Which travel insurance policies cover miles and points bookings?

While most travel insurance policies explicitly exclude miles and points bookings, there are a few which offer coverage.

Those of us who collect miles and points will know that they’re as valuable as cash. Even if you’re not explicitly paying for them (e.g. buying miles or hotel points from the loyalty programmes themselves, or via services like CardUp/Citi PayAll), there’s always an implicit cost involved in earning them (in the sense that you could have swiped a cashback card instead).

The problem is, travel insurers rarely see things the same way. In fact, the vast majority of policies explicitly exclude frequent flyer miles or points.

☂️ Example: MSIG TravelEasy

We will not pay for the following:

2. Any loss of expenses being compensation for any air miles, holiday points, membership or credit card redemption you use for the trip in part or full.

Source

This means that if a medical or family emergency prevents you from taking your trip, you won’t be able to get a refund of your flight and hotel expenses if they’ve been redeemed with miles and points!

To guard against this, it’s highly advisable that you purchase a travel insurance policy with coverage for miles and points, and we’ll look at the options in Singapore. 

Aren’t miles and points bookings refundable?

Miles and points bookings are generally refundable, but there can be situations where you may not be able to get your miles or points back. 

It depends on the loyalty programme, as well as when the cancellation is made. 

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer’s policies are actually quite lenient. You can cancel your flight anytime up till the scheduled departure time and pay a US$75 (Saver) or US$50 (Advantage) fee per passenger to get all your miles and taxes refunded.

Even if you fail to show up for your flight altogether, you can still get a refund of your miles, subject to paying a no-show fee on top of the refund fee. 

Cabin No-show fee
Economy Class US$100
Premium Economy Class US$200
Business Class US$300
First Class US$300

However, if you book a Spontaneous Escapes ticket, the rules are different. Spontaneous Escapes awards are strictly non-changeable and non-refundable, so if you can’t fly, you lose your miles. I have heard of anecdotal exceptions, but since that’s the official policy, you shouldn’t go in expecting the same to be granted to you.

⚠️ Exception: Flights to/from the USA
Flights to/from the USA can be cancelled within 24 hours of booking without penalty, per the US Department of Transportation policy. This applies to award tickets as well, even Spontaneous Escapes (though you might still need to push for it).

Other FFPs

Most FFPs allow you to cancel and get a full refund of your miles so long as you do it before the flight departs, but some (e.g. British Airways and Etihad) have stricter policies.

Here’s a summary of the more popular programmes in Singapore:

Programme Cxl Fee Cxl Window
Alaska Mileage Plan None* Before scheduled departure time
Asia Miles US$120 Any time within ticket validity
British Airways Executive Club Taxes and fees or £35, whichever is lower >24 hours before departure
Emirates Skywards Up to US$75 Before scheduled departure time
Etihad Guest 25-75% of miles >24 hours before departure
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands US$50 Before scheduled departure time
Flying Blue €70 Before check-in deadline for flight
Qatar Privilege Club US$25-100 >3 hours before departure
*Alaska Mileage Plan charges a US$12.50 partner award booking fee per direction of travel which is non-refundable if cancelled

Hotels

For Maldives resorts during peak periods, you may need to cancel months in advance to get a refund

With hotel loyalty programmes, the cancellation window will vary depending on property. In some cases, it may be 24 hours before arrival, in the case of popular resorts like the Maldives, it may be as much as three months or more.

Cancelling outside this window results in a penalty that is usually charged in cash, not points. With Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt, you’ll receive a full refund of your points, but you will need to pay at least the first night’s cash rate, if not more. 

Which travel insurance policies cover miles and points?

The way I see it, there’s two main scenarios where your airline/hotel cancellation may fall outside the cancellation window.

  • Trip Cancellation: When a covered event causes you to have to cancel your trip before it begins (e.g. falling sick the day of departure)
  • Trip Curtailment: When a covered event causes you to have to abandon your original trip and return home (e.g. death of a family member mid-way through your trip)

Before we talk about specific policies, here’s a few general pointers to note. 

First, compensation can only be claimed if your miles/points are not recoverable. If it’s possible to pay a cancellation fee and get your miles/points back (e.g. Saver or Advantage awards on KrisFlyer), you cannot make a claim for the miles/points under your travel insurance policy (though you may be able to claim the cancellation fee).

Second, your trip must have been cancelled/disrupted for a covered reason. Changing your mind is not valid grounds for a claim, unless you purchase Singlife’s travel insurance policy and make a claim under the “cancel for any reason” clause (which pays you 50% of the expenses incurred, capped at S$5,000 and once per period of insurance).

Third, the general approach that insurers take when valuing miles and points is to look at the retail value of the flight ticket or hotel booking. That actually works out in your favour- I’d rather be reimbursed for the cash value of a Business Class ticket than at 1-2 cents per mile! 

⚠️ Important Note

Despite what the policy wording may say, the MileChat contains a data point from a Singlife customer who was reimbursed for his KrisFlyer miles at 1.5 cents per mile.

What’s funnier is how this value was derived. Based on the email, all Singlife did was Google “”what is the value of a KrisFlyer mile”, found NerdWallet’s website (I know because they included a screenshot of it) and took the value there- not realising that NerdWallet, as a US-based site, was quoting in USD!

I would certainly push back on that, if I were the customer.

Fourth, even though cancellation policies are stated in black and white on most airline/hotel websites, most insurers will still require you to contact the loyalty programme and get  written confirmation that your miles/points cannot be refunded. I imagine they do this to minimise their own liability, in the off chance that the loyalty programme decides to grant a one-off exception due to extenuating circumstances.

Miles and points coverage is not a common feature among travel insurance policies in Singapore, but I’ve managed to find several which do.

AMEX My Travel Insurance

Apply here
Policy Name My Travel Insurance
Loss of Frequent Flyer Miles or Points
  • Essential: S$5,000
  • Standard: S$10,000
  • Superior: S$20,000
Policy Wording Link

AMEX My Travel Insurance, underwritten by Chubb, provides up to S$20,000 of coverage for forfeited loyalty points and miles. 

There’s currently an ongoing promotion that offers additional gifts for those who purchase at least a Standard plan, ranging from extra eCapitaVouchers to an Accor Plus Explorer membership. 

  Single-trip Annual multi-trip
Essential
Standard S$30 eCV S$80 eCV
Superior S$50 eCV
  • APAC: Accor Plus Explorer membership
  • Worldwide: Samsonite NIAR 29″ luggage + S$50 eCV
Applies to both Worldwide (ex USA, Canada and Cuba) and Worldwide (ex Cuba)

You’ll receive one gift per plan purchased, and sometimes the value of the gift can be more than the policy (e.g. single day trips to Malaysia). 

Applying via The MileLion’s link gets you an extra S$15 eCapitaVoucher per application, on top of any public gifts. 

DBS TravellerShield Plus

Apply here
Policy Name TravellerShield Plus
Loss of Frequent Flyer Miles or Points
  • Classic: N/A
  • Premier: S$5,000
  • Platinum: S$7,500
Policy Wording Link

DBS TravellerShield Plus was recently refreshed to provide up to S$7,500 of coverage for the loss of frequent flyer miles and points. Do note that the cap here is per individual; if you purchase the family plan, the coverage goes up to S$22,500.

Singlife Travel Insurance

Apply here
Policy Name Travel Insurance
Loss of Frequent Flyer Miles or Points
  • Lite: N/A
  • Plus: S$15,000
  • Prestige: S$20,000
Policy Wording Link

Singlife works a little differently. The policy covers the loss of frequent flyer miles and points for the Plus and Prestige tiers, but doesn’t state an explicit value.

Instead, you need to read that section in conjunction with the sections on trip cancellation, in which case the coverage is up to S$20,000, or trip interruption in which case the coverage is up to S$15,000.

Also note that the Plus and Prestige tiers have a “cancel for any reason” clause that allow you to recoup 50% of the non-recoverable expenses, capped at S$5,000 (Plus) or S$7,500 (Prestige). This is claimable once per period of insurance. In other words, if you’ve booked a trip with miles and points but decide not to travel, and the reason is not a covered reason, you can invoke this clause and get reimbursed for any non-recoverable miles and points.

Applications via SingSaver currently earn you an extra 4 miles per S$1, regardless of which card you pay with. Extra discounts can be enjoyed if you’re an existing MINDEF/MHA/POGIS policyholder; you’ll be prompted for this during the application process.

Klook Protect

Apply here
Policy Name Klook Protect
Loss of Frequent Flyer Miles or Points
  • Lite: S$2,500
  • Essential: S$5,000
  • Deluxe: S$7,500
Policy Wording Link

Klook Protect, underwritten by Zurich Insurance, is similar to Singlife in that it doesn’t state an explicit amount for loss of frequent flyer miles and points. Instead, you should refer to the sections on travel cancellation, where coverage is up to S$7,500.

Other policies

There are a few other policies on the market which cover the loss of miles and points, but their coverage amounts are so insubstantial I don’t think it’s worth the effort to list them out in detail.

Provider Miles & Points Coverage
AIG TravelGuard Direct S$0 to S$750
Etiqa Travel Infinite S$100 to S$750
Tokio Marine TM Xplora S$100 to S$300

Conclusion

If you plan to pay for your holiday with miles and points, you should absolutely get a travel insurance policy which covers them, just in case. 

I’m quite curious to know how travel insurers actually value miles and points, so if you have any experiences with claims, do share them.

Do you know of any other travel insurance policies with miles and points coverage?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Leo

That’s very informative.. I would have missed that coverage out if I did not see your article. Thanks

Ken

I second @Leo… Another fantastic topic to cover, Aaron! ??

It certainly made me dig up my AIG Policy wordings right away as I didn’t think of it either… Chubb’s (your example) wording are more favorable for the policy holder, but AIG’s does cover too (a good thing!)… but with AIG, I find the wording a bit not-so-clear… I’ll email a screenshot to you… can you be a champ and see if you can figure out what it mean, in the few scenarios you came up with?

Thanks in advance!

Vikas Sharma

I hold Sompo travel insurance and all its plan categories cover miles and points. The exact wording is as below: Frequent Flyer Points: We will pay for loss of frequent flyer or similar travel points used by the Insured Person as a registered member to purchase an airline ticket following the Trip Cancellation or Postponement if the Insured Person is unable to recover the lost points from any other source. The payment for lost points will be calculated based on the following, whichever is the lower: 1. Cost of an equivalent class airline tickets based on the quoted retail price… Read more »

Gary

Thanks for that, my insurance broker specifically recommended Sompo as well

DK

I used to get Chubb for its higher coverage, then switched over to Sompo as it was generally cheaper with the promotions. However, I just did a comparison between Sompo and Chubb for an upcoming trip to Japan and found Chubb is slightly cheaper. Probably wise to check the price difference before buying – just my 1 cent worth of opinion 🙂

SLWYD

Annoyingly, Sompo doesn’t offer annual travel insurance when I was shopping around for one

Eugene

So it seems lately that Chubb no longer covers miles and points. Not sure if you would be making an update to this blog post, but if you do, then it might be worth noting

Happy Camper

Thanks for the heads up, Eugene!

M

I bought my Chubb insurance on 15 Feb and the wording policy still covers Loss of Frequent Flyer points. Is this a recent change?

Happy Camper

@M.. Mine, from last Apr, is still ‘in force’ .. but had renewed ‘in advance’ for the laggauge giveaway.. but will not not go ahead with it..

From a quick check, Just Sompo and Aviva still cover award redemptions, with wording and benefits slightly different.. I’ll look into both and then decide..

I looked at AIG and they (as of today’s wordings) still exclude miles..

Quite sad.. but oh well…

Happy Camper

Hey Aaron..

First link.. the greenish document..

Page 23 of 40.. What’s not covered.. Point #4..

Happy Camper

Hmmm….. now THAT’S interesting… and gosh, I don’t know… odd tho, no..? that Chubb would word the two differently? Now I’m confused.. 😰

Happy Camper

Was out and about earlier… Now that I’ve looked at both a bit more, it certainly looks like Chubb has two different products instead of what I though was ‘one-product-replacing-another’… It certainly looks like the Travel Insurance product that is marketed by Amex is as per what you were referring to in this post, and the one I’ve got.. 😊

Sune

So Aaron and team – you are getting closer on the travel insurance topic but I have yet to see you doing a comprehensive comparison of travel insurance that are either part of the credit card or independent 3 party options and it is thoroughly needed for us here in SG

Ken

Gosh you’re an idiot.. do you seriously believe you walk on water and the world owes you something?

Sune

Whau – did not think people would write like that on this forum.

Ken

“A little jab” is something between you and a friend.. maybe even you amongst other friends… I assume you have these… but not on a public forum where people are (mostly) sincerely trying to help… for the greater good… your “little jab” was like crispy chicken rendang.. and not just by me.. or are you also so thick you don’t see it… own it.. for being an idiot.. then move on..

:)

Sune, your sense of entitlement is overwhelmingly astonishing. 🙂

Thank you, Aaron and team. You guys are doing an excellent job!

K

Sune, perhaps you can do up the comprehensive comparison that is thoroughly needed and then Aaron and team can comment on your work. Afterall, didn’t he start the community pages for people that have valuable insights to share but don’t have the ability to commit to be a regular writer?

Sune

Hi Aaron Thank you for reposting this one. Seems my little jab above got a lot of people rubbed the wrong way though which was unintended as you and the team always keep a joking tone and I had jabbed you a while back on same topic incl for suggested item for the big event you had recently. But water under the bridge and so on. This link is good in shedding light on the conondrum that getting right insurance and right coverage is not easy and that programs offered by credit cards are eye wash at best and guess… Read more »

DK

Hi, if i don’t have any of the above AMEX cards, then which card should I use for the purchase. If I recall correctly, a number of banks have explicit excluded insurance as an eligible transaction. I have DBSWWC (max out), UOB PPV, CITI Rewards, CITI Premiermiles etc. Please advise.

DK

Ok, i got the answer to my own question, so i thought i will share. Can’t charge insurance to DBS/UOB cards – won’t get a single mile. Only way is to charge to Citibank where you will get 1.2miles/dollar or HSBC revolution card at 2 miles/dollar. Please correct me if I am wrong. I learn it the hard way. sigh!!

KW

Hey Aaron thanks for doing this — I hadn’t realised that most policies don’t cover the loss of miles! On a related topic, if you have the time and inclination to do so, could you also research and write an article on coverage for missing connections on separate tickets? So far I’ve found only World Nomads would cover missed flights under separate PNRs, but there’s a hefty US$100 deductible.

Asian Miler

Nice topic to post about. As with most policies in Singapore, does the insurance issued only cover bookings originating in Singapore? Will the insurance apply if I book a one-way return award and I encounter any of the covered conditions?

Ken

I have checked and confirmed with my agent that with AIG, the maximum they would compensate, if miles-redemption tickets, would be $500.. ?

So guess who’s going to drop AIG and will sign up Chubb??

Thanks, Aaron!! ??

Anne H

When there’s a delay and the airline gives us a voucher for accommodation, can one still claim for the delay? Another point is that when they divert because of weather and one misses the connecting flight, they don’t give out written statements – so how does one prove the delay/missed connection? I was caught at Atlanta once and all the flights to SFO had left. We were all told to use the banks of phones they had set up and the staff on hand were surly and not helpful – as far as the airline was concerned it was a… Read more »

Ken

Technically speaking, your insurance policy is suppose to cover you “in event..” and regardless of what said airline does/acts to compensate/mitigate the event… so you should be able to successfully claim, should you be able to prove “the event”… The one that I still don’t get.. given the number of nasty incidents in the past… is that airlines do not prepare better for “when the s**t hits the fan”.. I would imagine that this would not be too difficult to do/train/role-play..? I mean, it’s happened countless number of times, right? Videos are all over social media all over the world,… Read more »

Ken

I can’t thank Aaron enough for the write up… Fortunately, I didn’t wind up holding on the the short end of a stick, but that’s what Insurance policies are for, right? and “the bad” could very well have happened and it could happen in the future… well… thanks for Aaron, it won’t be happening to me! ? Just to show that it could well have happened just last month, I made a trip to NZ on redemption SQ F with my elderly mum… and being elderly, of course, at any time, her health could’ve taken a turn for the less-than-good… Read more »

[…] A reminder that tickets issued under the Spontaneous Escapes promotion are non-changeable and cannot be cancelled as well. This is unlike regular award tickets which at least allow you to refund your booking for a fee. Thus, your travel plans have to be very firm before taking advantage of this promotion (or you should buy a travel insurance policy that covers miles and points bookings). […]

[…] A reminder that tickets issued under the Spontaneous Escapes promotion are non-changeable and cannot be canceled as well. This is unlike regular award tickets which at least allow you to refund your booking and miles for a fee. Thus, your travel plans have to be very firm before taking advantage of this promotion (or you should buy a travel insurance policy that covers miles and points bookings). […]

[…] A reminder that tickets issued under the Spontaneous Escapes promotion are non-changeable and cannot be canceled as well. This is unlike regular award tickets which at least allow you to refund your booking and miles for a fee. Thus, your travel plans have to be very firm before taking advantage of this promotion (or you should buy a travel insurance policy that covers miles and points bookings). […]

AceAl

Will you be reviewing the current complimentary travel insurance by AMEX Platinum card in current times?

Fred Real

Does Amex Platinum card insurance cover this?

Brian

What card to use for travel insurance?

Kel

Sompo was reviewed in the 2018 review but omitted in this review. Have they stopped providing cover for air miles?

https://milelion.com/2018/10/12/3-travel-insurance-options-that-cover-airline-miles-and-points/

Happy Camper

Chubb no longer covers $20k max for miles and points.. I think now just $500 max.. cheeky buggers!

lifeonthego

Amex Chubb is still covering for upto $20k for miles and points – clearly stated in the policy document.

Tony

My first priority with Travel Insurance is how difficult it is get the payout, whether they make you go through the loop or actually will pay. Also the terms and conditions. Some insurance give out a lot of rewards but the T&C screw you. So make sure you read the fine print.