Trip Cancellation Insurance For Any Reason?

Q: It seems like trip cancellation insurance is a common free benefit on travel cards. Do they cover you for any reason if you cancel?

A: As you point out it’s a common benefit and you will even find it on some of the free travel credit card deals. Although the rules and exclusions will vary by issuer, credit card trip cancellation insurance typically works something like this:

1. Only “Common Carrier” transportation qualifies. That consists of passenger planes, trains, cruises, etc. Driving somewhere yourself is not Common Carrier transportation.

2. You must have paid for the trip in full using your card. For example, if you paid for half the trip with cash and half with your credit card, you won’t be covered.

3. You can’t cancel for any reason. Only some circumstances qualify. Check with the issuer but typically you are covered if there is a sudden illness or injury (happening to yourself, your travel partner under the same reservation, or an immediate family member you have to care for). Please note that pre-existing medical conditions won’t qualify.

If any of these things happen and they prevent you to travel, then there’s a good chance you are covered. If someone in your immediate family dies and you need to attend their funeral, that’s typically covered too.

4. The maximum amount of coverage is usually around $1,500 to $3,000. If your trip costs more than that, you won’t be reimbursed for reimbursed for the difference.

5. Credit card trip cancellation insurance is secondary to other forms of reimbursed. For example, if the hotel agrees to refund the money, don’t expect the credit card company to pay you for it too. If you have any other travel insurance plans, you will need to make a claim on them first.

But I want coverage to cancel for any reason!

You won’t get that from a credit card but you can buy a policy elsewhere. These plans usually run into the hundreds.

example cancellation insurance quotes

The above is an example quote I ran for a $3,000 trip with coverage for myself only.

Trip cancellation insurance for any reason like this requires you to purchase it shortly after booking your trip (usually within 15 or 21 days) and if end up having to cancel, you might have to give a 48 hour notice before your departure date.

Another caveat to keep in mind is that the cancel for any reason policies might not be available to cover the full price of your trip; coverage may only be for 75% (or less) to discourage you from making a claim.


There are no credit cards that offer “for any reason” trip cancellation insurance, but you can buy it on your own. The catch is that it doesn’t come cheap and you probably won’t be getting coverage for the full price of your trip.

Meanwhile when it comes to credit cards that might provide free trip cancellation coverage on qualifying travel purchases in the event of sickness, injury, and death, here are a few you may wish to check out. Consult the given issuer for Restrictions, Terms & Conditions.

Written or last updated August 17, 2013

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Buy your “cancel for any reason” travel insurance through your travel agent or through a travel company. Remember that Medicare is not accepted outside the USA. The cancel for any reason includes medical insurance and up to $25000.00 to get you back to USA if you become ill.

The travel insurance that comes with credit cards is typically minimal and very hard to collect on. After checking reviews on companies that offer travel insurance (not connected with a credit card) which covers medical evacuation and trip cancellation for certain reasons (some for almost any reason), the majority get bad reviews from those who have tried to collect. Insurance that doesn’t pay is just a waste of money, so be sure to check reviews before purchasing.