These 5 Cards Could Save Your Bacon With Their Awesome Travel Insurance Perks

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Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance

Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance

One of the perks to consider when settling on a premium travel credit card is the insurance perks it offers. Although I’ve never made a claim, it’s nice to know that I am covered in case of things like lost luggage, missed connections, or rental car collision. Having one of the best credit cards for travel insurance can be a lifesaver.

I almost had to make a claim with Enterprise once with my Chase Sapphire Reserve. I was expecting Enterprise to call back with the amount of the claim, but the (non-local) agent surprisingly told me that he found previous evidence that there was already damage. Needless to say, I was appreciative and quite surprised.

But even if I had owed Enterprise for the damage, I would have been covered under the collision damage waiver from my Chase Sapphire Preferred at the time. The peace of mind that credit card travel insurance brings is huge.

Some Of These Offers Have Ended Or Changed

The Travel Insurance Benefits to Consider

There are a number of travel credit card insurance benefits to consider when shopping for a product that works for you. The main benefits include:

  • Trip delay protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption protection
  • Luggage delay protection
  • Lost luggage protection
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Rental car collision damage coverage

There are cards that offer anywhere from a couple of these protections to all of them. In general, more premium travel credit cards have better protections. But this isn’t always the case.

Ideally, you should plan to hold onto at least one card that provides these protections if you travel with any regularity. Here are the best cards for travel insurance on the market:

Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The extensive, quality coverage that the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers makes it solidly one of the best credit cards for travel insurance perks. From the primary collision damage waiver to excellent trip delay/cancellation and luggage protection, this card has you covered if your travel plans go awry.

Trip Interruption and Cancellation

The trip interruption/cancellation insurance that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers is some of the best among all travel credit cards. If you charge your trip your Reserve card, you’re insured $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per instance. The “per trip” can be read as “per person”. Covered reasons for trip cancellation or interruption include:

  • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by the Cardholder, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of the Cardholder or a traveling companion
  • Severe weather that prevents the start or continuation a covered trip
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • Jury duty or a court subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
  • Financial insolvency of the Cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier
There are, however, reasons that are not covered. These include:
  • Travel arrangements canceled or changed by a common carrier, tour operator, or any travel agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation
  • Change in plans or financial circumstances
  • A pre-existing condition
  • Traveling against the advice of a physician
  • A declared or undeclared war
  • Trips that exceed 60 days in duration are not covered

I’ve never booked a trip where $20,000 in combined coverage wouldn’t cover if we had to cancel for an eligible reason. This is one of the nicest things about booking your trip with your Chase Sapphire Reserve. The other cool thing is, award tickets with programs that are Chase partners are also covered. You just need to use your card to pay the taxes and fees.

Other Travel Insurance Protections

Besides the trip cancellation protections, you also enjoy both trip delay and baggage delay insurance. If your luggage is delayed more than six hours, you are covered up to $100 per day for up to 5 days for travel necessities. For flight delays of more than 6 hours or that require an overnight stay, you can be reimbursed for necessities such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

If the airline manages to completely lose your luggage, you’re insured up to $3,000 per person per covered trip. However, only $500 is applicable toward electronics and jewelry.

Chase even has you covered for accidental death, dismemberment, or loss of speech, sight, or hearing during a trip. This isn’t something that is obviously on the forefront of my mind, but it is nice to know that the benefit received would help take care of my family if I’m in an accident during a trip.

The auto collision damage waiver seals the deal for the Chase Sapphire Reserve as probably the best credit card for travel insurance. You’re covered up to $75,000 both in the U.S. and abroad. The collision insurance is also primary.

Here is the current welcome offer and benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve:
  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel worldwide (after earning your $300 annual travel credit)
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 at restaurants worldwide
  • 1x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Priority Pass Select Membership
  • Points worth 1.5 cents each booking travel through the Chase Travel Portal
  • Ability to transfer points to hotel and airline loyalty program partners
  • Primary rental car collision damage waiver
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay/accident insurance and lost/delayed luggage reimbursement, as described above
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit (once every 4 years)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $550 annual fee ($75 per authorized user)
  • Learn More

The Chase Sapphire Reserve made a huge splash when it was first released, and it is a card that continues to provide good value year after year with its $300 annual credit and increased value for Ultimate Rewards points used for travel. Even if the annual fee was recently increased to $550.

Some Of These Offers Have Ended Or Changed

Platinum Card from American Express

Around the same time that Citi announced that it would be slashing travel insurance protections on its travel cards across the board, American Express announced that it would be adding a number of additional travel protections to a number of cards. Among those is the Platinum Card from American Express, a perennial favorite among frequent flyers.

The Platinum Card has been an excellent choice for booking flights, as the card earns 5x Membership Rewards points on flights book either through Amex Travel or directly with airlines. But you previously had to sacrifice some important safeguards.

American Express is adding the following protections to the Platinum Card:
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Trip delay insurance

You’ll be reimbursed up to $10,000 per covered ticket in case of trip cancellation or interruption, with a max of $20,000 per account in a 12 month period. In case of trip delay for more than 6 hours, you’ll be reimbursed unanticipated expenses, up to $500 per trip. This would include things like meals, lodging, and other necessities.

The new insurance perks kick in for all tickets purchased starting January 1, 2020. The other news is that Amex is removing their travel accident insurance from the Platinum Card, which is a bummer. The card also has collision damage coverage for rental cars similar to what is offered on the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Here is the current welcome offer and benefits of the Platinum Card from American Express:
  • Welcome offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
  • $200 annual airline fee credit (on a U.S. airline of your choice)
  • $200 annual Uber credit (as $15 monthly credit, with an additional $20 in December)
  • $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue Credit (as two $50 credits)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay insurance and rental car collision coverage
  • Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold statuses
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Access to the Global Lounge Collection
  • Benefits when booking hotels through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $550 annual fee
  • Learn More

The Platinum Card isn’t the only product getting the new benefits. Other premium  American Express cards will also have these travel insurance perks, including the Hilton Honors Aspire Card, the Delta Reserve Credit Card, and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.

Some Of These Offers Have Ended Or Changed

Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance

Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of the best cards for travel insurance if you travel extensively as part of your small business. The card offers both trip cancellation and interruption insurance (up to $5,000 per trip) as well as primary rental car insurance both domestically and internationally when renting for business purposes.

The card also covers baggage delays of 6 hours or more, allowing you to spend up to $100 per day for necessities. You’re also covered for trip delays of more than 12 hours (or an overnight), with a maximum coverage amount of $500.

Here is the current welcome offer and benefits of the Chase Ink Business Preferred:
  • Welcome offer of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in: travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising with social media sites and search engines
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Points are redeemable for 1.25 cents each toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Ability to transfer points to travel partners
  • Up to $600 in cell phone protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance and primary car rental collision coverage
  • $95 annual fee
  • Learn More

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is going to be the next Chase business card I pick up. It’ll be useful not only for the travel protections, but also great to have access to the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners with a premium card once again.

Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is worthy of its own mention on the list of best credit cards for travel insurance as it offers good protection for a non-premium product. The card costs just $95 per year, as opposed to the Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s travel protections are similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, the limits are a bit different. I’m not going to go over them in as much detail, but in a nutshell they include:
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $10,000 per covered person, up to a maximum of $20,000 per trip. Trip interruption also provides up to $250 to take you directly to the airport or other point of departure in case of interruption.
  • Lost or damaged luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per covered passenger per trip
  • Trip delay insurance of up to $500 in case of a delay of 12 hours or more or one that requires an overnight stay.
  • Travel accident insurance of up to $500,000 per insured person
  • Baggage delay (of more than 6 hours) insurance of $100, up to 5 days
  • Primary car rental collision insurance

The Sapphire Preferred is a solid card when it comes to travel insurance. Check out the full guide to benefits. Like I mentioned at the beginning, it would have saved me quite the expense, had I needed to make a claim with Enterprise.

Here is the welcome offer and benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel and restaurants worldwide (after earning your $300 annual travel credit)
  • 1x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Points worth 1.25 cents each booking travel through the Chase Travel Portal
  • Ability to transfer points to hotel and airline loyalty program partners
  • Primary rental car collision damage waiver
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay/accident insurance and lost/delayed luggage reimbursement
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • Learn More

Mark actually has a great argument why you should apply for the Sapphire Preferred your first year and then upgrade to the Reserve later on. You won’t lose out on a welcome by doing so, as you can only receive one welcome offer for either product every 48 months.

World of Hyatt Visa

The World of Hyatt Visa is currently my go-to option for travel insurance. Surprised? the coverage the card offers is actually quite good, especially for a co-branded hotel card. The World of Hyatt Visa offers:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $5,000 per trip
  • Lost or damaged luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per covered passenger per trip
  • Trip delay insurance of up to $500 in case of a delay of 12 hours or more or one that requires an overnight stay.
  • Travel accident insurance of up to $500,000 per insured person
  • Baggage delay (of more than 6 hours) insurance of $100, up to 5 days
  • Secondary car rental collision coverage within the U.S. (primary coverage internationally)
  • Learn More

For a hotel card, this is quite excellent. The benefits are nearly on par with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Bonus: Chase Ink Cash or Ink Business Unlimited

So…I actually didn’t realize that Chase offers rather good car rental protections for both of their Ultimate Rewards-earning no fee business cards. But they do! This absolutely deserves a mention.

Both of these no-fee Ink cards offer primary rental car collision insurance when renting for business purposes both within the U.S. and abroad. This covers both for primary cardholder and additional drivers on the rental agreement. Not additional cardholders.

The cards also offer secondary rental car collision insurance when renting for personal travel.

There is no lost or delayed luggage insurance nor travel accident insurance, which is a bummer. But primary rental car collision damage coverage is fantastic for cards with no annual fee.

Here is the welcome offer and benefits of the Chase Ink Cash:
  • $500 Bonus Cash Back (50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and at restaurants
  • Primary car rental collision insurance when renting for business purposes
  • No annual fee
  • Learn More
Here is the welcome offer and benefits of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited:
  • $500 Bonus Cash Back (50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 1.5% cash back/1.5x Ultimate Rewards for every $1 spent on purchases
  • Primary car rental collision insurance when renting for business purposes
  • No annual fee
  • Learn More

If you have a small business and rent vehicles for work, you really cannot go wrong with either of these no-fee business cards. It’s rare for a card without an annual fee to offer this level of protection. The Chase Ink Business Unlimited will be my go-to card for car rental insurance.

Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance: What’s Your Favorite?

While I generally consider all perks that credit cards offer, the travel insurance aspect is one that I tend to forget about. It’s hard to put a “value” on this perk, as you may recover $0 for years on end. But potentially recovering the cost of a single qualified incident can make the annual fee of some of these premium cards pay for themselves many times over.

I’ve been fortunate to never have to file a travel insurance claim. But one day I’ll likely be the one in the hot seat during a major missed connection or with lost baggage. And I know I’ll be hoping I used one of the best credit cards for travel insurance in that moment!

Other posts in this series:
Ian Snyder
After igniting his passion for award travel while planning his honeymoon, Ian now enjoys using points and miles to see the world with his wife and three internationally adopted kiddos. He loves dissecting loyalty programs to find maximum value. His goal is to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.

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5 COMMENTS

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Do these benefits/insurance perks extend to authorized users/employees cards (i.e., if AUs/employees use their cards, will these benefit apply to them?

    Particular looking for CSR/CSP primary car rental for AUs but would like to know if these other benefits are extend to other card members as well.

  2. i am trying to get chase sapphire to reimburse me for a tour package i bought
    but had to cancel due to a heart attack. the paperwork burden seems extreme.
    i submitted one set including dr’s letter and receipts and they want much more
    now. does not seem user friendly.

    • That’s odd they did not accept that. With a Dr.’s note and associated receipts, that should be enough. Hope you’ve recovered well! Sorry Chase is making this so trying.

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