Credit Card Trip Reimbursement Policies

Information about Credit Card Trip Reimbursement Policies

Chase’s Trip Delay Reimbursement benefits. But it seems like I’m always running into people who’re pleasantly surprised to learn that Chase will cover up to $500 in expenses incurred by an extended flight delay. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share the basics of how you might be able to take advantage of this benefit on your next trip.

In a nut-shell: If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

Common Carrier will likely be an airline in most cases, but includes any company charged with the direct responsibility of transporting you (e.g., Greyhound, Amtrak, etc.).

When you’re covered by Credit Card Trip Reimbursement

  • Your trip is delayed more than 12 hours. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen too often.
  • Your trip is delayed so that it requires an overnight stay. This happens all the time. Have you ever missed your connection and been stranded in an airport overnight because your first leg was delayed? Or had inclement weather put your travel plans on indefinite hold? You’re covered.


What is covered by Credit Card Trip Reimbursement:

  • Up to $500 in reasonable expenses per ticket – as long as at least a portion of all tickets was charged to an eligible card and the ticket is for an immediate family member.
  • This means that if you purchase two tickets on your eligible card, one for you and one for your spouse, you are collectively eligible to file a claim for up to $1,000 in reimbursements!
  • Reasonable expenses include hotel accommodation, meals, ground transportation, necessary toiletries, and so on.

This benefit is the most useful when your airline refuses to provide meal/hotel vouchers because the cause of the delay is outside its control (i.e., inclement weather). However, it can also be useful if you just want to skip a long customer service queue or would rather stay someplace nicer downtown when your airline offers to put you up in a nightmarish airport motel.


How to get covered by credit card trip reimbursement:

  • Charge at least a portion of your fare to an eligible card. Eligible cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire – as well as a number of other Chase-branded Visa Signature cards.
  • This means that award tickets are also covered as long as you charge the taxes and fees to your card.
  • Be traveling round-trip and not know about any delay in advance of your departure (i.e. if your airline cancels flights in advance and tells you to stay home, you should).

To file a claim with your credit card company, you’ll need:

  • An airline receipt showing that the fare was charged to your eligible card.
  • Your credit card statement specifically showing the charge made to the airline.
  • A copy of your tickets. More specifically, the ticket for your original trip as well as the ticket for your delayed trip.
  • Receipts for incurred expenses. Alcohol and gratuities are excluded.
  • A statement from your airline explaining why your trip was delayed. I recommend requesting a military excuse while you’re still at the airport.

After submitting this information electronically, all of my trip delay claims have been approved within a week, and I’ve received a check in the mail within two weeks after that.

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