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What Happens to Your Travel Credit If You Cancel Your Booking?

What Happens to Your Travel Credit If You Cancel Your Booking?

JasonWhat Happens to Your Travel Credit If You Cancel Your Booking?Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Some folks don’t mind paying high annual fees on premium credit cards because the perks can easily offset the extra expense.  This is definitely the case with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which has one of the most generous travel credits of any card!

But Million Mile Secret Agent BFD asked:

What happens if you have to cancel the travel booking that you used the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s annual $300 travel credit for?

What Happens To Your Travel Credit If You Cancel Your Booking
The Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit Is a Great Perk Because Anything That Codes as Travel Qualifies, Like Uber & UberEATS. Sushi, Anyone?

The good news is nothing happens to your Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit if you cancel the travel you have already been credited for.  Once you’ve paid for your hotel, airfare, or other travel expense, any refund will be subject to the rules of the travel provider.  So depending on your situation, you might receive a refund, travel voucher, or nothing at all (on non-refundable bookings). 🙁

Travel credits on other premium cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, Citi Prestige, or U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, work the same way when you cancel your travel booking after earning your credit.  So once you receive your travel credit with any card, you’ll keep it regardless of whether or not your travel plans change.

What Counts Toward the Travel Credit?

Every account year, your first $300 of travel purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card will automatically be reimbursed.  The credit will show up in your account the same day the travel purchase posts.  And you’ll also earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel & dining in addition to the $300 travel credit!

Chase broadly defines travel to include:

  • Airlines (including airfare and incidentals like change fees or checked bags)
  • Hotels & motels (including Airbnb)
  • Campgrounds
  • Car rental agencies
  • Passenger trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis (including Lyft, Uber, and UberEATS)
  • Ferries
  • Toll bridges & highways
  • Parking lots & garages
  • And more!

What Will NOT Qualify as Travel?

Certain businesses code purchases differently.  For example, vacation rentals might not be reimbursed because they usually post as real estate charges, not travel.

According to Chase, these other expenses will NOT qualify for the travel credit:

Traveler’s checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions.

Folks on this FlyerTalk thread share which specific charges were reimbursed for them and which weren’t.  For example, purchases of airline in-flight food & beverages may not count as travel expenses, depending on the airline.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a generous $300 annual travel credit.  And it’s easy to use because any travel purchase qualifies for the credit.

The first $300 you spent on travel each account anniversary year will be automatically reimbursed, including hotels, airfare, or Uber (and UberEATS!).  But some purchases might not count as travel, like in-flight food and certain vacation rentals.

And once you receive your credit it’s yours to keep, even if you cancel your booking!  This is true for travel credits with all credit cards that have the perk.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card for 2017’ by MONEY® Magazine
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I booked several campgrounds last year and none of them were considered Travel because apparently the charges went through a third party.