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Beware, Travelers: “Active Winter” Weather is Predicted

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Are you prepared to travel during the (potentially wild) winter season?

Delta already issued its first winter travel waiver, thanks to a storm expected to dump a foot of snow in parts of the Midwest.

This is a good reminder to start preparing for winter travel. The upcoming months are predicted to bring a “smattering of cruel weather.”

AccuWeather released its winter forecast for this winter. Things really don’t look pleasant for the eastern half of the country. From the sounds of it, temperatures will be c-o-l-d. And if this weekend’s weather is any indicator, there will be plenty of winter storms, too.

Blizzard conditions appear during a winter storm in Fargo, North Dakota, as seen from a car driving north on Interstate 29 near 13th Avenue South.

And even if you live in the west, keep in mind that when travel backs up in the east (or most places, really) it affects pretty much everywhere else.

Here are a few ideas we have to help you deal with winter travel.

Credit Card Trip Delay and Trip Interruption Coverage

Pay for your trip with a credit card that includes trip interruption and travel delay coverage. You can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses accrued during something like a weather delay of at least several hours.

Simply pay for the expenses with whatever card you used to charge your trip.

Keep in mind it says “reasonable expenses.” Treating the family to Ruth’s Chris during your delay probably isn’t the best idea. Same thing with hotels (don’t expect a free Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons stay) and transportation (choose Uber, Lyft, cab, etc. over limousine service.)

Young man sleeping while waiting the plane at airport passenger terminal
(©iStock.com/Turker Minaz)

For Chase, a qualifying delay must be 12 or more hours. Some cards with trip interruption and delay benefits include:

The Chase Ink Business Preferred card

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card (Plus, earn 3x on travel for up to $150,000 in combined purchases each anniversary year)

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve at renespoints.com/csr

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (Plus, earn 3x on travel, $300 annual travel credit and Priority Pass membership)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred travel rewards credit card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

 

With Chase, you don’t need to pay for all of your airfare with an eligible card. Merely a portion of it.

Starting January 1, 2020, select American Express cards will offer trip delay and interruption coverage. However, all of your airfare must be purchased with an eligible American Express card in order for you to use the benefit. (H/T: OMAAT).

Amex cards that will reimburse you up to $500 for delays of six or more hours include:

The Platinum Card from American Express.American Express Platinum Card 

American Express Business Platinum cardAmerican Express Business Platinum Card 

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card 

Hilton Honors Aspire Card 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card

Cards that will reimburse you for delays of 12 or more hours include:

The American Express Gold CardAmerican Express Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold Card.American Express Business Gold Card

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express 

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance also covers delays and interruptions.

Not having travel insurance last year cost me over $600 in medical bills and trip delay costs. (Separate incidents.)

Winter ice causes slips, trips, spills, and falls.

Those incidents cause sprains and broken bones — which can be expensive, depending on your medical insurance plan. (Trust me.)

Author Chris Carley displays his wrist injury.

I personally hold a policy through Allianz — but likely will move to Travelex when my Allianz policy expires. I’ve read Travelex offers better protection and options. (Do your homework and selects whatever policy works best for you.)

Carryon If at All Possible

I usally try to only carryon on my luggage (don’t forget the great Travelpro rollaboard deal!) That being said, I’m not one those Instagrammers who live out of a backpack for weeks on end.

When delays or cancellations strike, you want access to your clothes, toiletries, etc. Having them with you makes things easier when things go sideways.

And if your flight gets canceled (or delayed to the next day), you’ll be one of the first to get a cab or snag rideshare while everyone else waits for overwhelmed ground crews to sort through luggage.

Airport Lounge Access

Packed airports full of delayed passengers are miserable places.

Airport club lounges are less miserable. There’s access to food, beverages, WiFi, and power outlets.

A view from the balcony inside the Seattle Airport Delta Sky Club in Terminal A at SeaTac.
Delta Sky Club in Seattle

And if you’re in an airport-branded lounge (i.e. Delta Sky Clubs or United Clubs), their customer service reps can help you with flight rebookings, reroutings, etc.

Many credit cards (which also include trip delay insurance) give you complimentary access to airport lounges.

Contact the Airlines Directly

While standing in line waiting for gate agents to rebook you on another flight, call your airline. They may be able to help you faster than the gate agent who’s being screamed at for causing bad weather.

Send a Direct Message Tweet to Your Airline

Airlines’ Twitter staff can be pretty good at helping you with some travel problems. Granted, when a massive storm hits they, too, will be slammed. But it can’t hurt to ask them for help.

Earn Free Travel if Possible

If your schedule is flexible, you might be able to score some prime #Bumpertunities during winter travel when flights are oversold and storms cause chaos.

What Are Your Tips?

What advice do you have to share with your fellow travelers? Please tell us in the below Comments section!

–Chris

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses 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.

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