Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? (2024)

Everyone hopes their travels will go smoothly, but this isn’t always the case. While you can’t anticipate travel issues like flight delays, illnesses, and cancellations, you can plan for the unexpected. Travel insurance is one way to protect yourself, as this type of coverage safeguards you against financial losses incurred on a covered trip.

You can purchase a travel insurance policy through a travel agent, insurance company, or sometimes directly through an airline or cruise line. But this coverage also comes as a perk with many travel rewards credit cards.

Here’s what to know about credit card travel insurance, what it covers, and its limitations.

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Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? (1)

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What is credit card travel insurance?

Credit card travel insurance is a benefit included with certain travel credit cards. You’ll often see this perk with travel rewards credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you pay for travel using your card and a covered incident impacts your trip, you may be reimbursed for all or a portion of related expenses.

What does credit card travel insurance cover?

Credit card travel insurance protection varies by card, and coverage may protect the cardholder and their family members. It could provide the following protections depending on your card.

  • Trip interruption or cancellation: These coverages protect you if your travels are interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, such as an illness or severe weather.
  • Trip delays: Trip delay insurance protects you if your flight is delayed for a covered reason and you must pay for meals or lodging.
  • Baggage delays: If your luggage is delayed for several hours, this coverage can reimburse you for essential items.
  • Damaged or lost luggage: If your luggage is lost or damaged, this coverage can reimburse you for associated costs.
  • Illness or injury: This coverage may be primary or secondary to your existing health insurance. It can reimburse you for healthcare costs if you get sick or injured on your trip.
  • Rental car accident or loss: If your rental car is stolen or you’re in an accident and the other driver is responsible, this coverage can reimburse you for loss or damages. It may be primary or secondary, depending on your card.
  • Emergency support: This coverage can protect you if you need to be transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital. Select premium travel cards may also offer emergency medical evacuation protection, though this protection is relatively uncommon.

What does credit card travel insurance not cover?

While credit card travel insurance may protect you if an airline loses your luggage or your flight is delayed due to severe weather, it doesn’t cover everything. Coverage also differs by credit card issuer and your card type, so it’s essential to understand potential exclusions.

“Emergency medical evacuation is one area rarely covered by credit card plans,” says Lauren Gumport, Vice President of Communications & Brand at Faye Travel Insurance. “Depending on your card and where you’re traveling, you may need to get a separate policy for this type of protection.”

Other limitations may also apply. For instance, travel issues related to a pre-existing condition, trips to a war zone, adventure travel complete with risky activities, or changes in financial circ*mstances aren’t typically covered. Your card’s insurance protections probably won’t cover traveling companions besides your immediate family members, either.

Do all credit cards include travel insurance?

While it would be ideal if all credit cards provided travel insurance benefits, this simply isn’t the case. Travel rewards credit cards often offer insurance, though coverage limits and types of protections vary by card.

You’ll generally see the highest levels of coverage with high-annual-fee travel credit cards. For instance, the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers emergency evacuation and transportation, but its sister card, the Sapphire Preferred, does not.

How do I choose a credit card with travel insurance?

If you’re interested in a credit card with travel insurance, comparing these factors can help you choose the best card for your situation.

  • Annual fees: Many premium travel cards come with high annual fees, so it’s essential to understand these costs to find a card that works for you.
  • Available coverages: Certain cards offer more protection than others. For instance, you may get emergency evacuation support with some high-end cards, but this coverage is uncommon.
  • Coverage limits: Some credit cards may only provide coverage up to a certain limit. Comparing coverage limits on different cards before applying.
  • Deductibles: Deductibles may also apply, depending on the card and coverage.
  • Exclusions: Just as it’s important to understand available coverages, you’ll also want to research potential exclusions. Understanding exclusions can help ensure you choose the best card for your situation.
  • Other benefits: Also consider other benefits that are important to you, such as welcome offers, travel credits, and earning rates.

Do I need additional travel insurance?

Credit card travel insurance may offer some financial protection, but it could be limited compared to a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Whether you need additional travel insurance depends on your situation, where you’re traveling, and whom you’re traveling with.

For instance, if you have a pre-existing condition, you may need to purchase separate travel insurance that covers your specific condition, as credit cards typically won’t cover you for trip cancellation due to a pre-existing issue.

Other coverage exclusions may also apply with your credit card travel insurance. For example, your insurance protections likely won’t extend to friends traveling with you. Likewise, your coverage may not protect you in every country. Card issuers often have specific geographic exclusions outlined in their terms and conditions.

The takeaway

Credit card travel insurance can protect you financially if your trip is delayed, canceled, or interrupted for a covered reason. But protections vary by card, so understanding what’s covered and what isn’t can help you avoid unfortunate—and potentially expensive—surprises.
“​​It’s essential to read the details of any travel insurance plan carefully,” says Angela Borden, Product Strategist at Seven Corners, Inc. “This is true of any plan, but it’s particularly important if you plan to rely solely on insurance from a credit card, as it could come with unexpected exclusions.”

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date but are subject to change at any time at the issuer’s discretion. Before applying, please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? (2024)


Does credit card travel insurance offer enough protection? ›

Credit card travel insurance may offer some financial protection, but it could be limited compared to a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Whether you need additional travel insurance depends on your situation, where you're traveling, and whom you're traveling with.

What does credit card travel insurance cover? ›

If your credit card includes travel insurance, you may be reimbursed if your travel is affected by weather, health issues or certain kinds of emergencies outside your control. Typically, credit card travel insurance only covers the expenses that you charge to that specific card.

Is credit card insurance worth it? ›

The benefit of insuring your credit card balance is that if job loss, total disability, or loss of life occurs, your finances may be protected to a greater degree. Credit card balance protection insurance can help you make payments on your credit card if you, for example, lose your job.

What does travel insurance not cover? ›

Most travel insurance policies won't pay out if you're negligent while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and have an accident or have property stolen.

What does your credit card insurance cover? ›

Credit card protection can help in the following scenarios: If an item you've bought arrives faulty or damaged and you can't get a refund or replacement through the retailer. Your item arrives and doesn't match the product description. Your item isn't delivered but you've still been charged.

What is the difference between credit card travel insurance and travel insurance? ›

Important: While travel insurance policies may be more comprehensive than credit card protections, it has limitations. They typically won't cover non-essential medical expenses, high-risk sports or activities, or pre-existing conditions — at least without paying for add-on coverage.

Do credit cards cover travel cancellation? ›

Trip Cancellation Insurance and Trip Interruption Insurance are two types of coverage that credit cards sometimes offer. With these coverages, you could be reimbursed for all expenses that are normally non-refundable, should your trip be: cancelled before departure (cancellation insurance)

Do credit cards come with travel insurance? ›

While it would be ideal if all credit cards provided travel insurance benefits, this simply isn't the case. Travel rewards credit cards often offer insurance, though coverage limits and types of protections vary by card. You'll generally see the highest levels of coverage with high-annual-fee travel credit cards.

Does credit card purchase protection work? ›

Bottom line. Credit card purchase protection can come in handy if an item is damaged or stolen soon after you buy it. But there are limits on what is covered, when you can file a claim and how much you can be reimbursed, so it's important to study your card's policy before you need it.

Why don t you need credit card insurance? ›

Given that federal law limits credit card fraud liability and that most credit cards offer a “Zero Liability” policy, credit card loss protection insurance doesn't offer any additional benefits. Not only is it unnecessary, it's also a waste of money. Why pay extra for something that's already been provided for you?

Does travel insurance ever pay out? ›

If your trip is canceled for a covered reason, a policy will often reimburse airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, tours, cruises and other prepaid, non-refundable expenses.

How much should travel insurance cost? ›

While travel insurance costs vary, the average is somewhere between 4-12% of your total trip cost*. If you're on the fence, then consider this: an emergency situation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the insurance plan might be a fraction of your trip cost.

Is it worth claiming on travel insurance? ›

Travel insurance can give you extra protection if your holiday doesn't go as planned. This is very important if you are travelling independently because you may find yourself stranded with no way to get home and no rep to help sort out your holiday problem.

How much do you need to pay on a credit card to get protection? ›

You don't need to pay the full price by credit card to get section 75 protection. It's enough to just pay the deposit to get the legal protection.

Can I get a refund if I paid by credit card? ›

Claiming a refund on something you've purchased with your credit card should be straightforward, particularly if you haven't used the goods or services you bought. Contact the retailer and provide them with the details of the credit card you used to make the purchase. Have your receipt to hand.

What is Section 75 of the credit card protection? ›

What is Section 75? It's part of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that means your credit card provider is jointly and severally responsible for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by a retailer or trader.

Do I need travel insurance if I pay with a credit card? ›

Many travel credit cards can provide you with enough travel insurance benefits to protect you in an emergency or if your plans change, so purchasing extra travel coverage likely won't be necessary. Of course, this depends on the type of trip you're taking, among other factors.

Does my Visa card cover travel insurance? ›

Use the Visa insurance service for safe and comfortable travels. Holders of Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, Visa Infinite, Visa Platinum Business and Visa Signature Business premium cards will be automatically insured when traveling.

Do credit cards cover travel medical expenses? ›

Credit card travel insurance consists of various travel-related protections. It typically includes benefits like trip cancellation or interruption insurance. Some cards cover baggage loss, theft or delay, and emergency medical expenses.

Does credit card insurance cover cruising? ›

Credit card travel insurance usually covers cruise trips and the travel you book to and from your port of call. For your credit card coverage to apply, you'll need to pay for the trip with an eligible card.

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