Beginner's Guide to Credit Cards With Travel Insurance

Credit cards can provide important protections for travelers when problems arise.
10/3/19 | By Christy Rakoczy
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Traveling can be a ton of fun, but on every trip there’s potential for things to go wrong. From misplaced bags to vacations you paid for but are unable to take at the last minute, problems can occur at any phase of your trip. And these hiccups can sometimes be quite costly.

Fortunately, there are many credit cards with travel insurance that provide protection when issues arise. Be aware of what perks your card offers so if something goes wrong, you can contact your card’s issuer and be reimbursed for your losses.

What does travel insurance cover?

The specific protections you’ll get vary by card, but some of the most common types of insurance credit cards provide include:

  • Trip cancellation or trip delay insurance to reimburse you for losses when your vacation can’t go forward as planned.
  • Coverage for lost or delayed baggage so you can be reimbursed if you have to replace items when your luggage is lost permanently. You could also get reimbursed to buy clothing and toiletries while you wait for your delayed luggage to arrive.
  • Accident or death insurance to provide compensation if a tragedy occurs on your trip.
  • Medical evacuation coverage to transport you to a hospital if you require care you can’t get at your travel destination.

The travel insurance coverage your card provides can be quite valuable. If you were to buy your own travel policy from an insurance company, you could pay an average of $105 for basic coverage up to $164 for a more comprehensive policy, according to a recent study by ValuePenguin.

Similarly, lost luggage benefits on your credit card could reimburse you for several thousand dollars in possessions that can’t be recovered if your baggage never makes it back to you after you put it on a bus, train, or plane. While you’ll need to check your card’s terms and conditions to find out the maximum compensation for lost luggage, it’s common for cards to set a $3,000 limit on the amount of reimbursement available.

Be aware of the fine print

While credit cards with trip cancellation benefits or similar protections are common, there’s usually some fine print to be aware of. For example, some common caveats include the following:

  • You may not be covered if your trip was cancelled because of a preexisting medical condition or a change in plans or financial circumstances.
  • You must report any covered losses within a specific timeframe. For example, to make a claim for lost luggage insurance, you may have to alert the common carrier upon exiting that your luggage has been lost.
  • Your credit card’s travel insurance often serves as secondary insurance, which means you must take advantage of other coverages available — such as airline reimbursement for lost luggage — before your credit card will reimburse you.
  • Receipts or other documented proof of loss are usually required to file any type of claims with your credit card travel insurance.

8 credit cards with travel insurance

There are many different travel credit cards that come with various types of insurance. The table below shows some of the protections offered by popular credit cards, which could give you peace of mind if you travel often.

Card What does it cover?
Amex Blue Cash Everyday
  • Travel accident insurance: Covers accidental death and dismemberment when traveling on a common carrier.
  • Global Assist hotline: Provides 24/7 access to medical, financial, or legal advice or coordination of emergency assistance during travels.
Capital One® Venture®
  • Travel accident insurance: Covered losses include death or dismemberment while traveling with a common carrier.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services: Includes emergency replacement cards and cash advances if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 if luggage is lost or stolen.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Trip cancellation insurance: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip if your trip is cancelled or cut short due to severe weather or other eligible situations.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 for you and immediate family members you’re traveling with for lost bags.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket if you’re traveling with a common carrier and are delayed more than six hours or overnight.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Trip cancellation insurance: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip in reimbursement for non-refundable travel expenses when your trip is cut short by severe weather or other covered situations.
  • Delayed baggage: Up to $100 per person for five days for essential purchases if your bags are delayed for more than six hours.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: If you’re delayed overnight or for more than 12 hours, get reimbursed up to $500 per ticket.
  • Emergency Assistance Services: The Benefit Administrator can provide legal and medical referrals or other emergency services, but you’re responsible for service fees.
Citi Prestige
  • Medical evacuation: Up to $100,000 in costs for evacuation when traveling and you have a serious medical emergency.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage: Up to $5,000 per trip when travel is cancelled or cut short due to sickness, injury, weather, or death of covered travelers.
  • Trip delay protection: Up to $500 per covered traveler per trip if your flight is delayed for at least three hours.
  • Baggage delay protection: Up to $500 per covered traveler if your bags don’t arrive to your destination within six hours of arrival
  • Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 in coverage for lost bags per person per trip ($2,000 if you live in New York).
Citi Premier
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in coverage for accidental death or dismemberment.
  • Trip cancellation insurance: Up to $5,000 per trip if your trip can’t go forward due to weather issues, illness, or death.
  • Trip delay insurance: Up to $500 to cover incidental expenses if your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours.
  • Baggage insurance: Up to $3,000 ($2,000 if you live in New York) if your bags are permanently lost.
  • Baggage delay coverage: Up to $100 for the cost of incidental expenses if your bag doesn’t arrive within six hours of your arrival.
  • Emergency assistance: When away from home, Citi can help you connect to support services you need.
Amex Platinum Card
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in coverage for death or accidental dismemberment when traveling.
  • Baggage insurance: Up to $3,000 in coverage if your bags are lost.
  • Premium global assist hotline: 24/7 access to medical, financial, or legal advice or coordination of emergency assistance during travels.
United Explorer
  • Trip cancellation or interruption insurance: Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip to compensate you for non-refundable fares if your trip is cancelled due to sickness, injury, or other covered situations.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 in unreimbursed expenses if you’re delayed more than 12 hours or overnight.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 for three days for essential purchases if your luggage is delayed more than six hours.
  • Lost luggage insurance: Up to $3,000 of losses per covered passenger when checked or carry-on luggage is damaged.

Look for credit cards with travel insurance

There are several credit cards with trip cancellation benefits and with other kinds of travel insurance as well. The key is to find a card that provides the protections you’re looking for when things go wrong on your trip — but which is also affordable and provides other features or perks that benefit you.

Remember, once you have a card with travel insurance, always read the cardmember terms so you’ll know how much protection you have and what you need to do in order to make an insurance claim. When you do, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your financial loss is limited, even if a disaster occurs on your trip.

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