised that travel expenses that are lost due to a COVID lockdown or travel restrictions are not eligible for coverage. However, if you can’t travel if you or a family member is sick with COVID or in quarantine, then you are eligible for coverage.

Bottom line

Trip is canceled due to you or an immediate family member being sick with COVID or in quarantine? Eligible for coverage

Trip is canceled due to a government lockdown? Not eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to the airline not flying? Not eligible for coverage, but you can dispute the charge with the credit card issuer

Amex

Amex offers a basic trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance on their luxury credit cards. Coverage is only for non-refundable travel expenses on common carriers. Amex does not cover non-refundable hotel stays, car rentals, etc. You can check out a list of Amex cards with trip cancellation insurance here.

Will Amex cover a pandemic?

In their benefit guide, Amex does not list coverage for a trip cancelled due to a pandemic/government lockdown as an eligible cancelation (that will be covered).

However, in a FAQ guide that Amex released, it states that coverage will only apply if you or an immediate family member is sick with COVID or in quarantine, but not if the trip is canceled due to government restrictions or an uptick of COVID cases at the destination.

Bottom line

Trip is canceled due to you or an immediate family member being sick with COVID or in quarantine? Eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to a government lockdown? Not eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to the airline not flying? Not eligible for coverage, but you can dispute the charge with the credit card issuer

Citi

No Citi credit card currently offers trip cancellation insurance.

Capital One

Some Capital One cards offer coverage for trip cancellation. The coverage is pretty limited and will only cover non-refundable travel expenses on common carriers. You can check out which Capital One card includes trip cancellation insurance here.

Will Capital One cover a pandemic?

Capital One offers very limited trip cancelation and trip interruption insurance on a few of their credit cards. It doesn’t even cover trips that are canceled due to extreme weather conditions or terrorist acts (which most other coverages do). Unfortunately, it will not cover government lockdowns including COVID. Further in their terms, Capital One excludes a virus from the list of eligible sickness that are covered, so I believe that cancels out someone that’s sick with COVID.

Bottom line

Trip is canceled due to you or an immediate family member being sick with COVID or in quarantine? Not eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to a government lockdown? Not eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to the airline not flying? Not eligible for coverage, but you can dispute the charge with the credit card issuer

Barclays

Barclays offers trip cancellation insurance on many of their credit cards. Barclays trip cancelation insurance will cover non-refundable travel on common carriers.

Will Barclays cover a pandemic?

Barclays does not list canceled trips due to a pandemic or government lockdown as an eligible cancellation reason. But they do list being in quarantine as eligible.

Bottom line

If the trip is canceled due to you or an immediate family member being sick with COVID or in quarantine? Eligible for coverage

If the trip is canceled due to a government lockdown? Not eligible for coverage

If the trip is canceled due to the airline not flying? Not eligible for coverage, but you can dispute the charge with the credit card issuer

Wells Fargo

Some Wells Fargo cards offer coverage for trip cancellation. The coverage is pretty limited and will only cover non-refundable travel expenses on common carriers. You can check out which Wells Fargo cards include trip cancellation insurance here.

Will Wells Fargo cover a pandemic?

You’ll only get coverage if your trip was canceled for one of these reasons: death, accidental injury, disease or physical illness, or default of a common carrier resulting from financial distress. Unfortunately, it does not seem that a pandemic is an eligible cancellation reason for coverage to apply.

Bottom line

Trip is canceled due to you or an immediate family member being sick with COVID or in quarantine? Eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to a government lockdown? Not eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to the airline not flying? Not eligible for coverage, but you can dispute the charge with the credit card issuer.

Discover

No Discover credit card currently offers trip cancellation insurance.

US Bank

Some US Bank cards offer coverage for trip cancellation. The coverage is pretty limited and will only cover non-refundable travel expenses on common carriers if travel is canceled due to death, accidental injury, disease or physical illness, or default of a common carrier resulting from financial distress. You can check out which US Bank cards include trip cancellation insurance here.

Will US Bank cover a pandemic?

Coverage will only apply if your trip was canceled for one of these reasons: death, accidental injury, disease or physical illness, or default of common carriers resulting from financial distress. Unfortunately, it does not seem that a pandemic is an eligible cancellation reason for coverage to apply.

Bottom line

Trip is canceled due to you or an immediate family member being sick with COVID or in quarantine? Eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to a government lockdown? Not eligible for coverage.

Trip is canceled due to the airline not flying? Not eligible for coverage, but you can dispute the charge with the credit card issuer.

If you can’t travel, I hope your insurance will cover your cancellation. But if you can travel, then safe travels!

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Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

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