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One of the top reasons to use a credit card to book your travel reservations is its travel insurance benefits. At a minimum, most credit cards will offer some basic policies such as rental car collision damage waivers and the gruesome sounding accidental death and dismemberment insurance. But beyond this standard coverage, your credit card can also provide some other, more exceptional travel insurance policies.
Here are the top credit card travel insurance benefits and some of the cards that offer them:
1. Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
Many travelers worst nightmare is to become sick or injured in a foreign country. Even at a high quality medical facility, it can be difficult to receive care when you don’t speak the local language, or when you don’t have your family members present to advocate for you. And if you are visiting a country without an advanced medical system, then you may need to return to the United States as soon as possible to receive the care you need.
Medical evacuations can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but there are some credit cards that will provide medical evacuation insurance. For example, the American Express Platinum Card offers emergency medical transportation assistance and covers the cost of medical evacuations authorized and arranged through the Premium Global Assist Hotline Program.
Also, Chase’s Sapphire Reserve Card and Ritz-Carlton Rewards card both come with an emergency evacuation and transportation policy that can cover up to $100,000 in costs when you become injured or ill, requiring an emergency evacuation. To be eligible, a portion or the entire cost of the trip must be charged to your card and the benefits administrator must pre-approve the evacuation in consultation with a physician.
2. Baggage Insurance
The airlines are supposed to cover your losses when your bags are lost or delayed, but there are limits to what they will reimburse you for. However, the right credit card can supplement this by offering delayed baggage benefits, lost baggage insurance or both.
For example, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card offers baggage delay insurance that covers you for up to $100 if your bags don’t get to your destination within six hours of arrival. If your bags are permanently lost, then you are covered for up to $3,000 per traveler, and $10,000 total for all travelers in the same group.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card covers you for up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days when your baggage is delayed. If lost, you are covered for up to $3,000 per person and up to $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment.
The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard also offers baggage delay insurance that will cover you for up to $100 per day for up to three days when you bags are delayed more than 12 hours.
The Platinum Card from American Express will even cover losses from your carry-on bags of up to $3,000 and checked bags for up to $2,000. Jewelry, sporting equipment, electronics and furs are covered up to $1,000.
3. Trip Delay Reimbursement
Eventually, all travelers will find themselves having to spend the night away from home unexpectedly after a flight delay or cancellation. Instead of having to absorb the additional food and lodging costs, you could rely on your credit card’s trip delay coverage.
For instance, the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard covers you for up to $300 per trip if you are delayed for more than six hours. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card covers you for up to $500 if your trip is delayed for at least 12 hours or requires an overnight stay.
4. Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
Occasionally you’ll find that you have to interrupt or cancel your trip due to circumstances out of your control, causing you to forfeit much of your prepaid reservations. When this happens, your credit card’s trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage could reimburse you if the issue is a caused by a covered reason.
For example, the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card covers you for up to $5,000 per trip for reasons such as sickness, injury, death, military orders, jury duty or terrorist actions.