Do Any Credit Cards Offer Travel Insurance?

August 5, 2013, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Having travel insurance is something you should consider any time you go on a trip. Travel insurance varies widely, covering anything from the medical bills you incur on a trip to a cancelled cruise.

Many people wonder if credit cards offer any type of travel insurance. Some do, but to a limited extent. In most cases, any coverage only takes effect if you purchase the trip entirely on your credit card.

It is wise to know the extra benefits your card may supply when it comes to travel insurance.

How Credit Card Travel Insurance Works

There are several forms of travel insurance that can be supplied by your credit card. It could be trip cancellation, rental car, trip delays, accidental death, trip interruption and lost baggage coverage. However, the insurance offered by your card should be considered your secondary, not primary, insurance. For instance, if you are injured on a cruise ship, the credit card may only cover the portion of your bill that your medical insurance fails to cover. It is secondary insurance and nothing more.

Another factor to keep in mind is that some credit card travel insurance programs will not go into effect if you opt for the paid insurance you can get from, say, a rental car company. The minute you decide to work with that other provider, your credit card insurance becomes null and void. With that said, you may get significantly more coverage with the third party than you would with your credit card. You have to compare the costs to figure that out.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance allows you to get reimbursed for the cost of a trip if you have to cancel after the full refund date. You may not get all of your money back with it, but you can at least get a portion of it. There are a couple credit cards, like Chase Sapphire, that provide this type of insurance, but it is extremely limited. It will only cover a certain dollar amount.

Medical Insurance

Credit cards typically do not have medical insurance. However, credit cards do have forgiveness programs to cover your payments while you are injured. You could use this to avoid getting bad marks on your credit while trying to cover medical bills.

Rental Car Insurance

Rental car insurance is similar to traditional car insurance, but it gives you coverage for a rented car. Usually, the money you get from this coverage will not pay for personal injuries or other vehicles but it will pay for damage to the vehicle you are driving. Most credit cards do offer some sort of rental car insurance and some have better protection than others. Read your card’s policy before you rent a car to learn more.

There are some important factors to keep in mind about rental car insurance. It may not cover certain vehicles if they cost too much to repair. It will not pay for any damage if you opt for the insurance offered through the rental company. It may not work if you pay for part of the rental fees with any other method of payment.

Lost or Damaged Baggage Insurance

Lost or damaged baggage insurance will reimburse you for lost items if your bags cannot be recovered at the airport. They may pay you a flat fee per bag, or they may pay for the claimed contents of the bag up to a certain value. This is a policy that most credit card companies offer, but their terms are all a little different.

Do any credit cards offer travel insurance? Yes, to a certain extent. You need to have other insurance in place to cover your trip due to the exclusions on most credit card policies. It is always best to be familiar with this coverage before it becomes necessary to use it.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 5, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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