Chase offers free trip delay insurance on several cards. With Amex it is $9.95, requiring enrollment of a card which then auto-charges for each air ticket, and even then their benefit is less generous than Chase.
That was my pain in the wallet morning lesson reading Deals We Like’s Stranded by Sandy.
I took wife and mother-in-law to Orlando this past weekend and our Monday return to New York is currently a very tentative Thursday. We count ourselves lucky to be safe and out of the storm, yet it is no fun to be paying additional hotel nights, car rental days, and meals.
It turns out I quite stupidly booked my Delta airfare with my Delta Platinum Business Amex, working on the minimum spend. Chasing a few miles, and not paying attention to card coverages, is costing me dearly. If I had booked with one of several Chase cards that provide trip delay insurance, I would have be eligible for up to $300 per ticket for lodging and meals. The cards are Hyatt Visa, Ink, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Marriott Rewards and Rewards Premier, Sapphire and Sapphire Preferred, United MileagePlus Club and Explorer.
Key lessons for me and you:
- Understand card benefits – Chase makes it quite difficult to locate this information online, even to verify if a certain card has this benefit.
- Keep the paper terms mailed with your card – the coverage details are typically not online for any cards.
- Consider coverages like trip delay, not just card category bonuses and meeting minimum spends, when booking travel.
- If trip delays happen, make sure to use the same card as used for the airfare to pay for hotels and meals, as this is typically required for credit card insurance coverages.
So, now I am out big for buying Delta tickets with the Delta Amex. I won’t make that mistake again. And have paid for hotels and meals with a Chase card so it is a real stretch to think Amex will help, despite their unspecific broadcast email to help with Sandy issues. No reason Chase should help, but maybe will give them a try, their customer service is often so good.
Also note, that while I still don’t have a Chase card with Ultimate Rewards, those that do can book through their portal for 3x on airfare.