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Trip delay insurance: Your ticket to a hotel room when your flight cancels

Trip delay insurance, also known as trip delay reimbursement, or trip delay protection, is a credit card benefit that can cover the cost of a hotel, meals, and other expenses if your flight, train, or other common carrier transportation is delayed.

Here’s what you need to know about credit card trip delay insurance.

Best cards for trip delay insurance coverage

Here are the best cards for trip delay insurance coverage. These cards aren’t the only cards offering coverage, but they are the best, either because they offer the most comprehensive coverage or because they offer excellent coverage and have a low annual fee. See more on Amex, Bank of America, and Chase cards that offer this coverage below.

CardOur takeCoverage details
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
Annual fee: $550
Best coverage for the most people: $500 of coverage for you, your spouse, and children under 26 when you are delayed more than 6 hours or overnight.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card offers the most generous trip delay insurance coverage among Chase cards because it kicks in after only 6 hours.

More on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card.
Covered delay: 6 hours or overnight.

Coverage limits: $500 per ticket.

Covered people: Cardholder, spouse, children under 26.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card card art
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee: $395
Excellent coverage for your family: $500 of coverage for you, your spouse and children under 18 when you are delayed more than 6 hours or overnight.

The Venture X offers a generous trip delay insurance policy that almost matches the Chase Sapphire Reserve, on a card with a more attractive annual fee.

More on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Covered delay: 6 hours or overnight.

Coverage limits: $500 per ticket.

Covered people: Cardholder, spouse, children under 18 and children under 25 if enrolled as a full-time student.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
Annual fee: $400
Excellent coverage for your family: $500 of coverage for you, your spouse and children under 18 when you are delayed more than 6 hours or overnight.

The Altitude Reserve also offers 6 hour/overnight trip delay insurance at a more attractive price point than the Sapphire Reserve.

More on the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve.
Covered delay: 6 hours or overnight.

Coverage limits: $500 per ticket.

Covered people: Cardholder, spouse, children under 18 and children under 25 if enrolled as a full-time student.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card card art
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
Coverage for overnight delays with no annual fee: No annual fee card offering $500/person trip delay reimbursement that covers overnight stays.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card’s trip delay reimbursement benefit kicks in only after a 12 hour delay (or overnight stay) but it is notable because it is one of the few cards offing this benefit with no annual fee.

More on the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
Covered delay: 12 hours or overnight.

Coverage limits: $500 per ticket.

Covered people: Cardholder, spouse, children under 26.
The best cards for Trip Delay Reimbursement

Additional cards that offer trip delay reimbursement

These cards offer some form of trip delay insurance. If you carry one of the cards from our best list, you should book your travel with one of those cards for the best coverage. But if you don’t hold one of the best cards for trip delay insurance, charging your airline, train, or bus travel to one of these cards is a smart move.

American Express trip delay insurance: Lots of limitations and hoops

American Express offers trip delay insurance on select premium cards, but that trip delay protection comes with a long list of limitations. First, the insurance only covers round trip travel—you must start and end your trip at the same place—and you must charge your entire travel cost to your card. The benefit limits are cumulative across all travelers on a trip, not per person, and you’re limited to 2 claims per rolling 12 months. Finally, with Amex trip delay insurance, you do not get automatic coverage for overnight delays—your delay must be longer than 6 or 12 hours to get coverage.

Here are the cards that offer American Express trip delay insurance. Learn more about Amex trip delay insurance from our article covering that benefit.

CardCovered delayCoverage limits
The Platinum Card® from American Express card art
The Platinum Card® from American Express
More than 6 hours.$500 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
American Express® Gold Card card art
American Express® Gold Card
More than 12 hours.$300 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
More than 6 hours.$500 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
More than 12 hours.$300 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card card art
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
More than 6 hours.$500 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card card art
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
More than 6 hours.$500 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express card art
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
More than 6 hours.$500 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
American Express® Business Gold Card card art
American Express® Business Gold Card
More than 12 hours.$300 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
More than 6 hours.$500 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
More than 12 hours.$300 per covered trip.
2 claims per card per rolling 12 months.
American Express cards with Trip Delay Insurance

Chase trip delay reimbursement: Coverage for overnight delays and generous per-person limits

Chase Trip Delay Reimbursement can pay you back when you incur necessary expenses if you are delayed 12 hours (on most cards) or overnight. Coverage limits are generally $500 and are limited per ticket, not per trip. Each eligible traveler can receive up to $500 of expense reimbursements.

You’ll get coverage for you, your spouse/domestic partner, and your legally dependent children under 26 when you charge all or a portion of a common carrier fare to your credit card or use the rewards associated with your account to pay for a trip.

Here are the cards that have Chase Trip Delay Reimbursement coverage. See our article on Chase Trip Delay Reimbursement for more details.

CardCovered delayCoverage limits
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual fee: $95
More than 12 hours or
overnight stay.
$500 per ticket.
One claim per person, per covered trip.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual fee: $550
More than 6 hours or
overnight stay.
$500 per ticket.
One claim per person, per covered trip.
Aeroplan® Credit Card card art
Aeroplan® Credit Card
Annual fee: $95
More than 12 hours or
overnight stay.
$500 per ticket.
One claim per person, per covered trip.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card card art Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card card art Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card card art
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card

Annual fees vary.
More than 12 hours or
overnight stay.
$500 per ticket.
One claim per person, per covered trip.
United℠ Explorer Card card art United Quest℠ Card card art
United Club℠ Infinite Card card art United℠ Business Card card art United Club℠ Business Card card art
United℠ Explorer Card
United Quest℠ Card
United Club℠ Infinite Card
United℠ Business Card
United Club℠ Business Card

Annual fees vary.
More than 12 hours or
overnight stay.
$500 per ticket.
One claim per person, per covered trip.
Credit cards that offer Chase Trip Delay Reimbursement.

What is trip delay reimbursement?

Trip delay reimbursement, also known as trip delay protection or trip delay insurance is meant to reimburse you for additional expenses you incur when your airline, or other common carrier travel is delayed for certain covered reasons. Covered reasons generally include equipment failure, weather, strikes, and hijacking. If an airline delay causes you to stay in another city overnight, trip delay protection can pay for your hotel room, meals, toiletries, and other necessary expenses.

You must charge your airfare or other common carrier fare to your eligible card to be covered. While trip delay reimbursement can cover additional incidentals like hotel stays, meals and transportation, it won’t cover items like prepaid hotel bookings, cruise bookings, or tour bookings that you miss out on because of your travel delay.

How to get trip delay reimbursement coverage

If your card offers trip delay reimbursement coverage, you become eligible for the coverage when you charge your common carrier fare, such as airfare or train tickets, to your eligible credit card account. Some carriers require to charge your entire fare to your eligible card.

American Express requires that you charge the full amount of your ticket to the card and that your trip be round-trip, starting and ending at a single city of departure. In addition, you can use points from your credit card account, plus vouchers, coupons and discounts from frequent flyer programs to pay for your ticket.

Most other coverages, including the trip delay reimbursement offered by Chase, Capital One, and U.S. Bank only require you to charge a portion of your ticket to your eligible card or use the rewards associated with your card account to pay for the ticket.

Understanding trip delay reimbursement coverage

Trip delay reimbursement policy terms differ by credit card. That means it’s important to understand the basics of your coverage when you are shopping for a credit card and before you book your trip. For full details, you should read your guide to benefits, but here are the essential terms to compare when shopping for trip delay protection.

When does trip delay insurance apply?

If you’ve booked a trip with your card that has a trip delay insurance benefit and your travel is delayed, your incidental expenses may be covered if both of the following are true:

  • The delay is long enough, usually 6-12 hours depending on the policy. Most cards cover you if you have to stay overnight, regardless of the delay length. Amex requires that you delay be a specified number of hours, even if you are delayed overnight.
  • The delay is for one of the covered reasons, which usually include weather, mechanical failure, a strike, or a hijacking. Note that most cards don’t have crew delays as a covered reason—if your flight is canceled or delayed because or an airline scheduling mishap, you should seek to have the airline cover your expenses.
  • You are eligible to receive reimbursement under the policy. Usually credit card trip delay insurance covers you, your spouse/domestic partner, and your children. Some policies cover adult children who are full-time students or traveling companions.

Each card issuer has its own policy about when trip delay reimbursement kicks in, so be sure to check you card’s guide to benefits if you are unsure of when trip delay reimbursement applies.

How much does trip delay reimbursement cover?

Trip delay reimbursement insurance comes with limits on coverage. No, you’re not be able to parlay your trip delay into a stay at the Fairmont and a dinner at a three Michelin star restaurant. But the coverage amounts should be sufficient to cover accommodation at a reasonable airport hotel, plus a few meals. Most policies have a $300-$500 coverage limit per ticket purchased.

Per-trip or per-ticket coverage limits

Sometimes coverage limits apply per ticket, meaning that each eligible person in your party can incur that amount of expenses. But sometimes coverage limits apply per trip, meaning that the total of everyone’s expenses is limited to that amount.

This may not make much difference if you are a solo traveler. But if you’re traveling with your family, those limits can become pretty meaningful quickly. If you are traveling with a family of four, having a per-ticket coverage limit means you can be reimbursed for expenses, up to $500 per person. This might be the difference between staying in the lowest-end airport hotel and a comfortable hotel or getting the kids their own room for the night.

Annual limits on coverage

The trip delay reimbursement benefit that comes with most Visa card does not have an annual limit on coverage, but rather limits you to $500 per eligible ticket purchased with the card. Most credit card issuers offering trip delay reimbursement coverage offer coverage through Visa Infinite.

American Express trip delay insurance limits the number of claims you can make to 2 claims per eligible card, per 12 consecutive month period. If you travel frequently, be aware of this limitation if you’re planning on purchasing your ticket with your American Express card.

Who is covered?

When you book a trip with an eligible card with trip protection, you can be protected against expenses you incur if your flight is delayed or canceled, but what about those traveling with you? What about your family?

In most cases, trip delay protection coverage extends to your family members, even if they are not traveling with you. And with American Express, non-family traveling companions traveling with you can get coverage for their expenses as well.

Be aware that how a trip delay protection policy defines “family” varies. Some policies include your spouse or domestic partner in family, plus dependent children living with you. Sometimes policies cover your children up to a specific age. Sometimes this age is higher if your child is a full-time student. Check your card’s guide to benefits to make sure you know who is covered under your card’s policy.

How to file a claim

Claims against trip delay reimbursement insurance will be handled by a benefit administrator. Details about how to contact the benefit administrator can be found in your card’s Guide to Benefits or by calling your credit card customer service. In most cases, you can initiate your claim online.

Type of card you holdHow to file your claim
American ExpressStart your claim by phone by calling 1-844-933-0648.
Visa Infinite
(Serviced by Card Benefit Services)
File your claim online at http://www.eclaimsline.com.
Start your claim by calling 1-800-546-9806.
Call 1-800-348-8472 if you need assistance in Spanish or other languages
How to start a trip delay reimbursement claim

During the claim process, you’ll be required to provide documentation of both the travel delay and the expenses you incurred. At a minimum, you should expect to provide:

  • A statement from your carrier that your trip was delayed
  • Your receipt for your travel purchase and a copy of your credit card account statement
  • Receipts for expenses you are claiming

The benefits administrator may ask you for additional documentation during the claims process.

In most case, you must submit your claim within 30 days of the covered trip delay.

Credit cards offering trip delay reimbursement protection

Here’s a bit more on the best cards that offer trip delay reimbursement protection.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card: The best trip delay insurance protection on a credit card

Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card offers the best trip delay protection of any card we know about. You get $500 of protection per ticket you book with the card or your card’s rewards. Your travel can be one-way or round-trip and you only need to charge a portion of your common carrier ticket to your card to be eligible.

The trip delay reimbursement benefit kicks in after you’ve been delayed for six hours or overnight. You, your spouse or domestic partner and legally dependent children under age 26 are covered if any of you books a ticket using your eligible card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer: 75,000 bonus points after $4,000 of spending in 3 months. (Annual fee: $550)

Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Limited time offer. This welcome offer was recently increased from 60k. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

Best-in-class travel insurance. Airport lounge access. Point transfers to partners. 50% more value for redemptions through Chase Travel℠.

This is an affiliate link.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Excellent trip delay reimbursement on an affordable card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card card art
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers trip delay protection that is almost as good as the Sapphire Reserve. With the Venture X, you’ll get $500 of coverage per purchased ticket and the benefit covers delays of 6 hours or overnight. You, your spouse or domestic partner and children are covered, but the definition of “child” is less generous.

The card’s definition of “child” is also a bit ambiguous. The benefit guide published on 7/15/21 says that dependent children under 22 years of age are covered, but later defines a family members to include legally dependent children under age 18, or under 25 if enrolled as a full-time student. (We will update this post if we see that this is clarified in a future benefit guide.)

The Capital One Venture X is one of our favorite travel credit cards for airport lounge access with a family and offers a robust suite of travel insurance benefits. Learn more in our overview of the Venture X.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offer: 75k miles after spending $4k in 3 months. (Annual fee: $395)

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card card art

Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Get this welcome bonus.

Not nearly as good as the card’s 100k point launch offer, but an above-average bonus when compared to competing cards.

$300 Capital One Travel annual credit. Transferable points. Travel insurance. (More in our card review.)

This is a referral link. All information about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card: Another option to get 6-hour trip delay reimbursement with a lower annual fee

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card gives you $500 of coverage when you book a portion of your ticket using the card. Like the other best cards for trip delay protection, it covers you, your spouse, and your dependent children under 22 years of age. Six-hour or longer delays trigger the trip delay protection on this card.

Your travel can be one-way or round-trip and you only need to charge a portion of your common carrier ticket to your card to be eligible. Tickets you book using your card’s rewards are also covered, which is great because you can get 50% more value from your rewards points when you book travel through the Altitude Rewards Center.

The Altitude Reserve is one of our favorite cards for its generous rewards on mobile wallet purchases. It’s also one of the best cards to use at Costco and a good option if you want occasional airport lounge access. Learn more in our overview of the Altitude Reserve.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $400

This is a direct bank link. All information about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card sign-up bonus

Earn 50,000 bonus points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can get a bigger welcome bonus with several other competing cards with similar annual fees.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
$325 in annual statement credits for travel and dining purchases.
Primary auto rental collision damage waiver.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Trip delay reimbursement.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Extended warranty.
Purchase security.
Return protection.

Rewards:
5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked with the Altitude Rewards Center.
3x on eligible travel purchases.
3x on mobile wallet purchases made with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay.
1x on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as points which can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent apiece, or toward travel at 1.5 cents each.

Learn more:
Learn more about in our review of the Altitude Reserve.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: A no annual fee card offering trip delay reimbursement

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card card art
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card makes our list of the best cards with trip delay insurance because it is one of the few cards with no annual fee that offers the benefit. And it may be the only one that you can get as a new cardmember.

The coverage isn’t as generous as the other cards on the list—you’ll only be covered for delays of 12 hours or that require an overnight delay. But if you’re averse to paying annual fees and you want trip delay reimbursement coverage, the Bonvoy Bold is the card to get.

All of the other Chase-issued Marriott cards that have annual fees offer trip delay reimbursement, so if you’re a Marriott loyalist, you have plenty of options. Take a look at our guide to Marriott cards to find the best Marriott card for you. And be sure you check out the rules for earning Marriott bonuses if you’re planning on picking up a new card.

Frequently asked questions

Can I book a ticket for someone else and have them covered by trip delay reimbursement?

In most cases, tickets you book a for a spouse or dependent child will be covered by trip delay reimbursement. Some Amex cards also provide coverage for non-family traveling companions traveling with you.

Do I have to book a ticket with my eligible credit card to get coverage?

Yes. Trip delay reimbursement insurance applies only when you book your ticket with your eligible credit card and, in many cases, the points you have accumulated with that card.

How much compensation do you get from trip delay insurance?

Trip delay insurance does not provide compensation; it covers necessary expenses. If your trip is delayed, you may be entitled to compensation from your airline, but your trip delay insurance can cover your expenses regardless of your airline compensation rights.

If I book a ticket for my friend, will they get trip delay insurance protection?

Most credit card trip delay insurance protections only cover tickets booked for family members. The exception is if you have a card with Amex trip delay insurance, your friend is traveling with you, and you booked their ticket with your card.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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