Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? (2024)

Everyone hopes their travels will go smoothly, but this isn’t always the case. While you can’t anticipate travel issues like flight delays, illnesses, and cancellations, you can plan for the unexpected. Travel insurance is one way to protect yourself, as this type of coverage safeguards you against financial losses incurred on a covered trip.

You can purchase a travel insurance policy through a travel agent, insurance company, or sometimes directly through an airline or cruise line. But this coverage also comes as a perk with many travel rewards credit cards.

Here’s what to know about credit card travel insurance, what it covers, and its limitations.

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Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? (1)

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What is credit card travel insurance?

Credit card travel insurance is a benefit included with certain travel credit cards. You’ll often see this perk with travel rewards credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you pay for travel using your card and a covered incident impacts your trip, you may be reimbursed for all or a portion of related expenses.

What does credit card travel insurance cover?

Credit card travel insurance protection varies by card, and coverage may protect the cardholder and their family members. It could provide the following protections depending on your card.

  • Trip interruption or cancellation: These coverages protect you if your travels are interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, such as an illness or severe weather.
  • Trip delays: Trip delay insurance protects you if your flight is delayed for a covered reason and you must pay for meals or lodging.
  • Baggage delays: If your luggage is delayed for several hours, this coverage can reimburse you for essential items.
  • Damaged or lost luggage: If your luggage is lost or damaged, this coverage can reimburse you for associated costs.
  • Illness or injury: This coverage may be primary or secondary to your existing health insurance. It can reimburse you for healthcare costs if you get sick or injured on your trip.
  • Rental car accident or loss: If your rental car is stolen or you’re in an accident and the other driver is responsible, this coverage can reimburse you for loss or damages. It may be primary or secondary, depending on your card.
  • Emergency support: This coverage can protect you if you need to be transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital. Select premium travel cards may also offer emergency medical evacuation protection, though this protection is relatively uncommon.

What does credit card travel insurance not cover?

While credit card travel insurance may protect you if an airline loses your luggage or your flight is delayed due to severe weather, it doesn’t cover everything. Coverage also differs by credit card issuer and your card type, so it’s essential to understand potential exclusions.

“Emergency medical evacuation is one area rarely covered by credit card plans,” says Lauren Gumport, Vice President of Communications & Brand at Faye Travel Insurance. “Depending on your card and where you’re traveling, you may need to get a separate policy for this type of protection.”

Other limitations may also apply. For instance, travel issues related to a pre-existing condition, trips to a war zone, adventure travel complete with risky activities, or changes in financial circ*mstances aren’t typically covered. Your card’s insurance protections probably won’t cover traveling companions besides your immediate family members, either.

Do all credit cards include travel insurance?

While it would be ideal if all credit cards provided travel insurance benefits, this simply isn’t the case. Travel rewards credit cards often offer insurance, though coverage limits and types of protections vary by card.

You’ll generally see the highest levels of coverage with high-annual-fee travel credit cards. For instance, the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers emergency evacuation and transportation, but its sister card, the Sapphire Preferred, does not.

How do I choose a credit card with travel insurance?

If you’re interested in a credit card with travel insurance, comparing these factors can help you choose the best card for your situation.

  • Annual fees: Many premium travel cards come with high annual fees, so it’s essential to understand these costs to find a card that works for you.
  • Available coverages: Certain cards offer more protection than others. For instance, you may get emergency evacuation support with some high-end cards, but this coverage is uncommon.
  • Coverage limits: Some credit cards may only provide coverage up to a certain limit. Comparing coverage limits on different cards before applying.
  • Deductibles: Deductibles may also apply, depending on the card and coverage.
  • Exclusions: Just as it’s important to understand available coverages, you’ll also want to research potential exclusions. Understanding exclusions can help ensure you choose the best card for your situation.
  • Other benefits: Also consider other benefits that are important to you, such as welcome offers, travel credits, and earning rates.

Do I need additional travel insurance?

Credit card travel insurance may offer some financial protection, but it could be limited compared to a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Whether you need additional travel insurance depends on your situation, where you’re traveling, and whom you’re traveling with.

For instance, if you have a pre-existing condition, you may need to purchase separate travel insurance that covers your specific condition, as credit cards typically won’t cover you for trip cancellation due to a pre-existing issue.

Other coverage exclusions may also apply with your credit card travel insurance. For example, your insurance protections likely won’t extend to friends traveling with you. Likewise, your coverage may not protect you in every country. Card issuers often have specific geographic exclusions outlined in their terms and conditions.

The takeaway

Credit card travel insurance can protect you financially if your trip is delayed, canceled, or interrupted for a covered reason. But protections vary by card, so understanding what’s covered and what isn’t can help you avoid unfortunate—and potentially expensive—surprises.
“​​It’s essential to read the details of any travel insurance plan carefully,” says Angela Borden, Product Strategist at Seven Corners, Inc. “This is true of any plan, but it’s particularly important if you plan to rely solely on insurance from a credit card, as it could come with unexpected exclusions.”

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date but are subject to change at any time at the issuer’s discretion. Before applying, please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? (2024)


Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? ›

Credit card travel insurance may offer some financial protection, but it could be limited compared to a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Whether you need additional travel insurance depends on your situation, where you're traveling, and whom you're traveling with.

Is travel insurance offered by credit card enough? ›

Many travel credit cards can provide you with enough travel insurance benefits to protect you in an emergency or if your plans change, so purchasing extra travel coverage likely won't be necessary.

What is the difference between travel insurance and credit card insurance? ›

Important: While travel insurance policies may be more comprehensive than credit card protections, it has limitations. They typically won't cover non-essential medical expenses, high-risk sports or activities, or pre-existing conditions — at least without paying for add-on coverage.

Is credit card insurance worth it? ›

The benefit of insuring your credit card balance is that if job loss, total disability, or loss of life occurs, your finances may be protected to a greater degree. Credit card balance protection insurance can help you make payments on your credit card if you, for example, lose your job.

Does your credit card cover trip cancellation? ›

The coverage provided by your credit card will depend on the date of cancellation/interruption of your trip and the expenses incurred as a result of this trip. For trip cancellation insurance, you could: be reimbursed for the non-refundable portion of your travel expenses (up to a certain limit).

What are two disadvantages of travel insurance? ›

It can also be expensive, difficult to file claims, and not always cover the things you thought it would — or should.

What does credit card travel insurance cover? ›

Trip interruption or cancellation: These coverages protect you if your travels are interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, such as an illness or severe weather. Trip delays: Trip delay insurance protects you if your flight is delayed for a covered reason and you must pay for meals or lodging.

Is it better to get single trip or annual travel insurance? ›

This will depend on how many trips you make per year. If you know you will only go on one or two holidays abroad in a 12-month period, a single trip policy will most likely be the best option. However, if you take several trips abroad each year, an annual multi-trip policy could be cheaper.

Is Allianz travel insurance good? ›

Allianz is a popular choice among business travelers due to its AllTrips Executive travel insurance policy with coverage for lost, stolen or damaged business equipment and rental car insurance. Earning 4.1 out of 5 stars, our expert reviewers think Allianz is a great choice for international travel insurance.

What is the best travel insurance company? ›

The best travel insurance companies are Faye, Travelex and Nationwide, according to our analysis of over 49 policies. Travel insurance policies offer reimbursem*nt if your trip gets canceled for a covered reason, you incur emergency medical bills, and for other situations such as missed flights or baggage delays.

Do credit cards have better protection? ›

Credit cards offer better consumer protections against fraud compared with debit cards linked to a bank account.

Do you get more protection paying with credit card? ›

While debit cards and cash offer consumers limited benefits, using a credit card can help protect you against purchases that go awry. A credit card is guarded from fraudulent activity and some offer benefits like travel insurance and return protection.

What is credit card protection insurance? ›

Credit card purchase protection works like insurance for eligible products against theft or accidental damage. It is available for a limited time, generally 90–120 days. The program enables you to get a purchased item repaired, replaced, or reimbursed at no cost.

Will I get a refund with travel insurance if I cancel my flight? ›

Travel insurance reimburses the cost of nonrefundable travel plans if you need to cancel your flight for a covered reason. To receive reimbursem*nt, you must file a claim and submit supporting documentation that validates your eligibility to receive reimbursem*nt.

Can you get a refund on travel insurance if you cancel your trip? ›

If your travel insurance policy has a money-back guarantee or review period, you can cancel for any reason and receive a full refund within the timeframe if you haven't filed a claim or departed for your trip yet. But you won't get a premium refund if you cancel your policy after the review period.

What happens to travel insurance if trip is Cancelled? ›

When you buy travel insurance, comprehensive plans typically reimburse you the costs of canceled and delayed flights through travel delay coverage and trip cancellation insurance. Depending on the plan you choose, you can get reimbursed full refunds or prepaid costs once you qualify during the claims process.

Does my Visa card provide travel insurance? ›

Use the Visa insurance service for safe and comfortable travels. Holders of Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, Visa Infinite, Visa Platinum Business and Visa Signature Business premium cards will be automatically insured when traveling.

What percent of trip should travel insurance cost? ›

The average cost of travel insurance is about 3% to 5% of a trip's total value, according to quotes gathered by our research team across different travel insurance providers for various traveler profiles.

Do you absolutely need travel insurance? ›

Either way, if your vacation plans take you outside your home province or territory, your government health insurance plan (GHIP) may not cover all your medical expenses. Travel insurance coverage can help you avoid unexpected fees.

Is 50000 enough for travel insurance? ›

Every plan is different, but the coverage amounts and benefits may vary. Determine how much you really need. For example, SquareMouth recommends international travelers get around $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $100,000 for cruises or travel to remote areas.

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