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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 thousands of dollars and give you peace of mind before, during or even after your trip.
In this guide, we featured cards from Chase, American Express and Capital One — three issuers that offer excellent complimentary travel protections.
Here is an overview of what is provided by different card issuers and the different types of coverages. We picked a variety of cards that cater to all different consumer spending profiles, whether you're a frequent traveler or just take a vacation once per year. Not only did we handpick some of the best travel rewards cards, but we selected a ton of everyday cards with no annual fee that come with travel insurance benefits.
Before you finalize your bookings, be sure to familiarize yourself with the exact terms of these benefits, which we've linked to each card.
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. Although vaccinations are slowly becoming more widespread, airlines still face difficulty amid canceled flights and testing requirements.
In fact, many domestic carriers have permanently eliminated change or cancellation fees. While there are some exclusions — such as basic economy tickets — you'll want to check with your airline first to see if you can get your money back for your airfare.
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. 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.
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
- Legal guardians or wards
|Annual Fee||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95|
|Rental car insurance||Primary|
|Luggage protection||$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage|
|Trip interruption insurance||Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip|
|Rental car insurance||Secondary|
|Luggage protection||$100 a day for 5 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage|
|Trip interruption insurance||Up to $5,000 per trip|
Rental Car Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||Secondary||N/a||Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip||$0|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Primary||$100 a day for 5 days for baggage delay||Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip||$95|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Primary||Up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage||Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip||$550|
|Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card||None||$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delay||N/a||$49|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card||Secondary||$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage||N/a||$99|
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||Primary||Up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage||Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip||$525|
|United℠ Explorer Card||Primary||$100 a day for 3 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage||Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95|
|World of Hyatt Credit Card||Secondary||$100 a day for 5 days for baggage delay, up to $3,000 per passenger for lost luggage||Up to $5,000 per trip||$95|
Best Chase credit card for travel insurance: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
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 Chase travel insurance 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. This makes the Chase Sapphire Reserve® one of the best credit cards with trip cancellation insurance.
Amex travel insurance
Recently, American Express has felt the pressure from other issuers to build more trip cancellation protections into its benefits.
These cards all have large annual fees, which may discourage some from applying. Still, given that Amex travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars on even one travel mishap, the cards' annual fees could be worth it.
|Rental car insurance||Secondary|
|Luggage protection||Up to $1,250 per covered person|
|Trip interruption insurance||None|
|Rental car insurance||Primary|
|Luggage protection||Up to $3,000 per covered person|
|Trip interruption insurance||$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months|
Rental Car Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
|American Express® Gold Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$250 (|
|American Express® Green Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$150|
|The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||Secondary||None||None||$0|
|The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$95|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Secondary||None||None||$0 (|
|Blue from American Express®||Secondary||None||None||$0|
|Centurion® Card from American Express||Primary||Up to $3,000 per covered person||$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months||$2,500|
|Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. (|
|Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$250 (|
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months||$550 (|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$0 (|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||Secondary||Up to $1,250 per covered person||None||$95|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Secondary||Up to $3,000 per covered person||$10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 months||$550 (|
Best Amex credit card for travel insurance: The Platinum Card® from American Express
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- Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- Enjoy complimentary 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 through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
- 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.
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
- Terms apply
Cardholders are responsible for the costs charged by any third-party service provider.
Unlike typical credit cards, the The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
You may notice that some of the top travel cards tend to come with the best travel coverages. In the event of an emergency when traveling internationally, you can ultimately receive thousands of dollars in services. This alone makes a luxury travel card's annual fee worth it, as the issuer will have your back.
— Stella Shon, ValuePenguin's travel expert
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.
|Rental car insurance||Secondary|
|Trip interruption insurance||None|
Rental Car Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
|Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card||Secondary||None||None||$0|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Secondary||Up to $3,000||None||$95|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||Secondary||None||None||$0|
|Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Secondary||None||None||$0|
|Journey Student Rewards from Capital One||Secondary||None||None||$0|
|PlayStation® Card from Capital One®||Secondary||None||None||$-00|
|Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||Secondary||None||None||$0|
Best Capital One credit card for travel insurance: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
- Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
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 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). Here's what you should know:
- 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.
- 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.
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. Here's what you should know:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is the rarest type of travel insurance provided by credit cards protects individuals against damages resulting from cancelled or interrupted travel plans. . Here's what you should know:
- 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.
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 through emergency evacuation and transportation. Here's what you should know:
- Coverage includes transportation, medical services and medical supplies.
- Pandemics are not covered under this policy as this is for emergencies like accidents or falls. Each policy has specific terms to meet before a claim can be filed, so be sure to read the fine print.
With emergency medical and dental 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. Here's what you should know:
- Coverage includes ambulance services, drugs, medicine and therapeutic 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 FAQs
We've answered the most often-asked questions about credit card travel insurance.
What credit cards give you free travel insurance?
While many travel rewards cards come with the added benefit of complimentary travel insurance, this isn't true for all issuers. For example, Barclays and Citi have eliminated all trip insurance benefits from their cards in recent years. We recommend checking out cards from American Express, Chase or Capital One if you're looking for complimentary travel coverage — although limits will vary between each card.
Is credit card travel insurance any good?
Yes. For most travelers with no irregular conditions, credit card travel insurance will serve you well in case of any interruptions or delays. However, those who have pre-existing conditions should be wary as credit card travel insurance will not offer you coverage. Or, if you're looking for coverage specifically related to the coronavirus, you'll need to purchase additional travel insurance — ideally one with cancel-for-any-reason coverage.
What type of travel insurance can you get from your credit card?
While the coverages offered will change per card, you may be offered benefits such as trip cancellation and interruption coverage, primary or secondary rental car insurance, emergency medical services, baggage insurance and more. You'll need to check the fine print to see exactly what's covered under each policy.
Is credit card travel insurance worth it?
Yes. Credit card travel insurance can offer quite a broad range of coverages that can come handy in unthinkable situations. When an emergency happens, you can contact your card company or the benefits administrator on your card to receive immediate assistance. However, if you have any chronic medical conditions or belong to a vulnerable group, we recommend purchasing additional travel insurance.
For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.
The information related to American Express® Green Card, Blue from American Express®, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, Centurion® Card from American Express, Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card, Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, Capital One Platinum Credit Card, PlayStation® Card from Capital One®, Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, Blue from American Express® and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card have been independently collected by ValuePenguin and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.