American multinational corporation American Express has added a new optional service called ‘Trip Cancel Guard’ that is available to purchase when booking flights via Amex Travel. 

This new service allows American Express cardholders to cancel flights prior to departure and request a refund and works similarly to the preexisting ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ travel coverage. 

A helpful option

‘Cancel For Any Reason’ coverage is a kind of add-on to typical travel insurance that allows a customer to cancel a trip for nearly any reason. It isn’t extortionately expensive, and if steps are followed correctly you are able to get a refund for a large portion of your prepaid expenses made when booking a flight. 

American Express’ Trip Cancel Guard does work similar to the travel insurance equivalent ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ but, crucially, it is not insurance. It is simply an add-on you can purchase alongside your travel insurance to ensure your trip (or lack of) is covered. 

The Trip Cancel Guard allows for a refund of up to 75% of your nonrefundable flight costs booked on Amex Travel – as long as you cancel at least two calendar days before your departure date. 

The optional add-on is also only available when paying for your flights with any American Express card issued in the U.S. If you do not purchase the add-on when booking your trip on Amex Travel, you cannot purchase it at a later date. 

The Trip Cancel Guard will be valid until you choose to cancel/remove it. Once used, you’ll have to purchase it again whilst booking a trip to use it in the future. 

American Express
Amex Travel allows for Amex cardholders to book flights, hotels, car hire, cruises, and all other travel expenses online. | © Getty Images

But how much is the Trip Cancel Guard? 

The actual add-on price is based on the cost of your flights – 8% of the total ticket price (including all fees and taxes). For example, if your flight is $1,000, then the cost of adding a Trip Cancel Guard is $80. 

Many customers – especially as they’d be customers with an American Express card – will hardly feel the cost. The level of protection the add-on offers would be a fair price for many. However, most airlines nowadays do not impose cancellation fees on most tickets (a decision likely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic). Airlines tend to offer customers who cancel a voucher or flight credit to be used in the future that matches the money spent on the cancelled flight. With that being said, that policy varies between airlines whereas the Trip Cancel Guard is much more reliable as it can be used with any airline so long the tickets were booked on Amex Travel. It’s likely a matter of preference…and money. 

Are you in the position to make use of American Express’ new Trip Cancel Guard? Do you think it is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.

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