How Credit Card Travel Insurance Works & What It Covers

How Credit Card Travel Insurance Works & What It Covers

As you gear up for your next adventure, one crucial consideration that is often overlooked is travel insurance. Among the options available, credit card travel protection can be a convenient choice for many travelers if they already have a credit card that offers travel insurance benefits. 

While many credit cards provide some form of travel insurance, it is important to understand whether or not credit card travel insurance provides sufficient protection, and the possible limitations and exclusions of credit cards with travel insurance.

What Is Credit Card Travel Insurance & What Does It Cover?

Many credit cards come equipped with some form of travel insurance, ranging from trip and flight coverage to car rental insurance. However, it's important to recognize that the coverage offered by credit cards tends to be basic and often limited.

While premium credit cards may extend coverage to include aspects such as lost or damaged luggage and financial protections against COVID-19-related medical care, they often fall short in comparison to the comprehensive coverage provided by traditional travel medical insurance and trip insurance policies.

If you are looking for a plan that offers sufficient travel coverage, the smartest move will be to opt for a comprehensive travel insurance plan separate from the basic plans included with certain credit cards.

Why Credit Card Travel Insurance May Fall Short

Despite its convenience, credit card travel insurance comes with some key limitations.

Health Coverage Gap

Credit card travel insurance typically excludes health coverage, including emergency medical evacuation and hospitalization expenses. In destinations with high healthcare costs, relying solely on credit card benefits could leave you financially vulnerable.

Limited Reimbursement

Despite offering certain protections, credit card travel insurance often has low claim limits and stricter exclusions, potentially leaving travelers underinsured in critical situations.

Exclusionary Policies

Certain activities or destinations may not be covered under credit card insurance plans, such as participating in adventurous activities or traveling to high-risk areas.

Cancellation Flexibility

Unlike private trip insurance, credit card coverage lacks the optional Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance add-on benefit, which offers valuable flexibility in canceling trips for otherwise non-covered reasons with the ability to reimburse a portion of your prepaid nonrefundable expenses.

Why You Should Consider Traditional Travel Insurance

While credit card travel insurance does offer certain travel benefits, it may not be sufficient for certain circumstances. For travelers seeking dependable medical coverage, travel medical insurance remains the best option. Investing in travel medical insurance upfront could potentially protect you from exorbitant medical bills in the event of an unexpected injury or illness during your travels, which could otherwise amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

Unlike credit card insurance, traditional travel medical insurance offers comprehensive coverage, including emergency evacuation, coverage for emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and other eligible medical expenses.

Trip insurance, which offers coverage for travel-related expenses and accident and sickness on your trip, can also provide you with extensive coverage during your journey, sometimes even including rental car coverage as an additional benefit option.

Navigating Credit Card Travel Insurance

When relying on credit card travel insurance, it’s important to understand your coverage and keep in mind the following:

  • Exclusions and Fine Print: Carefully review the terms and conditions of your credit card travel insurance policy to avoid surprises or denied claims.
  • Claim Limits: Be aware of any claim limits imposed by your credit card insurance policy, ensuring they align with your travel needs and potential expenses.
  • Destination and Activity Restrictions: Confirm that your chosen activities and destinations are covered by your policy to avoid gaps in coverage during your travels.
  • Protection Against High-Cost Healthcare: If traveling to countries with high medical costs, verify that your insurance provides adequate coverage for emergency medical care to mitigate financial risks.
Understanding your credit card travel insurance coverage can help you avoid frustrations during the claims process if you have to utilize your coverage, and help you make an informed decision on whether or not a travel insurance plan is the better option for you.

Maximize Your Travel Protection With Comprehensive Coverage

While credit card travel insurance can offer valuable benefits, it won’t encompass everything. Having comprehensive coverage is essential to mitigate risks and unforeseen expenses during your travels.

Considering additional travel insurance through reputable providers like VisitorsCoverage can greatly exceed the protection provided by credit card travel insurance. Comprehensive travel insurance policies can offer:

  • Medical Coverage: Comprehensive health insurance, including emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.
  • Cancellation Flexibility: Optional CFAR insurance, as an add-on to trip insurance, allowing you to cancel trips for any reason and recoup a portion of prepaid expenses.
  • Activity Coverage: Optional protection for adventurous activities (as an add-on to trip insurance).
  • Peace of Mind: Assurance that you're adequately protected against unforeseen emergencies, ensuring worry-free travel experiences.

Stay Protected During Your Trip With Travel Insurance

While travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially when coupled with the costs of international travel, it can prove to be a valuable investment in the long run. In the event of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, comprehensive coverage can alleviate stress and financial burdens.

Ready to compare your options? View our travel medical insurance and trip insurance plans. Not sure which policy is right for you? Learn more about the difference between travel medical insurance and trip insurance.

Have questions specific to your travel plans? Reach out to our Customer Success Team for help.