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Editor’s note: This article is part of our weekly column to answer your credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at [email protected]

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused one of the greatest disruptions in commercial travel, with unprecedented restrictions and a number of well-known airlines filing for bankruptcy protection. Whether or not you personally had a trip impacted by the pandemic, now is a great time to study up on trip cancellation insurance benefits offered by many top travel rewards cards.

TPG reader Vin reached out to ask whether award tickets would qualify under this coverage …

If you book a flight with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, do they still offer travel protection?


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First, the bad news: Most insurance plans probably won’t reimburse you for coronavirus-related travel mishaps. This holds true whether your plan is included with your Chase credit card, or was purchased from a third-party underwriter.

Related: Be careful: Avoiding outbreaks isn’t covered by most travel insurance

With that said, cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve) still feature some of the most generous travel insurance policies. Depending on the card, you may enjoy coverage for trip delays, cancellations, baggage losses and car rental damage or theft.

Related: TPG’s comprehensive guide to independent travel insurance — including coronavirus coverage

In addition, the circumstances under which these policies kick in are extremely generous as well. If you find your trip canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, you’ll be eligible for reimbursement through Chase if either of the following is true:

  • Some portion of the cost has been charged to your Chase credit card.
  • You used Ultimate Rewards to pay for all or part of your trip.

Chase is incredibly generous in this regard, as many other issuers require you to pay for the entire trip with your card in order to receive coverage, and/or they don’t extend coverage to travel booked using points.

Related: The ultimate guide to Chase pay with points

You’ll be reimbursed for the monetary value of the redemption (or 1 cent per point if the value doesn’t appear on your itinerary or confirmation). Coverage is capped at $10,000 per trip. Unfortunately, after a large number of airline bankruptcies over the last few years (even before the pandemic began), Chase changed the policy so that “financial insolvency of the travel supplier” is no longer covered:

graphical user interface, text, application, email: (Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

© The Points Guy
(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Chase does provide a few examples of what counts as a covered event, but if you’re not sure you can always call the number on the back of your card and ask to speak to a benefits administrator:

Related: Why you should consider an airline with free COVID-19 insurance

graphical user interface, text: (Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

© The Points Guy
(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Bottom line

As the coronavirus pandemic has ripped through the travel industry with unprecedented speed, causing travel disruptions, many people struggled to get the refunds or insurance coverage they were entitled to.

Let this serve as a reminder that the best time to learn about your credit card’s travel insurance policies is before you actually have to use them. The good news for Chase cardholders is that your trip will be covered even if you pay with points, although there are a number of COVID-19-related exceptions.

Thanks for the question, Vin, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at tips@thepointsguy.com.

Related: What happens if you test positive for COVID-19 and can’t fly back to the US?

Additional reporting by Chris Dong. 

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy. 

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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