Posted: 10/26/2023 | October 26th, 2023
I talk a lot about travel insurance on this website. I know it’s not an exciting topic, but it’s the one thing I won’t leave home without.
Travel insurance has saved me — and my readers — time and time again. I’ve had my gear broken and stolen, missed flights, needed doctor’s appointments, and even needed urgent medical care abroad.
I’ve learned the hard way how vital it is — especially as a budget traveler.
Fortunately, these days, many credit cards come with travel insurance. And while I always recommend that you get comprehensive travel insurance in addition, there are a number of cards out that offer pretty robust protection at no additional cost.
If you’re thinking about getting a new credit card, or if you want to know which of your current ones you can rely on for decent insurance, here’s a list of the best credit cards with travel insurance:
How Credit Card Travel Insurance Works
Travel protection offered by credit cards does not cost anything extra, although nearly all of the cards that offer such insurance — with one notable exception (see below) — come with an annual fee.
It’s one of the many reasons that getting a card with an annual fee is worth it (and why I think that avoiding cards with annual fees is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when using credit cards for travel). If something goes wrong while you’re on the road and your card’s insurance pays for it, you’ll more than recoup the annual fee right there.
The most important thing to know is that for the insurance to kick in, you must have paid for your trip using that card. However, once you do that, you’ll be covered.
While the payout limits vary greatly, as do the conditions that need to be met before coverage kicks in, these are general categories that credit card travel insurance usually covers:
- Trip delay: covers meals, lodging, and other expenses if your trip is delayed at least six hours (for some cards, it must be at least 12)
- Trip cancelation and interruption: reimburses trip costs if a covered reason (such as death in the family) causes you to cancel your trip or go home early
- Rental car insurance: in the event of an accident, covers damage to the car; injuries are not covered (primary insurance kicks in before any other insurance, while if the card offers secondary insurance, you’ll have to file with your own car insurance first)
- Baggage: covers delay of, loss of, or damage to…