Credit Card Travel Insurance: The Ultimate Guide (Plus Top 3 Travel Cards)

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Credit Card Travel Insurance

It comes as little surprise that we here at Credit Liftoff love credit cards, and if you’re a regular visitor to our site, it’s likely that you do too!

Offering everything from travel rewards to cashback, credit cards can be hugely beneficial as long as they’re used responsibly.

That said, there’s a frequently overlooked feature offered by many credit cards that can be hugely beneficial under the right circumstances.

That feature is credit card travel insurance, and that’s what we’re going to be taking a look at here today.

Think about your favorite credit card. There’s probably a lot that you could tell us about it. What’s your credit limit? What sort of reward system does it offer? How’s the interest rate?

These are likely all things that you could speak about without doing any research. But what could you tell us about its travel insurance plan?

If you’re like most consumers, you probably struggle to answer this question.

Simply put, credit card travel insurance is a mystery to most people, and many of us have it without knowing the first thing about how it works.

With that in mind, let’s start with the basics regarding how credit card travel insurance works in general.

From there, we’ll get more specific before finally discussing three of the best options out there when it comes to travel credit cards.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance, at the risk of sounding flippant, is pretty much what it sounds like!

Just like health insurance covers medical necessities and homeowner’s insurance protects your place of residence, travel insurance is there to help when you have issues related to a trip.

Of course, just like these other types of insurance once again, every travel insurance policy is different.

Depending on what credit card you’re using, your exact type of travel insurance will be different (or, of course, it could be nonexistent; not every credit card offers this perk).

In the next section, we’ll briefly discuss some of the situations that your credit card travel insurance may help with.

From there, we’ll go on to discuss a number of top travel credit cards in more detail.

What Does Credit Card Travel Insurance Cover?

credit card with travel insurance

Once again, it’s important to emphasize the fact that not all credit card travel insurance policies will offer benefits in each and every one of these scenarios.

Before making any assumptions, it’s important to carefully verify the details of your policy!

That being said, here are some of the issues that may potentially be covered:

Trip cancellation/interruption/delay

When you book a flight or a hotel, there’s a good chance that the reservation you’re making is nonrefundable.

So what happens when a last-minute obligation leaves you homebound and unable to take that trip?

Under normal circumstances, you’d still be on the hook for some or all of those expenses.

That said, the travel insurance policies offered by certain credit cards might actually cover you in situations like this.

Meanwhile, some credit cards offer similar protections in this case of delayed travel.

If your flight is canceled and you have to stay the night in an expensive airport hotel, most airlines nowadays won’t cover the expense in full except under very specific conditions.

A good credit card travel insurance policy can help to protect you when a delayed fight leads to chaos in your travel plans.

Lost baggage or personal belongings

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling in your stomach watching the airport baggage carousel go around and around, your suitcase never showing up?

Delayed baggage can cause serious problems on a business trip for example, and it’s rare but not totally unheard of for luggage to just disappear completely.

Although the exact details vary from card to card, many travel insurance policies offer benefits that help you to recover in situations such as these!

Travel insurance won’t make your baggage problems less of an annoyance, but it certainly can help you to mitigate the financial challenges associated with them.

Health issues and medical evacuations

credit card travel insurance coverage

Let’s be honest: there are few situations more frightening than experiencing a medical emergency far from home.

Beyond potential language barriers, isolation from loved ones, etc., you might also fear that your standard medical insurance policy won’t cover you!

That said, certain credit cards do offer insurance policies to help cover expenses in these tough times.

What’s more, some even offer medical evacuation insurance.

Depending on the exact circumstances, this may involve getting you to the nearest hospital or even getting you to a hospital back home. Either way, you’ll definitely be happy that you had it.

Theft/burglary

Whether visiting another city on a business trip or vacationing at an idyllic destination abroad, the unfortunate truth is that theft and burglary can happen absolutely anywhere.

We hope that you never experience either, but if you do, what happens next?

Without travel insurance, it becomes your responsibility to replace whatever was taken from you.

That said, some credit card travel insurance policies will cover these losses and help you to recover financially from what happened!

Once again, though we hope you never find yourself in this situation, if you do you’ll be beyond grateful for your insurance.

Rental car issues

Even when you find a great deal on a rental car, the worry still lingers in the back of your mind.

“This is a nice car,” you might think, “I really hope I don’t do something to mess it up!”

If this sounds like you, you might consider paying extra for an insurance policy from the rental car agency.

Before you do that, however, you should check to make sure that your credit card doesn’t already offer rental car insurance!

This is actually one of the most common features of credit card travel insurance policies, so there’s a pretty good chance that you may already be covered.

That said, even if you are, it’s a good idea to double-check the exact details of your policy.

Many cover damages to your own vehicle without covering liability to others, for example.

These are some of the many benefits that credit card travel insurance may cover, but it’s important to be aware that this is not a comprehensive list.

Once again, every credit card is different, and that goes even more so for the travel insurance benefits that they offer.

In the next section of our article, we’ll be taking a look at three of the top options out there today for travel credit cards.

We’ll certainly be taking travel insurance into account, but we’ll be considering other factors too. Without further ado, let’s move on!

Top 3 Travel Credit Cards

best credit card travel insurance

When it comes to choosing between the best travel credit cards, you certainly have a lot to consider.

Beyond the question of credit card travel insurance, you also have to think about reward systems, annual fees, and more.

Taking all this into account, here are three of the top options to consider:

Chase Sapphire Reserve

chase credit card travel insurance

Although this card charges a very hefty annual fee of $450, for frequent travelers, it’s certainly worth it.

First of all, you receive an immediate $300 in travel credit, making the annual fee more like $150 for all intents and purposes.

Add on some serious travel perks and no foreign transaction fees, and this card looks even more appealing.

In terms of travel insurance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card covers travel accidents up to one million dollars and offers trip delay insurance that kicks in after just six hours.

You can learn more about the specifics of what this card offers right here.

Capital One Venture

capital one credit card travel insurance

The Capital One Venture card has a lower annual fee of $95, and this is waived for the first year.

This potentially makes it less expensive to hold than the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

As far as travel benefits go, the Capital One Venture card offers two reward miles per dollar spent, plus an impressive ten miles per dollar for hotel reservations booked through hotels.com.

Factor in travel insurance including up to $3,000 for lost luggage, and you’ve got one of the top travel credit cards available today.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture card by checking out this link.

United Explorer

The United Explorer card is an especially smart choice for frequent flyers of this airline.

Much like the Capital One Venture card, the United Explorer card charges a $95 annual fee that is waived during the first year.

Unsurprisingly, this card is best for those who frequently fly on United Airlines.

That said, however, this is one of the most versatile branded airline cards available today.

Beyond standard airline credit card benefits such as free priority boarding and checked bags, the United Explorer card offers baggage delay insurance of $100 per day as well as trip cancellation and interruption insurance up to $1,500 per passenger.

Finally, its trip delay insurance starts after twelve hours; this isn’t quite as impressive as that offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but it’s still pretty good, all things considered!

You can check out our full review of the United Explorer card here, or visit the card’s own web page for even more details on the card and how to apply for it.

That’s it for our guide to credit card travel insurance! We hope that you learned a thing or two, and bon voyage!

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