If your travel plans have been derailed by Hurricane Irma, you may be eligible for a refund through your credit card.
Some of the best travel rewards credit cards come with trip cancellation insurance, and severe weather — like a Category 5 hurricane — counts, although the terms and reimbursement amounts vary by issuer and card.
If you have to cancel your plans, it’s nice to know that in many cases you can get some, if not all of your money back. Typically there are steps you have to follow when you file a travel insurance claim, so be sure to follow the rules laid out in your card’s benefits guide.
How coverage works
For example, if you booked your travel plans on a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, and you have to change your plans due to Irma, you are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $10,000 per covered trip up to a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence.
But you have to file your claim within 20 days of cancelling your plans and you have to complete the paperwork sent to you by a benefits administrator within 90 days of receiving it.
Eligible Citibank cards are covered for up to $5,000 and they have to request a claim form within 60 days of cancellation and have it completed and returned within 180 days of the cancellation.
Any time you file a claim for trip cancellation, you’ll have to submit copies of receipts. Hang onto any paper tickets, emails or other confirmation of your plans as you’ll likely need to submit copies along with your claim forms.
Keep in mind that many airlines, hotels and cruise lines have their own reimbursement policies due to severe weather so it’s worth checking with them first before filing a claim with your credit card. It’s worth noting that none of the American Express cards offer trip cancellation insurance.
Card issuer policies
Here is a list of the most popular cards that offer this benefit.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Cardholders and their immediate family members are covered, even if the cardholder is not traveling with them. The policy covers up to $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per occurrence. Maximum benefit is $40,000 per 12-month period.
The United Mileage Plus Club Card: Reimbursement up to $10,000.
The United Mileage Plus Explorer Card: Reimbursement “up to the benefit level.”
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: Reimbursement up to $10,000 per trip.
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature: Reimbursement up to $5,000 per trip.
Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: Reimbursement up to $5,000 per covered traveler per trip.
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card: Reimbursement up to $5,000 per covered traveler per trip.