Top 3 Credit Cards With Travel Insurance

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Some credit cards provide free travel insurance to cardholders who start business when they charge for travel on the card or use points to travel through their loyalty programs. However, as with all insurance matters, you can expect to dig into complex language and layers upon layers of terms and conditions to see what is covered, how much is covered, and when coverage applies.

To save you the hassle, we’ve reviewed the benefits of dozens of credit cards—and the detailed text on them—for you. Here are the top three travel insurance credit cards, simplified summaries of the coverages they offer, and why these coverages are important when getting a new travel credit card.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (annual fee: $550) has the most comprehensive travel coverage of any credit card on the market. Below are the main implicit travel insurances that come with the card.

Emergency evacuation and transportation: Up to $100,000 to cover necessary emergency evacuation and transportation expenses for the cardholder, spouse, and/or eligible children under 19 years of age

Trip interruption and cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person, $20,000 per flight (for example, if you have family members on the same flight also filing a claim), and $40,000 per 12 months, for flights canceled or cut due to certain unforeseen circumstances

Emergency medical and dental benefits: Up to $2,500 (subject to a $50 deduction) if you need emergency medical or dental services during a covered trip (Note that this is payable after you go through your primary health insurance first.)

Trip accident insurance: Up to $1 million if you are seriously injured, disfigured, or die on a public carrier; Up to $100,000 for in-flight accidents, other than those that occur on a common carrier

flight delay: Up to $500 per ticket to cover things like meals and lodging if the common carrier is more than six hours late or overnight

Delayed baggage: Up to $100 per day for up to five days, if your bags are more than six hours late

Baggage loss: Up to $3000 per person

Car rental insurance: Up to $75,000 in initial coverage for theft or damage to a rental vehicle you didn’t cause

2. The Platinum® Card from American Express

While its travel insurances aren’t as extensive as Chase Sapphire Reserve, the American Express Platinum Card (annual fee: $695, see rates and fees) has the best coverage of all American Express cards and is the only other card on the market that provides first aid to its card members. (Conditions apply).

Emergency evacuation and transportation: Up to a set amount to cover necessary emergency evacuation and transportation expenses for the cardholder and covered family members

Trip interruption and cancellation: Up to $10,000 per flight and $20,000 per eligible card for every 12 consecutive months

Emergency medical and dental benefits: no one

Trip accident insurance: no one

flight delay: Up to $500 per flight if shared carrier is more than six hours late (total of two claims per 12 months)

Delayed baggage: no one

Baggage loss: Up to $3000 per person

Car rental insurance: Up to $75,000 in secondary coverage for theft or damage to a rental car you didn’t cause. Secondary coverage will cover the amount that your personal/business policies do not cover, which means you will need to go through your personal/business auto insurance first and see what it will cover

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an annual fee of only $95, it carries as many protections as the Chase Sapphire Preferred as mentioned below.

Emergency evacuation and transportation: no one

Trip interruption and cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person, $20,000 per trip, and $40,000 per 12 months, for trips canceled or cut short due to certain unforeseen circumstances (this is the same coverage as the Reserve Card).

Emergency medical and dental benefits: no one

Trip accident insurance: Up to $500,000 if you are seriously injured, maimed, or die on a common carrier (for $1 million with reserve); Up to $100,000 for in-flight accidents, other than those that occur on a common carrier

flight delay: Up to $500 to cover things like meals and lodging if shared carrier is more than 12 hours late (versus six hours with booking) or overnight

Delayed baggage: Up to $100 per day for up to five days if your bags are more than six hours late (eg a booking)

Baggage loss: Up to $3,000 per person (as reserve)

Car rental insurance: Up to the value of the rental car in initial coverage for theft or damage you didn’t cause to the rental car (for $75,000 with Reserve)

of claims and coverages

The implied travel covers that come with these three cards are sure to be the best on the market. However, this does not mean that understanding – or collecting – on such insurances is straightforward. In fact, it is anything but.

The sub-insurance for each card has its own detailed set of rules about what is covered, what is not, and in what situations. For example, to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Emergency Evacuation and Transportation feature, “Eviction must be pre-approved by the Benefits Officer in consultation with a legally licensed physician who certifies that emergency evacuation is warranted because of the severity of injury or illness.” It’s hard to imagine, In a situation that is painful enough, considering first contacting a benefits administrator for approval before making a decision can be a fateful one.

For same-card trip cancellation and boycott coverage, a “named storm warning” is a covered reason for a trip cancellation while “… a country that closes its borders or a travel provider cancels or changes travel arrangements due to an epidemic or pandemic” is not. Dive into the “named storm warning” scenario to learn that a warning would have to be issued by the Meteorological Society with the jurisdiction to issue such a warning (the government declaring an emergency on its own does not matter) and said the storm must be “occurring or expected soon within Fifty (50) miles from the airport, station or station from which you are scheduled to depart or arrive.” While this does not mean that a clause will always prevent you from collecting on insurance, it does mean that there are a lot of scenarios and conditions to consider. On the flip side, third party travel insurance often has long tenure terms. And in some cases, the insurance you actually get from using your credit card may be better than the supplemental policy.

Choosing the Best Credit Card for Travel Insurance

Nobody wants things to go wrong on a trip, but sometimes they do and it’s wise to be protected. It’s true that some events won’t be covered, but the same can be said for many of the general travel insurance policies that people buy — and pay a lot for — when they go on a trip. By charging for travel to Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, cardholders can have peace of mind knowing their trips are protected under many scenarios.

We consider many factors when getting a new credit card, from welcome offers to lounge access to annual credits. Travel insurance should also be a consideration. Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best credit card with high annual fee for travel insurance while Chase Sapphire Preferred is best for low annual fee credit card. The Platinum Card from American Express also offers solid coverage, but keep in mind that it’s not the best in its class.

While the above offers are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may change or may no longer be available.

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