Trip Cancellation Insurance–Is It a Worthy Credit Card Benefit?

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We usually dismiss miscellaneous credit card benefits brought to us by Visa Signature or Master WorldElite programs. But we shouldn’t. Not all of these benefits are fluff, and not all of them are created equal. One of the cards with amazing benefits is Chase Ritz Carlton that did lose some of its appeal, unfortunately, since it reduced its sign up bonus from 70,000 points to one night at Ritz Carlton. However, in terms of benefits, I think, it’s hard to beat:

Just Got My New Chase Ritz Carlton Card–Is It the Best Reward Card Ever?

Of all the benefits that come with our credit cards, one of the most important and often overlooked, is Trip Cancellation Insurance. A reader, AKA mintcilantro at FT, sent his story and allowed me to share it with the community. 

This was an experience I want to share with our community since there is not a lot of info on this topic. I have attached some benefit guides for your reference.

Here is what happened. Our family decided to travel to Istanbul, so we made some plans

Wife’s flights: revenue ticket using CSP

My flights: FlexPerks award ticket

In laws flights: UA miles. Taxes paid with CSP

Hotel: booked a non refundable stay using Citi Hilton reserve.

We booked tickets in Aug and found in Sep that my wife was pregnant. Doctor advised her not to travel. We got a letter to that effect.  I waited until the last moment to cancel flights because if the schedule changes, one can cancel for free. However, that did not happen, so I cancelled online.

Then I contacted CSP to ask about trip cancellation. They asked me to call 855-276-2410 They asked me some info and gave me a claim #. Then I got this message:

Crawford & Company Inc., a third party administrator, has been assigned to act on behalf of Federal Insurance Company, a member insurer of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies to process your recent claim. Please read the instructions below carefully. – please complete the attached claim form and collect the required supporting documents. – Once completed, you have two options for submitting them. 

  1. For faster service, you can submit all claim documents tohttps://www.myclaimsagent.com. Instructions for using this site can be accessed by clicking the FAQ link at the bottom of the home page.
  2. Or you can mail your documents to us at Claim Benefit Services Branch 6501, P.O. Box 4090, Atlanta, GA 30302. Please DO NOT respond to this email (for your personal data security). We will process your claim as soon as we have received all the required documents. If you have questions or need further assistance, you may reach us at 855-276-2410during the business hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm EST Monday – Friday. 

We filled out the attached form along with the requested documents.

About 2 weeks later, we got a message that our claim had been approved. We got all the cancellation fees refunded. My FlexPerks award ticket was not covered. Since United gave us travel funds, a part of our refund was withheld until we could provide proof that we had not used the funds.

My experience with Citibank was not positive. I have posted on Flyertalk about this:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/24409321-post38.html.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. You are eligible for insurance with CSP even if it is booked on airline miles. However, travel booked with rewards from other banks is not eligible.
  2. Citi Hilton Reserve won’t cover award travel.
  3. Many cards don’t consider a hotel stay as a trip. It needs to involve common carrier. If you are in that situation, make a refundable booking.

CSP had the best coverage out of many cards I checked: Amex SPG, BCP, Barclays Arrival, Citi AA Executive. Chase Fairmont has similar coverage and it definitely provides enough value to justify $95 AF. It’s a better value than CSP.

mintcilantro generously sent me some credit card program guides, so if you have misplaced yours, get them here. 

Chase Sapphire/Sapphire Preferred Benefits

Chase Fairmont Guide to Benefits Trip Cancellation

Barclaycard Arrival WorldElite MasterCard Benefits

Citi Hilton Benefits Citi Guide to Protection Benefits

Citi Mastercard World Elite Executive Benefit Terms and Conditions

 

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