TRIP CANCEL GUARD™ is an exciting benefit exclusive to American Express Cardholders that offers up to 75% reimbursement for non-refundable flights booked through their Amex Travel site.
The most significant advantage of this feature is that travelers can book their trips much far in advance, according to when flight tickets are more amenable to their price tolerance. Professionally, this can translate into:
- Book your flights way ahead of time (something that is 3-4 or more months away) if you know you’re getting a great deal.
- Ask for time off afterward. If your time off gets approved, you’re all set!
- In the event your time off gets denied, you may cancel your flight and could get as much as 75% back.
The same principle applies in general too. For example, say you’ve wanted to book a vacation somewhere but aren’t sure if you’d be available on those dates.
A word of caution: Note that TRIP CANCEL GUARD™ is not insurance. This is purely a play for getting your money back if you want to cancel a non-refundable flight — booked through Amex Travel. Although, you may be able to purchase it in addition to insurance.
How Do I Purchase TRIP CANCEL GUARD™?
When booking your flight through the Amex Travel website, AND after inputting traveler(s) details, typically, the next step is that of selecting seats and optionally purchasing trip protections.
TRIP CANCEL GUARD™ is part of the second option under Trip Protections.
Choose your state of residence from the associated dropdown. At that point, the system will generate all of the qualifying “protections” available for your selected flight route.
If TRIP CANCEL GUARD™ is eligible, this is where it would appear. (See screenshot below for a visual reference).
If acceptable, add Trip Cancel Guard as part of your booking, and finish checking out.
A Few Other Tidbits To Know Of
It looks like it is not. I tried to book an international flight to see if it was available, but the option didn’t show up under “Trip Protections.” That said, it might be eligible for some international destinations (unknown).
As of this moment, there are three must-have conditions you need to meet. They are:
A. You’ve booked your flight on the Amex Travel website.
B. You decide to cancel your flight at a minimum of two full calendar days before your departure.
C. You’re using an American Express Card.
I’d advise checking out the FAQs listed under the Amex Site for complete details.
No, you do not. It’s an optional benefit aimed to mitigate the unsurety of travel dates.
No. As long as you’ve booked your travel via the Amex travel site and want to cancel at least two full calendar days before your travel date, you can claim the benefit — if purchased at the time of booking. American Express says you can cancel for any reason with TRIP CANCEL GUARD™. Even for something like you changed your mind.
The cost is calculated based on a certain percentage of the flight price — including taxes and fees. For reference, a $1,068 flight from Los Angeles to Portland — for two adults costs $42.72 per person — if you’re a resident of California. Technically, if you do the math, that comes out to 8% of the cost.
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Getting Reimbursed With TRIP CANCEL GUARD™
After canceling your flight, Amex suggests either leveraging its Digital Claims Center or contacting them over the phone.
Is TRIP CANCEL GUARD™ Worth It?
The answer to this question depends on what kind of perspective you’re working with. If you fall into the bucket of someone who travels quite frequently and are uncertain about your time off and personal availability, it may be worth it — and also if you book your flights by being smart on the prices.
For instance, say you could travel four times out of five successfully. The money lost during the one time you couldn’t travel may still keep you profitable overall (in a manner of speaking) — if you secured excellent deals on the other four trips.
Flight prices can be extremely fickle. And perhaps the most significant hesitation in booking a flight for the dates when prices are in the comfortable range is probably the uncertainty of whether one would truly be able to travel then.
With TRIP CANCEL GUARD™, you can alleviate the dubious nature of not knowing something for sure. Plus, this gives one more reason for consumers to book their flights with American Express.
For full terms and conditions, please check out this PDF.