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How to file a baggage claim with your credit card

The travel perk can reimburse you for lost items the airline won’t cover

Summary

Many travel cards offer baggage delay or lost luggage insurance, saving you money on repurchasing items and adding an extra level of security to your travel. Here’s a look at how to take advantage of the perk.

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If you’ve ever had to deal with your luggage being severely delayed – or even lost entirely – you know that it can add tremendous stress and cost to your travel. You have to shoulder the cost of replacing your items and cross your fingers hoping the carrier will cover some of it.

On the bright side, travelers carrying certain rewards cards can enjoy additional coverage in these situations. Many travel cards offer baggage delay or lost luggage insurance, adding some piece of mind to stressful situations. By choosing a card that includes these perks, you can save money on repurchasing items and add an extra level of security to your travel.

What are baggage delay and lost luggage insurance?

Baggage delay and lost luggage insurance are different kinds of coverages that are offered by rewards cards, designed to cover you in case your checked or carry-on bags are lost or damaged. These insurances typically reimburse you for the cost of items lost due to a mistake while traveling by common carrier (including airline, train, bus, etc.).

Losing a bag or having to wait hours for delayed luggage can be a huge headache while traveling, and common carriers like airlines often have long lists of items excluded from coverage. Luckily, if you have the right credit card, you can be reimbursed for the cost of your items (or emergency purchases in the case of a delay) if the carrier won’t pay. Read on to learn which cards offer these perks and what is covered.

Which cards offer baggage delay and lost luggage insurance?

There are several rewards card that offer baggage delay insurance, lost luggage coverage or both, so check out your card’s terms and conditions. You might have the perk and not even realize it. Here’s a few of our most popular travel cards with these kinds of benefits.

CardCoverageExclusions
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardLost luggage insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers up to the cash value of your items lost while traveling by common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Max of $3,000 per covered person ($500 max for jewelry and electronics)

Baggage delay insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers the cost of emergency purchases when your baggage is delayed more than six hours while traveling on a common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Max of $100 per day for five days (max of one cell phone charger per claim)
  • Lost luggage benefit excludes documents, including checks and money
  • Baggage delay benefit excludes contacts or glasses, tickets or documents, jewelry and electronics (other than one cell phone charger)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Lost luggage insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers up to the cash value of your items lost while traveling by common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Max of $3,000 per covered person ($500 max for jewelry and electronics)

Baggage delay insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers the cost of emergency purchases when your baggage is delayed more than six hours while traveling on a common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Max of $100 per day for five days (max of one cell phone charger per claim)
  • Lost luggage benefit excludes documents, including checks and money
  • Baggage delay benefit excludes contacts or glasses, tickets or documents, jewelry and electronics (other than one cell phone charger)
United℠ Explorer CardLost luggage insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers up to the cash value of your items lost while traveling by common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Max of $3,000 per covered person ($500 max for jewelry and electronics)

Baggage delay insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers the cost of emergency purchases when your baggage is delayed more than six hours while traveling on a common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Max of $100 per day for three days (max of one cell phone charger per claim)
  • Lost luggage benefit excludes documents, including checks and money
  • Baggage delay benefit excludes contacts or glasses, tickets or documents, jewelry and electronics (other than one cell phone charger)
American Express® Gold CardBaggage insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers cost of baggage lost while traveling on a common carrier
  • Maximum of $1,250 for each covered person (max of $250 for jewelry, sporting equipment or electronics)
  • Cash equivalents (including credit cards), travel documents, perishable items, glasses or contacts, medicine and living plants or animals
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressBaggage insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers cost of baggage lost while traveling on a common carrier
  • Maximum of $3,000 for each covered person (max of $1,000 for jewelry, sporting equipment or electronics)
  • Cash equivalents (including credit cards), travel documents, perishable items, glasses or contacts, medicine and living plants or animals
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® cardTravel inconvenience insurance (lost or damaged baggage):

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers cost of baggage lost or damaged while traveling on a common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Maximum of $1,000 per each covered person (max of $250 for jewelry and fur)
  • Sporting equipment, animals, perishables, cameras, glasses or contacts, prosthetics, tickets or documents, money (including debit and credit cards), art, electronics, jewelry and furniture
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit cardLost luggage insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers cost of baggage lost or stolen while traveling on a common carrier
  • Extends to immediate family members
  • Maximum of $3,000 per trip (max of $2,000 per bag for New York residents)

Baggage delay insurance:

  • Secondary coverage (must file with carrier first)
  • Covers the cost of emergency purchases when your baggage is delayed more than six hours while traveling on a common carrier
  • Maximum of $100 per day for up to 5 days (max of one charger per electronic device)
  • Lost luggage benefit excludes automobiles or automobile equipment, contacts or glasses, money (including credit and debit cards), tickets or documents, cell phones and art objects
  • Baggage delay benefit excludes hearing aids, prosthetics, tickets or documents, jewelry, cameras and other electronic equipment

How to file a claim with your credit card

Each card issuer requires different documentation and steps to file a report of lost, damaged or delayed baggage. Read on for a breakdown of what steps you should take if your bags are lost, by card issuer.

Chase

  • Call the benefit administrator to request a claim form.
  • Submit your claim form with as much as possible of the following documentation, within 20 days of the delay or loss:
    • Your travel itinerary
    • Written confirmation from the carrier of a baggage delay or loss
    • Confirmation of your claim to the carrier
    • Credit card statement with your fare for the trip
    • Copy of your reimbursement or denial for reimbursement from the carrier
    • Receipts for your replaced items (just those over $25)
    • Any original receipts
  • After all required documentation and proof of loss is submitted and approved, you’ll receive reimbursement within 60 days.

American Express

  • Call American Express to provide notice of claim and ask for required forms within 30 days of the loss.
  • Within 60 days of receiving your forms, you must submit the following documentation:
    • Your claim form
    • Receipts for your replaced items
    • Your travel itinerary, including payment information
    • Confirmation of your claim to the carrier
    • Copy of your reimbursement or denial for reimbursement from the carrier
  • After all required documentation and proof of loss is submitted and approved, you’ll receive reimbursement within 30 days.

Wells Fargo

  • Send written notice of your claim to the benefits administrator within 45 days of the loss.
  • Provide as much as possible of the following documentation:
    • Your claim form (you can ask the benefits administrator for a copy)
    • Copy of your card statement showing the fare
    • Confirmation of your claim to the carrier
    • Copy of your reimbursement or denial for reimbursement from the carrier
    • Confirmation of your claim to any personal insurance policies
    • Receipts for replaced items
  • Wells Fargo does not provide an estimated period in which you’ll receive your reimbursement.

Bank of America

  • Call Bank of America to provide notice of claim and ask for required forms within 20 days of the incident.
  • Submit your claim form and as much as possible of the following documentation within 90 days of the incident:
    • Your card statement showing the fare paid in full
    • Your itinerary, boarding pass and/or ticket
    • Confirmation of your claim to the carrier
    • Copy of your reimbursement or denial for reimbursement from the carrier
    • Copy of insurance declarations page (in case of applicable personal insurance policies)
    • Receipts of your replaced items (just those over $25)
  • Bank of America does not provide an estimated period in which you’ll receive your reimbursement.

Tips for making the most of your lost luggage or baggage delay insurance

  • Put all major travel purchases on your card so you are protected.
  • Make note of the items you are traveling with and their value before you check a bag.
  • Be sure to carry valuable items such as expensive jewelry and travel documents in your personal carry-on, as these kinds of items are not covered.
  • If your bags are delayed or lost, visit the airline’s (or other common carrier’s) information desk and request written documentation of the incident as soon as possible.
  • File a claim with the carrier as soon as possible. Coverage from your credit card is secondary, so you must prove you’ve been denied coverage by the carrier.
  • Save your receipts and any other documentation to send in with your claim.

Final thoughts

While losing your bags on a trip can be a logistical nightmare, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Even if the airline won’t cover the cost of your items, you may be eligible for additional coverage from your rewards card. Just be sure to collect all necessary documentation and submit it in time to boost your chances of being reimbursed.

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Published: July 12, 2019

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