How I saved $ 273 on delayed travel with my credit card travel insurance


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In October 2021, my husband and I took our children to Italy for a two week vacation during their school’s fall break. For the most part our trip went off without a hitch, including renting a car.

During our 15 day trip we spent time in Rome, Florence, Verona and the Lake Como area with day trips to destinations like Orvieto, Assisi and Sirmione. It was the perfect time to explore ancient monuments and enjoy Italian culture while the weather was still good.

At the end of the trip, we all tested negative for Covid-19 and boarded the first flight of our trip from Milan, Italy (MXP) to Newark, New Jersey (EWR) before continuing to our home in Indianapolis ( IND). I thought everything went perfectly when we left Milan – and it does. But I had no idea what was going to happen when we landed in the United States.

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When we got to Newark, we learned that our flight back to Indianapolis had been delayed by five hours, which meant we couldn’t leave for Indianapolis until at least 8:00 PM.

I then received a text from United that our return flight had been canceled due to mechanical issues. After a few trips back and forth, United were able to find us four seats on a flight to Indianapolis the next day. But, we still had about 24 hours to burn in Newark until we could get on that plane.

The airline arranged for us to stay at a nearby airport hotel and sent us away. At the end of the day, it left us in Newark, New Jersey, with no food and no way to get around. Worse yet, our luggage was still checked with the airline, so we had no clothes or toiletries.

Fortunately, I knew I had paid the taxes and airline fees for our return flights to United with my favorite travel credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Because I had put the taxes and fees of this reward reservation on my Sapphire stash, I had the full protection of Chase Travel Insurance, including its generous built-in travel delay reimbursement coverage.

With Sapphire Reserve Travel Delay Coverage, cardholders can receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred during a delay of at least six hours or requiring an overnight stay. This coverage is valid for up to $ 500 per ticket, which can save you a lot if you are traveling with a large family.

While United Airlines covered the cost of our hotel for the night, I knew we were covered for the additional costs of our food and transportation, thanks to Sapphire Reserve travel delay protection.

With the peace of mind that comes from knowing we had travel delay reimbursement on hand, we ended up spending the following in our 24 hours in Newark:

  • $ 40 in Uber rides to and from the hotel
  • $ 86 on lunch for four people
  • $ 101 on dinner for four people, including delivery costs
  • $ 46 on breakfast for four at the airport

In total, the unexpected 24 hours in Newark cost us $ 273.

Chase allows cardholders to submit a travel delay claim online. This means that I did not have to speak to an agent to explain the situation. Instead, I was able to upload all of my documentation directly to a portal.

When completing the refund request, I provided the claims department with the following information:

  • Documentation from United Airlines showing our return flight was delayed overnight (in this case a screenshot of a text message I received from the airline)
  • Dated receipts for all our refundable purchases
  • A credit card statement showing that I covered taxes and airfare with my Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • A statement from my United MileagePlus account showing that I have used miles to cover the cost of flights
  • A written statement explaining my relationship with my husband and children

After I submitted my complaint to Chase, I waited a few weeks for a response. Since I didn’t hear back, I called customer service to see if more information was needed. The rep said the issuer was mired in complaints and overdue, but was still able to review my complaint and get it approved the next morning.

In the end, I received all of the $ 273 sent to me in the form of a check in the mail.

woman at kitchen counter on laptop budgeting

While having a credit card with travel insurance didn’t save me from spending $ 273 in this case, that cost could easily have increased to $ 500 or more if our hotel had not been covered by the company. air – or if we found ourselves stranded longer before we could fly home.

Either way, it’s easy to take advantage of credit card travel insurance as the only requirement is to pay for the trip on a common carrier with your card. When you pay for a trip with your credit card, the built-in insurance coverage offered by your card becomes available.

In addition to travel delay protection, Sapphire Reserve also offers Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance. If you pay for a trip and it is canceled or shortened due to illness, extreme weather or other covered conditions, you may be reimbursed up to $ 10,000 per person and $ 20,000 per trip. for prepaid and non-refundable travel expenses.

The Sapphire Reserve also offers other protections, such as travel accident insurance (up to $ 1,000,000), lost baggage reimbursement (up to $ 3,000 per passenger), evacuation and transportation. emergency (up to $ 100,000); and rental car collision damage (up to $ 75,000).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $ 4,000 in the first three months of card opening. In addition to the bonus, you will earn points for every dollar spent on the card – 10x points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5x points on air travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on trips and meals and 1x points on everything else. You’ll also get these valuable insurance protections when you pay for travel with the card, which can save you money in the long run.

There are many other travel cards that also offer travel insurance benefits – you can see a full list here. But the Sapphire Reserve is the best overall card for travel protection, providing a level of convenience when your travel plans go wrong.

Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which CNN Underscored cards chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.


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