Visa vs Mastercard Travel Insurance

Visa vs Mastercard Travel Insurance

June 21, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Two of the most popular credit card networks in the world are Visa and Mastercard. Both are widely accepted, so choosing between the two may come down to how you spend money on your credit card.

If you are someone who travels often, you may wonder what the difference is between Visa and Mastercard’s travel insurance.


Mastercard offers the following travel benefits for all of their cardholders, no matter which credit card you may have. For all of these benefits, you must purchase your tickets, service and/or trip with your Mastercard.

  • Baggage Delay Insurance and Lost or Damaged Luggage Insurance: If your checked baggage is lost or delayed, Mastercard will reimburse you for essential personal or business items. If your carry-on luggage is lost or damaged, you will be reimbursed for repairing or replacing the bag.
  • Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver Insurance: Pays for physical damage and/or theft of a rental car.
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance: Cardholders will be reimbursed for items stolen from their hotel.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: If you or a family member dies or is dismembered, expenses will be covered.
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance: You will be reimbursed for nonrefundable cancellation or change fees if your trip is interrupted or canceled.


Unlike Mastercard, Visa only offers travel and emergency assistance services to Signature cardholders, which means you will need to qualify for a better card to reap these benefits. However, if you are a Signature cardholder, you will have access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to a multilingual call center from anywhere in the world.

Visa offers the following travel assistance services to Signature cardholders:

  • Pre-Trip Assistance:  Information about health precautions, weather reports, currency exchange rates, visas and immunizations.
  • Medical Referral Assistance: If you become ill while traveling, Visa will provide medical referring, monitoring and follow-up.
  • Prescription Assistance and Valuable Document Delivery: If you need a prescription or lose a critical travel document (such as your passport), Visa can help you get the prescription and documents that you need.
  • Legal Referral Assistance: If you need legal help, you will have access to English-speaking attorneys, U.S. embassies and consulates, bail-bond assistance, cash advances and follow-up assistance.
  • Emergency Ticket Replacement: Visa will help you replace and get new tickets delivered and help with the ticket reimbursement procedure.
  • Lost Luggage Locator Service: Will help you find your luggage if it is misplaced by an airline.
  • Emergency Translation Service.

While you have access to all these services as a Visa Signature member, they may not be free of charge. You will be responsible for any associated medical, legal or other costs. Visa will simply help you navigate the process.

To receive true travel insurance with your Visa, you will need to purchase your flight or services with a Visa Infinite card. Benefits of the Infinite card include:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Make sure you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver so you will be covered when you pay with your Visa Infinite card. Damage due to collision or theft will be covered.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: You will receive $500,000 of accidental death and dismemberment coverage when you purchase an airline ticket with your card.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption: You will be reimbursed for the nonrefundable cost of your fare if your trip is canceled or interrupted.
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement: If your flight is delayed by more than six hours or requires an overnight stay, you will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses resulting from the delay—up to $500 per ticket.
  • If your luggage is lost or stolen, New York residents can receive up to $2,000 per bag, and all other cardholders can receive up to $3,000 per bag.

Which is better?

When it comes to travel insurance, if you do not qualify for a Visa Infinite credit card, Mastercard offers the better services, since all cardholders are covered when they purchase their tickets and other services with a Mastercard.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 21, 2018. 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 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.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
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