Life is full of all kinds of uncertainties. That is why it’s important to always be prepared. When booking a vacation, most people will put in a lot of time planning where they are going to stay or how they will get to their destination. The last thing they want is for something to go wrong and have their trip delayed or, even worse, canceled. Unfortunately, it happens to travelers all of the time for a variety of reasons. 

If the cause of delay is something that is out of the airline's control, the airline is not at fault and, ultimately, not obligated to provide any assistance to travelers. So what happens if your flight is delayed due to a snowstorm and you have a hotel reservation that is non-refundable? Most might think that they're out of luck. However, If you paid for your trip with a credit card, that isn’t necessarily the case. Depending on the card you used to book your trip, you might be covered with travel protection benefits.

Trip Delay or Interruption/Cancelation Coverage

If you find yourself facing a travel delay, you may be covered up to $500 for food and any lodging that is non-refundable. The amount of time before your trip insurance kicks in depends on the card.

Trip cancelation insurance is ideal for anyone who needs to cancel a trip because they fall sick or become injured. Trip interruption insurance is ideal for severe weather that shuts down flights for 24 hours or more. Depending on the credit card that you use, this benefit could be worth as much as $10,000 for each covered trip.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cards featuring trip delay and interruption/cancelation insurance. (For more, see: Credit Cards With Travel Insurance.)

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred, issued by Chase Bank USA, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase and Co. (JPM), offers cardholders the following benefits:

  • Trip Delayed Insurance: Up to $500 if delayed 12 hours or more
  • Trip Interruption/Cancelation Insurance: Coverage up to $5,000 per person or up to $10,000 per trip

In addition to this benefit, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is also one of the best rewards credit cards, offering 40,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after the cardholder spends $5,000 in the first three months.

Citi Executive AAdvantage Card

Citi Executive AAdvantage issued by Citibank, a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc. (C), has the following benefits:

  • Trip Delayed Insurance: Up to $500 if delayed three hours or more
  • Trip Interruption/Cancelation Insurance: Coverage up to $5,000 per person

If you fly American Airlines (AAL) or any of their OneWorld Alliance partners, then the Citi Executive AAdvantage card is a great choice. The standard sign-up bonus is 50,000 miles after the initial spend, however right now Citi is offering 75,000 AAdvantage miles after the cardholder spends $7,500 in the first three months.

Chase Ink Plus Business Card

Most of the credit cards that include trip insurance are personal cards. There are a few select business cards that have the travel insurance benefits, including the Chase Ink Plus business card. Chase offers its cardholders the following benefit amounts:

  • Trip Delayed Insurance: Up to $500 if delayed 12 hours or more.
  • Trip Interruption/Cancelation Insurance: Coverage up to $5,000 for each eligible trip.

The Chase Ink Plus card is one of the most popular business cards because it offers five times the points on Internet, cable, cell phone and at office supply stores. Cardholders also receive 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after they spend $5,000 in the first three months. (See also, Surprising Credit Card Benefits.)

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

The last card on the list offering coverage for qualified trips that are delayed, interrupted or canceled is the United MileagePlus Explorer card. It provides the following benefits to its cardholders:

  • Trip Delayed Insurance: Up to $500 if delayed 12 hours or more
  • Trip Interruption/Cancelation Insurance: Coverage up to $10,000 for each eligible trip

The Bottom Line

No one wants their vacation to be delayed or interrupted, but when you use an eligible credit card you can have peace of mind knowing that some or all of your expenses will be reimbursed if your trip doesn’t go as planned.