Why You Need Travel Protection


“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” – Chris Bradford

Travel protection is a feature found on some credit cards. It might also be classified as Trip Cancellation and/or Trip Interruption (yes there is a difference) but basically when something bad happens, as long as its a qualifying event, your credit card will reimburse you for some or all of the financial impact as it relates to your trip.

Here are some of the things that may be covered as long as they prevent the start or continuation of your trip:

  • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by the Cardholder, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of the Cardholder or a traveling companion
  • Severe weather
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • Jury duty or a court subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
  • Financial insolvency of the Cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier that

How do you get this coverage applied? Often its as simple as using the right credit card to purchase the trip.

Here’s an example:

Alex and his girlfriend Cintia book a trip to Hawaii but two days before the start of the trip they find out Cintia’s Mother has been rushed to the hospital and have to cancel their Hawaii trip so they can support her Mother’s recovery. With the right card Alex would simply inform his credit card company of the situation and would receive a reimbursement!

How much can he be reimbursed for? While this differs per card its reasonable to see three limits:

  • $ amount per trip
  • $ amount per occurrence
  • $ amount maximum per time period

Let’s say Alex’s card had the following limits:

  • $5,000 per trip
  • $10,000 per occurrence
  • $20,000 per 12-month period in total losses

Let’s also say these were Alex and Cintia’s expenses for the trip:

  • $1,500 Alex’s plane ticket
  • $1,500 Cintia’s plane ticket
  • $1,000 total hotel stays
  • $1,000 car rental reserved
  • $200 Alex diving trip
  • $200 Cintia diving trip
  • Total charges: $5,400

We would expect to see Alex fully reimbursed because this is less than his per occurrence limit!

So what isn’t covered? Its easy to say anything other than what is on the list above, but you might see some of the following items listed:

  • 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 or financial circumstances
  • A pre-existing condition
  • Traveling against the advice of a physician
  • A declared or undeclared war
  • Trips that exceed 60 days in duration are not covered

We all know bad things happen at the most inopportune time; having the right credit card with travel protection is a great way to make sure you can let the good times roll again soon.

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