3 Trip Booking Recommendations with the Best Cancellation Flexibility

    

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With the ever-changing travel guidelines, updated CDC recommendations, and the possibility of new Covid variants arising, it can be difficult to navigate the world of travel during these times. That’s why it’s a good idea to book future trips with options that have the best cancellation flexibility. Read on to see what my top three trip booking recommendations are that offer the most flexibility, and are sure to come in handy in the event you need to cancel your trip.

Hotels

Given the current climate in the last couple of years, many hotels continue to offer free cancellations on reservations. Still, it’s important to read the fine print and know what your hotel policies are when it comes to canceling, as it likely differs from hotel-to-hotel. Additionally, even if you can’t cancel your hotel booking, they’ll probably provide you with a credit to rebook your trip at some point in the future.

Helpful tip: How to get out ahead of this in general is to make sure you’re booking a fully-flexible rate. Although it may end up being more expensive than their non-cancelable rate, it’s absolutely worth having the extra protection given the unpredictability of Covid.

Recommendation: Booking Hotels with Points

Booking with rewards points is always going to be fully refundable, which makes it the best option (even more-so than a fully-flexible rate). Its fully refundable nature was the standard before Covid, and it certainly remains as such during Covid. This is one of the main reasons why booking with points is so valuable– because it’s 100% safe in terms of cancellations and also doesn’t require you to opt for a more expensive flexible rate.

Airlines

Like hotels, airlines have also adapted to the pandemic and are quite reasonable in the way of cancellations and rebooking.  I’ve found that  in some cases, airlines are even more flexible than hotels when it comes to backing out of a booking, as they can easily issue future credit for another booking.

Recommendation: Booking Airfare with Miles

As was the case with booking a hotel with rewards points, booking your airfare with miles is also your safest bet. Booking with miles allows you to cancel and rebook without having to deal with additional fees. 

However, it’s possible you may run into a redeposit fee that isn’t always waived. If there is a redeposit fee, you can try to get this waived by simply calling the airline and asking if it would be possible to. This may work as the airline can waive the fee as a one-time courtesy. On the other hand, this fee is generally only a couple of hundred dollars, which is still much less than the full cost of a flight. 

Travel Insurance

Contrary to what you may think, it’s often best to avoid opting in for travel insurance when booking a trip. The insurances’ cancellation reasons are almost never worth it, and they make it nearly impossible for you to get them to pay you out. 

Recommendation: Booking Your Trip with a Premium Credit Card

Your best bet is booking your trip with a premium credit card that comes with its own built-in travel insurance. Some premium cards that have this perk include AMEX Platinum, AMEX Gold, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Sapphire Reserved. These cards (and many others) have free built-in travel insurance, and their customer service is also much better than any third-party insurance agency.

Want to maximize your credit card rewards for next-to-free travel? Download the Card Curator app in the Apple App Store or on Google Play and you’ll be on your dream trip in no time.

Written by John Garner
John Garner is the founder & CEO of Card Curator. John spent 5+ years as a volatility trader for Merrill Lynch before deciding to start Card Curator and follow his real passion: credit card rewards and travel. To date, he has visited almost 90 countries by using rewards earned from 100+ credit cards. He’s an expert in all things related to credit cards and free travel, and loves helping others crack the code in the points and miles game.

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