One thing that can quickly (and frustratingly) ruin your travel plans is a severe storm. For one thing, you want your trip to be safe. But on the other hand, you really want to get to your destination and you hate being stuck in an airport longer than necessary.
Often times, there is not much you can do as a tired and retarded traveler other than mentally prepare for a long day of travel. Then take out your credit card to lessen the hits whenever possible.
Although your credit card can’t exactly rescue you from a storm, it can offer some help. Read on for some credit card tips to use if your flight is delayed due to bad weather.
But first: book the right flights from the start
In general, to increase your chances of reaching your destination as planned, get a ticket for an early morning flight whenever possible. That way, you have more flight options if yours is delayed.
Pay attention to the local weather patterns of the relevant airports. For example, afternoon thunderstorms are common in mountainous areas like Denver, and the morning fog surrounding the San Francisco airport has long been a culprit for travel disruptions.
Book nonstop flights instead of layover options to lessen the chances of inclement weather affecting your plans.
Check if your credit card has travel delay insurance
Hopefully, you bought your plane ticket with a credit card that offers travel delay insurance.
Travel delay insurance generally covers your expenses if your trip is delayed for more than a specified number of hours due to weather conditions. See your policy for more details; Many credit cards with this coverage will reimburse your food and lodging expenses during your delay.
Nerd Tip: Always read your policy documents to understand what “delay” criteria qualify for coverage and what types of reimbursement are actually covered.
Maximize your spending limit with care
To make the most of a stormy delay, consider how much money a card company is willing to refund you. For example, him Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardTrip delay coverage reimburses up to $ 500 for each ticket purchased. Meanwhile, The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders receive up to $ 1,000 in flight delay coverage. Terms apply.
While spending free money may feel like you’re living large, be careful not to accidentally overspend. For example, if you’re stuck overseas and the next flight doesn’t leave for a few days, you might run out of your spending limit pretty quickly.
Know if your family is also covered
Certain credit cards will extend your travel reimbursement coverage not only to cardholders, but to their families as well. We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardTravel delay reimbursement for this benefit: Your spouse or partner and any dependent children age 22 or younger are entitled to a reimbursement of $ 500 per ticket, per trip.
You may not need to charge the expenses to the same credit card
If you pay close attention to the fine print on your travel delay insurance policy, you may not have to use the same credit card that you used to make the reservation to cover expenses incurred during the travel delay. You will send receipts for reimbursement, but they do not necessarily have to be charged to the card you are claiming coverage on.
Make the delay work for you and your points strategies by being smart about the credit cards you use for different purchases during the storm.
The bottom line
Weathering the storm is never fun, but by purchasing smart flights with the right credit card, you can be ready to enjoy your next delay rebate and make the most of a rainy, snowy, or delayed travel day. If you don’t have a credit card that offers built-in travel insurance protections, you might consider buying one comprehensive independent policy before your trip.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for best travel credit cards of 2021, including the best ones for: