The 3 best credit cards with travel insurance

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Some credit cards offer a range of free travel insurance to cardholders that comes into play when loading travel onto the card or redeeming points for travel under its loyalty program. However, as with all insurance matters, you can expect to wade through complicated language and layers upon layers of terms and conditions to determine what is covered, how much is covered, and when coverage applies.

To save you some headaches, we’ve gone over the benefits of dozens of credit cards for you, along with the detailed fine print therein. Below are the three best credit cards for travel insurance, simplified summaries of the coverages they offer, and why those coverages are important when getting a new travel credit card.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card ($550 annual fee) offers the most comprehensive travel coverage of any credit card on the market, hands down. Here are the main implicit travel insurances provided with the card.

Evacuation and emergency transport: Up to $100,000 for necessary emergency evacuation and transportation costs for the cardholder, their spouse and/or eligible children under the age of nineteen

Trip Interruption and Cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person, $20,000 per trip (for example, if you have family members on the same trip who also file a claim) and $40,000 per 12 month period, for trips canceled or curtailed due to specific unforeseen circumstances

Emergency medical and dental benefit: Up to $2,500 (and subject to a $50 deductible) if you require emergency medical or dental services while on a covered trip. Note that this is payable after first going through your primary health insurance.

Travel accident insurance: Up to $1 million if you are seriously injured, maimed or die on a common carrier; up to $100,000 for travel accidents beyond those on a common carrier

Travel delay: Up to $500 per ticket to cover costs such as meals and accommodations if your common carrier is delayed for more than six hours or overnight

Delayed baggage: Up to $100 per day for up to five days, if your baggage is more than six hours late

Lost baggage: Up to $3,000 per person

Rental car insurance: Up to $75,000 in primary coverage for theft or damage to the rental car not caused by you

Although its travel insurance is not as strong as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card from American Express (annual fee: $695, see rates and fees) has the best coverage of any American Express card and is the only other card on the market to provide Medevac to its cardholders. (Certain conditions apply.)

Evacuation and emergency transport: Up to an indefinite amount for necessary emergency evacuation and transportation costs for the cardholder and covered family members

Trip Interruption and Cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive months

Emergency medical and dental benefit: None

Travel accident insurance: None

Travel delay: Up to $500 per trip if your common carrier is delayed for more than six hours (with a total of two claims per 12 month period)

Delayed baggage: None

Lost baggage: Up to $3,000 per person

Rental car insurance: Up to $75,000 in secondary coverage for theft or damage to the rental car not caused by you. Secondary coverage will cover the amount that your personal/business policies don’t cover, meaning you’ll need to go through your personal/business auto insurance first and see what it will cover.

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred card only has an annual fee of $95, it comes with many of the same protections as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as listed below.

Evacuation and emergency transport: None

Trip Interruption and Cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person, $20,000 per trip and $40,000 per 12 month period, for trips canceled or curtailed due to specific unforeseen circumstances. This is the same cover as the Reserve card.

Emergency medical and dental benefit: None

Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 if you are seriously injured, maimed or die on a common carrier (compared to $1 million with Reserve); up to $100,000 for travel accidents beyond those on a common carrier

Travel delay: Up to $500 to cover costs such as meals and accommodations if your common carrier is delayed more than 12 hours (compared to six hours with Reserve) or overnight

Delayed baggage: Up to $100 per day for up to five days, if your baggage is more than six hours late (like Book)

Lost baggage: Up to $3,000 per person (same as reserve)

Rental car insurance: Up to the value of the rental car in primary coverage for theft or damage to the rental car not caused by you (vs. $75,000 with Reserve)

Claims and coverage

Admittedly, the implied travel covers that come with these three cards are the best on the market. However, this does not mean that understanding – or collecting – these assurances is simple. In fact, it’s anything but.

Each card’s underinsurance has its own detailed set of rules about what is covered, what is not, and in what situations. For example, to use Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Emergency Transportation and Evacuation Benefit, “evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefit Administrator in consultation with a legally licensed physician who certifies that the evacuation of emergency is warranted because of the seriousness of the injury or illness. “It’s hard to imagine in a dire enough situation thinking about first calling the benefits administrator to get approval before making a decision that could be a life or death decision.

For Trip Interruption and Cancellation coverage on the same card, a “named storm warning” is a covered reason for trip cancellation while “…a country closing its borders or a travel supplier canceling or changing travel arrangements travel due to an epidemic or pandemic” are not. Dig deeper into the scenario of a “named storm warning” to learn that the warning must be issued by a meteorological society with jurisdiction to issue such a warning (the declaration of a state of emergency by a government does not count). not per se) and said the storm must “occur or be imminent within fifty (50) miles of the airport, terminal or station from which you are to depart or arrive”. While that doesn’t mean a clause will always prevent you from collecting insurance, it does mean that there are a lot of “what ifs” and conditions to consider. On another side, third party travel insurance often has equally long benefit periods. And in some cases, the insurance you already get using your credit card could be superior to an additional policy.

Choosing the Best Credit Card for Travel Insurance

No one wants things to go wrong on a trip, but sometimes they do and it’s wise to be protected. Granted, some events won’t be covered, but so are many general travel insurance policies that people buy – and pay a lot for – when they go on a trip. By charging for trips to Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card from American Express, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, cardholders can have peace of mind knowing their trips are protected in many scenarios.

We consider many factors when getting a new credit card, welcome offers at lounge access at annual credits. Travel insurance should also be a consideration. Chase Sapphire Reserve is by far the best high annual fee credit card for travel insurance, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the best for a low annual fee credit card. The Platinum card from American Express also offers solid coverage, but keep in mind that it’s not best in class.

Although the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time and may have changed or may no longer be available.

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