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When planning a trip, we usually think about where we’re going to eat, what activities we’re going to do and what hotels we’re going to book. We often don’t plan for what could go wrong.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to plan for unexpected cancellations or interruptions, but it’s possible to be prepared.
Credit cards with trip cancellation insurance and credit cards with travel insurance can save the day when worst comes to worst. If you pay travel expenses using a credit card with travel insurance, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re financially secure in case the unexpected happens.
Let’s dive deep into trip cancellation/interruption credit card travel insurance, what to watch out for and the best cards with travel insurance.
Embrace Peace of Mind and Financial Protection with Travel Insurance
Credit card travel insurance provides either primary or secondary insurance coverage for a range of situations you may run into while traveling.
Depending on your credit card, you may have various types of credit card travel insurance. Here are the most common insurances:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Trip delay coverage
- Emergency medical coverage
- Baggage loss/delay coverage
- Rental car insurance
Whatever insurances your credit card may offer, it’s key to read the terms and conditions of your policy. The maximum claim amount, documentation required for a claim, people covered, claim window and exclusions can all vary between card providers as well as between cards from the same provider.
Trip Cancellation Coverage
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance reimburses you for non-refundable travel costs up to a specific dollar amount, in the case that unforeseen events disrupt your trip.
Events include circumstances outside of your control, such as adverse weather, natural disasters, flight cancellations and medical evacuations, among other events. Some cards may reimburse you for the costs of travel only, while others may reimburse the costs of consequent knock-on cancellations, such as expenses that are included as part of a travel package (tours, etc.) or other non-refundable bookings related to your trip.
For example, Chase will reimburse between $5,000 and $10,000 per person for non-refundable purchases, including passenger fares, tours and hotels, depending on the card. In contrast, cardholders of the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card will receive up to $2,500 for non-refundable passenger fares only.
Depending on your card issuer, you (the primary cardholder), as well as the people you’re traveling with, may be covered. In some instances, you, your spouse and dependent children under a certain age may be covered, while other cards may cover the costs of every person on your travel itinerary whose expenses have been paid for using your card.
Reap the Rewards of Travel Insurance
Travel insurance credit cards are massively underrated. We get it—it’s easy to focus on high rewards rates and premium travel perks, such as lounge access.
However, credit cards with travel insurance can play a key role in offsetting the annual fee on premium cards.
Typically, when calculating the value of holding a credit card, we compare the monetary value of that card’s perks and rewards to the cost of its annual fee. As long as the return rate is greater than the annual fee, the card is valuable.
Travel insurance credit cards can make this calculation a little bit more tricky. This is because we typically don’t use travel insurance benefits very often (only when there’s an accident), so it’s harder to quantify them in the calculation of a card’s annual return value.
However, if a credit card with travel insurance reimburses you $10,000 for the costs of a canceled trip, for instance, then this card has offset its annual fee by a significant amount, for many subsequent years—more so than any other card perk could ever dream of doing.
Cards with travel insurance also save you a significant amount of money in additional insurance policies. Instead of having to take out separate expensive insurance plans for multiple situations, you can rely on your card’s travel insurance to provide comprehensive coverage for a variety of circumstances.
Generally speaking, if you travel or rent a car at least once per year, travel insurance benefits should play a role in the valuation of any credit card you consider signing up for. These benefits will give you peace of mind, added security for the unexpected and could save you thousands of dollars when worst comes to worst.
Best Credit Cards with Travel Insurance
Let’s have a look at the best credit cards with travel insurance, what they cover and their perks and rewards rates.
Keep in mind that we’re just going over notable exclusions and situational coverage—our lists are not exhaustive. It’s always important to check your card issuer’s guide to benefits for exact and up-to-date information.
Likewise, to be eligible for trip cancellation/interruption coverage, you’ll need to charge your travel expenses to your credit card.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers some of the most competitive travel insurance credit card benefits available, making it our overall winner.
It offers the following trip cancellation/interruption coverage policy:
|Chase Sapphire Reserve
|Reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
|Within 20 days of interruption/cancellation
|Cardholder and immediate family members
|Non-refundable travel expenses charged by a travel supplier including passenger fares, rental car agencies, tours and hotels
|• Accidental bodily injury
• Severe weather
• Call to jury duty
• Change of military orders for you or your spouse
• Your place of permanent residence or your accommodation has been made uninhabitable through fire, flooding or burglary
• Terrorist incident or terrorism warning issued within 25 miles of an airport, booked lodging, and/ or host destination (when it’s issued during your or your traveling companion’s trip)
• Organized strike causing you or your traveling companion to miss 20% of your trip
• The death or hospitalization of you or your traveling companion’s host at destination
• Quarantine of you or your traveling companion imposed by a physician or competent governmental authority with jurisdiction, due to health reasons
|• Event tickets, prepaid fees for theme parks, museums, golf courses, or similar points of interest (unless these expenses are included as part of a travel package)
• Trips longer than 60 days
• Travel arrangements that are scheduled to take place after week 26 of pregnancy
• War and related acts (excluding terrorism)
• Disinclination to travel
• Failure to obtain necessary travel documents
• Suicide, attempted suicide or self-inflicted injuries
• You being under the influence of any narcotic, legal recreational marijuana, or other controlled substance at the time of a loss (excluding prescriptions by a physician)
• Pre-existing conditions that occur prior to the initial deposit date or booking date of the trip
Aside from trip cancellation/interruption coverage, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a range of premium rewards and travel perks, including but not limited to
- A robust range of travel and purchase protections
- $100 Global Entry credit every four years or $85 TSA PreCheck® fee statement credit every 4.5 years
- Complimentary Priority Pass SelectTM membership
- Up to $300 annual statement credit for travel purchases
- Up to $1,200 worth of partner benefits
- Zero foreign transaction fees
Although the annual fee of $550 isn’t cheap, the range of rewards, perks and travel protections makes offsetting the annual fee easy.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
For a much cheaper annual fee of $95, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with strong travel protections.
It comes with the exact same trip cancellation/interruption coverage policy, limits and exclusions as the Chase Sapphire Reserve (see table above). Specifically, you’ll receive reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip.
This makes it the card offering the highest and broadest coverage limits for the lowest annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers strong earning rates on a range of bonus spending categories, from online grocery shopping to select streaming services, dining and travel purchases. It also offers an annual point boost equivalent to 10% of total purchases charged to your card within the previous year, as well as $200 worth of partner perks. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is free of foreign transaction fees and offers a host of travel and purchase protection benefits.
For premium protection at an affordable price, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is unbeatable.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
For an annual fee of $395, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit card offers a comprehensive set of travel protections.
As a Visa Infinite card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit card offers the following trip cancellation/interruption insurance policy:
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
|Reimbursement of up to $2,000 per person
|Within 20 days of interruption/cancellation
|Cardholder, spouse or domestic partner and dependent children
|Non-refundable common carrier tickets
|The death, accidental bodily injury, disease or physical illness of you or an immediate family member of an insured person
Default of the common carrier resulting from financial insolvency
|• Pre-existing conditions
• Accidental bodily injuries due to participation in interscholastic or professional sports events, racing or speed contests, or uncertified scuba diving
• Cosmetic surgery (check policy for exceptions to this exclusion)
• The insured person or an immediate family member being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (except those prescribed and used as directed by a physician)
• The insured person or an immediate family member who a) travels against the advice of a physician, or b) travels while on a waiting list for a specified medical treatment, or c) travels for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment or d) travels in their third trimester of pregnancy
• Suicide, attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injuries
• War (excluding terrorism)
• An insured person's emotional trauma, mental or physical illness, disease, pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage, bacterial or viral infection or bodily malfunctions, except physical illness or disease which prevent the insured person from traveling on a covered trip
The coverage limits offered by Capital One are lower than with Chase, and cover the reimbursement of non-refundable common carrier tickets only.
Nevertheless, you can still receive up to $2,000 worth of coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, making this a competitive credit card travel insurance perk.
This card also comes with
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select, Plaza Premium Group and Capital One Lounge access
- Up to $300 annual statement credit for travel bookings made through Capital One Travel
- 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
- 2X miles on all other purchases
- $100 Global Entry credit every four years or $85 TSA PreCheck fee statement credit every 4.5 years
For a reasonable annual fee, the Venture X Rewards card offers premium protection.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers high trip cancellation/interruption coverage limits in addition to premium rewards and perks.
Here’s an overview of its trip cancellation/interruption insurance policy:
|The Platinum Card from American Express
|Reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
|Within 60 days of interruption or cancellation
|Cardholder, spouse or domestic partner, and unmarried dependent children up to age 19 (or under age 26 if a full time student at an accredited college or university) as well as traveling companions (whose travel expenses were charged to your card)
|• Non-refundable, prepaid land, air and sea transportation
• Additional transportation expenses that the eligible traveler incurs less any available refunds (not to exceed the cost of an economy-class air ticket by the most direct route for the eligible traveler to rejoin his or her common carrier covered trip or to return to his or her place of origin)
• The additional expenses incurred to purchase tickets for a new departure (not to exceed the difference between the original fare and the economy fare for the rescheduled covered trip by the most direct route) if a covered loss causes an eligible traveler to temporarily postpone transportation
|• Accidental bodily injury or loss of life or sickness of either the eligible traveler, traveling companion or a family member of the eligible traveler or traveling companion
• Inclement weather, which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from traveling or continuing on a covered trip
• The eligible traveler or his or her spouse’s change in military orders
• Terrorist action or hijacking
• Call to jury duty or subpoena by the courts, either of which cannot be postponed or waived
• The eligible traveler or traveling companion’s dwelling made uninhabitable
• Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons
|• Pre-existing conditions
• The eligible traveler’s suicide, attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injury
• Mental or emotional disorders, unless hospitalized
• The eligible traveler’s participation in a sporting activity for which he or she receives a salary or prize money
• The eligible traveler being intoxicated at the time of an accident
• The eligible traveler being under the influence of any narcotic or other controlled substance at the time of an accident, unless the narcotic or other controlled substance is taken and used as prescribed by a physician
• The eligible traveler’s commission or attempted commission of any illegal or criminal act, including but not limited to any felony
• Dental treatment except as a result of accidental bodily injury to sound, natural teeth
• One-way travel without a return destination
• Loss due to intentional acts by the eligible traveler
• Financial insolvency of a travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier
This card also offers the following premium rewards and perks (rates and fees):
- Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost
- 5X points on eligible flights when booked via American Express Travel or booked directly with the airline, on up to $500,000 in charges per calendar year
- 5X points on eligible prepaid hotel reservations when booked with American Express Travel
- Up to $200 hotel credit, given in statement credits, on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel, (minimum hotel stay of two nights required)
- Up to $300 Equinox credit, given in statement credits
- Up to $189 per year in statement credits toward a CLEAR® Plus membership
- Up to $200 airline incidental fee credit, given in statement credits
- Up to $200 Uber Cash, issued in increments of $15 per month with a bonus $20 in December, for U.S. rides and eats
- Up to $240 digital entertainment credit, issued in $20 monthly statement credits for eligible purchases (enrollment required)
- Complimentary premium status for various car rental companies (enrollment required)
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to the American Express International Airline Program (for discounted airfares)
- Access to the Fine Hotels + Resort Collection for bookings made through American Express Travel
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required)
With an annual fee of $695, the Platinum Card from American Express offers a significant array of perks, rewards and protections.
Comparing Credit Cards with Travel Insurance
In order to decide which card is right for you, you will need to work out whether the higher annual fee of the premium cards will save you more money overall due to their higher coverage limits and greater range of covered situations, compared to the lower annual fee cards. This applies to all insurance benefits offered by credit cards.
Overall, the Chase Sapphire cards come out on top as the best credit cards with travel insurance for trip cancellation/interruption coverage. The policies for both the Reserve and Preferred cards are exactly the same, offering the same coverage limits and exclusions, as well as covering the widest range of expenses. Whether you pick one card over the other is simply a case of how much you’re willing to pay in annual fees.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes in at second for trip cancellation/interruption coverage. While its coverage limits are the same as Chase’s, the annual fee is higher for the Platinum card compared to both Chase Sapphire cards. That being said, the Platinum card does have a wider definition of eligible travelers who can receive coverage, which is a factor to consider in weighing the value you get with the higher annual fees.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit card offers lower coverage limits than both Chase and Amex. Likewise, it has a higher annual fee for less coverage compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. However, it offers more premium perks compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which may make up for its lower trip cancellation/interruption coverage limits, depending on your priorities.
How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Travel Insurance
Choosing the best credit card for travel insurance begins with looking for cards that suit both your travel goals and everyday spending habits.
If you begin your search based on these two factors, you’ll narrow your selection down to cards that will earn you the most points possible and give you perks you’re most likely to use.
Once you’ve narrowed your selection down, you should turn to the insurance benefits offered by each card issuer and see how they vary between cards.
Here are some key factors to consider during the selection process:
When considering annual fees, you need to ensure that the return value of the card exceeds the cost of any annual fees.
This begins with owning a card with perks and rewards rates you can maximize. If your card offers competitive bonus spending category rates on purchases you make every day, you’ll have the best chance of earning the most points possible. Likewise, if the card offers perks that align with your travel habits, you’ll reap even more value from the card.
These factors will make offsetting annual fees far easier.
However, as mentioned earlier, you need to factor travel insurance benefits into your valuation of the card. Ultimately, you’re the only person who can put a price tag on the value of travel insurance benefits offered by a credit card.
As a rule of thumb, the more you travel and the more a card’s insurance benefits could save you on taking out separate insurance policies, the greater the value of the card.
You want to select a card that earns a rewards currency that will be of greatest benefit to your wider points and miles strategy, as well as travel goals.
For instance, if offsetting the cost of Hilton stays is your primary goal, then a co-branded Hilton card would likely be your best bet. You’ll earn the most points within their loyalty scheme, as well as receive Hilton-related perks.
If you want to remain flexible with point redemption, a general travel rewards credit card may be ideal for you. For example, a card that earns a strong rewards currency that can be transferred at 1:1 ratios with hotel and airline partners is going to give you the greatest benefit. American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points are examples of strong, transferrable rewards currencies.
It’s crucial to select a program that rewards your travel goals to reap the full benefits of earning points and miles.
Travel Insurance Coverage
Credit card travel insurance benefits vary between card issuers and even between cards issued by the same provider.
You need to select a card that will cover the instances you’re most likely to run into, with coverage limits you find reasonable. For example, credit cards with trip delay insurance might be your top priority if you are a frequent flyer.
You also want to check who is covered and what situations are excluded.
You may not need every type of insurance available, so it’s important to consider what insurance benefits are a top priority for you based on your travel habits and goals.
When trying to identify the cards with the best insurance coverage policies, you need to ask the right questions. For instance, you should ask the card issuer the following questions:
- What are the maximum benefit limits per claim and per year?
- What are the exclusions?
- Who is covered?
- How do I receive coverage, and what could cause me to lose coverage?
It’s also key to check the terms and conditions of each prospective card and contact the card issuer to clarify any further points.
Embark on Your Travel Adventures with Confidence
Credit cards with travel insurance benefits can be goldmines when it comes to return value.
Simply charge travel expenses to your card, and you’ll automatically be covered for certain situations (subject to your card’s policy), without needing to take out separate insurance policies. Of course, you may still need to take out a primary insurance policy to cover the events your card doesn’t or to access higher coverage limits.
Overall, equipping yourself with the right travel insurance credit card can give you peace of mind and extra security and save you thousands.
If you’re ready to insure your travels by simply swiping your card, check out some of the best credit cards for travel insurance, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One Venture X card.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
For American Express products listed on this page: The maximum benefit amount for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. , 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
after you spend $4,000 in 3 months
after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
after you spend $8,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.