Credit Card Travel Insurance: Who and What’s Covered

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Life happens, and it can happen at the most inconvenient times — like when you have travel plans. That’s when credit card travel insurance can help you save you thousands of dollars and give you peace of mind before, during or even after your trip.

Here is an overview of what is provided by different card issuers and the different types of coverages. Before you finalize your bookings, be sure to familiarize yourself with the exact terms of these benefits.

What kind of credit card travel insurance do issuers offer?

Consumers can expect the terms of their credit card travel insurance to vary from issuer to issuer, as well from card to card. In our table summaries, we highlight credit cards that provide outstanding travel insurance benefits. If you don't see your card listed anywhere under its respective issuer, the card may have limited or no travel insurance coverage.

Chase travel insurance

There are several Chase credit cards that offer travel insurance protections. While most plans we’ve seen limit benefits and payouts to just your spouse and children, Chase has some of the most inclusive definitions of “immediate family member.” This group includes: spouses and domestic partners; children, including adopted children or stepchildren; siblings and siblings-in-law; parents and parents-in-law; grandparents and grandchildren; aunts and uncles; nieces and nephews, as well as legal guardians or wards.

CardRental car insuranceLuggage ProtectionTrip Interruption InsuranceAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®PrimaryUp to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggageUp to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip$550
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardPrimary$100 a day for 5 days for baggage delayUp to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip$95
Chase Freedom®SecondaryN/aUp to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip$0
United Club℠ Infinite CardPrimaryUp to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggageUp to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip$0 for the first year, then $525
United℠ Explorer CardPrimary$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggageUp to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit CardSecondary$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggageN/a$99
The World Of Hyatt Credit CardSecondary$100 a day for 5 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggageUp to $5,000 per trip$95
Disney Premier Visa® Credit CardNone$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delayN/a$49

Best Chase credit card for travel insurance

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
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The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, one of the best travel credit cards, comes with top-notch credit card travel insurance benefits. It’s one of the handful of cards in the industry to cover all three major insurance groups — travel accident, trip interruption and luggage. It also includes emergency medical and dental insurance, along with emergency evacuation and transportation. These benefits can be immensely helpful in the case of an emergency or illness from a mass outbreak like the coronavirus.

Not only does it provide users with expansive coverage, the maximum payouts in the respective categories are higher than most. For trip cancellation insurance, for example, users are covered up to $10,000 dollars per person and $20,000 per trip.

American Express travel insurance

Recently, American Express has felt the pressure from other issuers to build more trip cancellation protections into its benefits. As of Jan. 1, 2020, American Express added credit card travel insurance to several of its products, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and the Centurion® Card from American Express.

These cards all have large annual fees, which may discourage some from applying. Still, given that credit card travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars on even one travel mishap, the cards’ annual fees could be worth it.

CardRental car insuranceLuggage ProtectionTrip Interruption InsuranceAnnual fee
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressSecondaryUp to $3,000 per covered person$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months$550 ( )
American Express® Gold CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$250 ( )
American Express® Green CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$150 ( )
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American ExpressSecondaryNoneNone$0
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American ExpressSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$95
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressSecondaryNoneNone$95
Blue from American Express®SecondaryNoneNoneNo Annual Fee
Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$95
Hilton Honors American Express CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$0
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered person$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months$550 ( )
Delta SkyMiles® Gold CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum CardSecondaryUp to $1,250 per covered personNone$250
Centurion® Card from American ExpressPrimaryUp to $3,000 per covered person$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months$2500

Best Amex credit card for travel insurance

The Platinum Card® from American Express

$550

N/A

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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The Platinum Card® from American Express, a strong competitor to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, provides great travel insurance coverage. It includes luggage protections, trip interruption/cancellation coverage and rental car insurance. The rental car insurance provides secondary insurance, which means that your personal car insurance will provide the upfront coverage, and then American Express will cover any additional costs not covered by your primary insurer.

The card also provides emergency resources during your travels, such as the Global Assist Hotline. If you are more than 100 miles from home, the hotline can provide 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services, including:

  • Medical, legal, and passport referrals
  • Emergency cash wires
  • Missing luggage assistance

Cardholders are responsible for the costs charged by any third-party service provider.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Capital One travel insurance

Capital One provides only basic travel accident insurance on all credit cards they issue. That doesn’t offer coverage for trip interruptions, so if your flight is canceled or you have an emergency that causes you to miss a flight, Capital One will not reimburse you for your trouble. Before you pay for your next trip with a Capital One credit card, be sure to consider other travel insurance options.

CardRental car insuranceLuggage ProtectionTrip Interruption InsuranceAnnual fee
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit CardSecondaryNoneNone$0
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardSecondaryUp to $3,000None$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit CardSecondaryNoneNone$0
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® SecondaryNoneNone$0
Capital One® Platinum Credit CardSecondaryNoneNone$0
PlayStation® Card from Capital One®SecondaryNoneNoneNo Annual Fee
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®SecondaryNoneNone$0

Best Capital One credit card for travel insurance

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Capital One’s travel insurance benefits pale in comparison to those offered by Chase and American Express. Within the Capital One family of cards, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card carries the best travel benefits.

Cardholders will have up to $250,000 in travel accident insurance coverage, lost luggage reimbursement and secondary rental car insurance.

Citi travel insurance

In September 2019, Citi removed nearly all of the travel protections from its entire lineup of credit card products. This was a big disappointment for cardholders of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, as eliminating the travel insurance made the card much less valuable to have.

Different types of credit card travel insurance explained

As listed above, there are several different types of credit card travel insurance. While the types of protections and amount of coverage vary, there are some elements that remain constant throughout. Remember that to be insured during your travels, you must use the respective card for your travel expenses, such as airfare, hotel reservations or cruise excursions.

Here are some of the most common protections:

Travel accident insurance

Travel accident insurance typically covers individuals in the event of death or dismemberment during the course of common carrier travel — that is, a vehicle that is licensed to transport any public passenger who pays a fare or buys a ticket with the card, and is available on a regular schedule (planes, trains, ferries and cruise ships, for example). Typically, the coverage is only extended to the cardholder and their immediate family, though how immediate family is defined will vary from issuer to issuer.

The amount of money this benefit can pay out will typically vary between $100,000 and $500,000. However, the list of exclusions on travel accident insurance is hefty. Most credit cards will not provide any payout in the event of physical illness; disease; pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage; bacterial or viral infection; bodily malfunctions or medical, surgical treatment or diagnosis.

Baggage loss/delay insurance

If your credit card provides lost luggage insurance, you will be covered up to a certain amount of money for the loss or damage sustained to carry-on or checked baggage. This benefit is typically limited to a few thousand dollars per person, per trip. In certain cases, separate limits are placed on special items, such as jewelry.

For example, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, cardmembers may receive up to $500 per insured person per trip on jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment. The payout for this benefit will be equal to the replacement value of the items lost or damaged, up to the maximum payout amount.

That means if the covered items you lost were valued at $300 and your maximum payout amount is $500, you will receive just $300. If you lost $700 worth of items in that same scenario, you would only be eligible to receive $500. In certain cases, your card may also cover damages that result from your bags being delayed — though only for items deemed vitally important. Items such as a toothbrush, laptop or even contact lenses are often not included.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

The rarest type of travel insurance provided by credit cards protects individuals against damages resulting from trip cancellation or interruption. This coverage includes flight insurance — for example, if your flight is canceled by the carrier as a result of inclement weather, or if you miss a nonrefundable flight due to a covered reason, you may be eligible to receive money back through your credit card travel insurance policy.

This coverage will commonly only pay for the cost of the flight you miss. Any extraneous expenses related to the interruption, such as losing a night at a hotel, will not be covered in most cases. Some premium credit cards offer coverage for this type of loss, though limits are usually set pretty low.

Emergency evacuation and transportation

If you or your family members become sick or injured during your trip and require an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for those services. Coverage includes transportation, medical services and medical supplies. Each policy has specific terms to meet before a claim can be filed, so be sure to read the fine print. Pandemics are not covered under this policy as this is for emergencies like accidents or falls.

Emergency medical and dental benefit

With this benefit, you can be reimbursed for up to a specified amount of medical expenses if you or your immediate family members become sick or injured while traveling. Coverage includes ambulance services, drugs, medicine and therapeutic services. Again, to qualify for these services, you must use the respective card for your travel expenses, such as airfare, hotel, rental car and any other applicable costs.

Credit card travel insurance and the coronavirus

In late 2019, the novel coronavirus began making news as a global outbreak began to spread. Originating in China, the virus has sickened and killed hundreds of thousands, and also left travelers scrambling for options as airlines began canceling flights in January 2020.

Carriers such as American, Delta, United and British Airways have canceled flights from the U.S. to China and other destinations, leaving travelers with the burden of finding alternative travel options and nonrefundable expenses.

Will credit card travel insurance cover the coronavirus?

With any travel hiccup, it is important to understand the terms of credit card coverages. In the case of the coronavirus, each policy will have unique language regarding outbreaks and illnesses. For example, The Platinum Card from American Express mentions the following covered losses in its terms and conditions:

  • Reimbursement of a nonrefundable amount paid to a travel supplier in case of “accidental bodily injury or loss of life or sickness” of the cardholder or any eligible traveling companions.
  • Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons.

In other words, if you or your qualifying travel companions become sick or quarantined because of the coronavirus, any additional expenses incurred may be covered under the card’s policy. On the other hand, the terms don't explicitly mention anything regarding epidemics or pandemics, so you may be out of luck if you want to cancel your travels simply because you want to avoid the coronavirus.

In addition, trip interruptions have been widespread due to the coronavirus. On March 10, 2020, Delta announced it was cutting international and domestic routes by 25% and 15%, respectively. And for the rest of 2020, the majority of large commercial carriers are relaxing their cancellation policies because of the outbreak.

If you continue to travel during 2020 and your trips are interrupted or canceled, The Platinum Card® from American Express may reimburse you for nonrefundable prepaid land, air and sea transportation arrangements.

Coverage for emergency medical and evacuation coverage may also be useful in case you become sick while traveling. If you are traveling during the pandemic, it may be a good precautionary step to apply and use a credit card for your reservations that offers these policies, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

If you are unsure about the terms of your credit card travel insurance policy, it is best to call your credit card company to clarify.

The information related to the Blue from American Express®, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card, Centurion® Card from American Express, Chase Freedom®, United℠ Explorer Card, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, PlayStation® Card from Capital One® and Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).