Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst With the Best Travel Insurance Cards

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Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst With the Best Travel Insurance Cards

Joseph HostetlerHope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst With the Best Travel Insurance CardsMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Enjoy your vacation, but make sure the credit card you use to book your travel is the responsible decision.

Some of the best travel credit cards have built-in protection for trip delay and cancellation, and lost or delayed luggage.  It can help if you have a sudden illness or injury, or if another unforeseen circumstance pops up at the last minute.

These perks can save you money when you book your trip, too.  Because you won’t have to worry about paying extra for certain types of travel insurance.

Your Trip Got Cancelled. Now What? Some Cards Come With Travel Protection to Help in These Situations

I’ll share the cards with the best travel insurance coverage!

Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards

Different cards have varying levels of coverage if a trip is delayed or cancelled.  Or if your bag is lost or delayed.

Here’s what the top cards cover:

CoverageChase Sapphire PreferredInk Business Preferred℠ Credit CardChase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express Platinum

and

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
Primary Rental Car Insurance• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency's collision damage waiver

• The Chase Ink Business Preferred card offers primary auto rental insurance when renting a car for business purposes• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver• Enroll for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program

• But you’ll pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental for up to 42 consecutive rental days (30 days for Washington State residents)
Baggage Insurance• Receive up to $3,000 per person, per trip for lost checked bags

• You, your spouse or domestic partner, and your immediate family members can receive up to $100 per day (for up to 5 days) that your bags are delayed 6+ hours
• Receive up to $3,000 per person, per trip for lost checked bags

• You and your immediate family members, as well as others employed by your small business, can receive up to $100 per per day (for up to 5 days) that your bags are delayed 6+ hours
• Receive up to $3,000 per person, per trip for lost checked bags

• You, your spouse or domestic partner, and your immediate family members can receive up to $100 per per day (for up to 5 days) that your bags are delayed 6+ hours
• Receive up to $2,000 per person, per trip for checked bags
Trip Delay Protection• If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours, you and immediate family could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)
• If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours, you and immediate family could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)• If your trip is delayed for more than 6 hours, you and immediate family could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)None
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance• Up to $10,000 per occurrence, with a maximum of $20,000 per incident (if you paid for your trip with points you'll get a value of 1 cent per point)

• No more than $40,000 per 12 month period in total coverage
• Up to $10,000 per occurrence, with a maximum of $20,000 per incident, if you pay for your trip with points you'll get a value of 1 cent per point

• No more than $40,000 per 12 month period in total coverage
• Up to $10,000 per person per covered trip (maximum $20,000 per occurrence)

• Up to $40,000 per 12 month period

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details
None
Emergency Medical and Dental CoverageNo coverageNo coverage• Up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your immediate family member becomes sick or injured 100 miles or more from home on a trip
No coverage
Emergency Evacuation & TransportationNo coverageNo coverage• Up to $100,000 in coverageCoverage is provided with NO limit
Travel Accident Insurance• Up to $500,000 per person ($500,000 maximum)• Up to $500,000 per person ($1,000,000 maximum)• Up to $1,000,000 per person ($2,000,000 maximum)• Up to $500,000 per person ($3,500,000 maximum)

Note:   With these benefits, you can purchase food, hotel rooms, extra items of clothing, toiletries, and anything else necessary to help you until you can travel again.

Necessary is the key word.  No fur coats just because your flight is late!

Chase Sapphire Preferred & Ink Business Preferred

Apply Here:   Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our Review:   I’ve Had This Card 5 Years. Here’s How to Get $1,000+ Worth of Travel

Apply Here:   Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Our Review:   Apply Now for 80,000 With the Chase Ink Business Preferred

A solid card for travel protection is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  You’ll get helpful benefits like primary rental car insurance.  Which means you can damage your rental car, and Chase will reimburse you for the repairs!

I was reimbursed $2,300 when I wrecked my rental car in Ireland!

Everywhere in Ireland Is so Pretty – Which Makes It Hard to Watch Where You’re Going!

Chase will also cut you a check if your bags are delayed 6+ hours.  You, your spouse or domestic partner, and any immediate family on your reservation can claim up to $100 per day for 5 consecutive days without your bags.  And if the airline loses your bag, you’re reimbursed up to $3,000 per person.

I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to use this benefit, too.  Traveling for a conference, my bags were lost for over a month.  Because I brought suits in my checked bag for the conference, Chase reimbursed me $500 to purchase a suit.

If your flight is delayed by 12+ hours, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per ticket for you, your spouse or domestic partner, and any immediate family on your reservation.

That’s a long time to wait, because airlines usually address delays before 12 hours.  There are other cards that offer insurance that kicks in more quickly.  But their annual fees are substantially higher.

The Ink Business Preferred is very similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but there are a few subtle differences.

For example, the card covers you, immediate family, and company employees on the same reservation if your bags are delayed.  However, you won’t receive primary rental car insurance unless you’re traveling for business purposes.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Apply Here:   Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our Review:   The #1 Premium Travel Credit Card Pays for Itself. Here’s My Full Review!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a lot in common with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It has the same primary rental car insurance benefits and the same baggage insurance benefits.  But its trip delay insurance is superior.

You’re entitled to up to $500 per ticket for you, your spouse or domestic partner, and any immediate family on your reservation after a delay of 6+ hours.  That’s HALF the time of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  So you’re MUCH more likely to use it.

You can purchase food, hotel rooms, toiletries, and anything else necessary that you wouldn’t have had to purchase had you not been delayed.  On a previous trip from Dallas, I used trip delay insurance for a free meal when my flight was delayed.  My flight was super early in the morning, so I just found a comfy spot in the airport to sleep.

There’s a Great Spot to Sleep Between TGI Fridays and the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop at DFW Airport

The card also covers you for up to $1,000,000 per person in Travel Accident Insurance ($2,000,000 maximum).

Award travel is covered with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

AMEX Platinum and AMEX Business Platinum

Apply Here:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our Review:   AMEX Platinum Review: Travel Like You’re Rich (Even If You’re Not)

Apply Here:   The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Our Review:   Big Spenders Can Crush It With the AMEX Business Platinum Offer

The AMEX Platinum personal and small business cards come with a decent amount of travel insurance.  You can enroll your card for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program, and pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental period for up to 42 consecutive rental days (or if you live in Washington State, 30 consecutive rental days).  Similar to the Chase Sapphire cards, this coverage is primary, so you don’t have to involve your personal insurance provider.

It’s worth noting that this coverage is not available in select countries, like Israel and Ireland (countries covered by Chase Sapphire cards).

These cards do NOT have baggage delay insurance, but you’ll receive up to $2,000 per traveler on your reservation, per trip, for checked bags.

The generous feature of this card is its Emergency Evacuation & Transportation Insurance.  You should consider this if you’ll be traveling abroad in an area known for poor medical facilities or visiting remote locations.  In the event you do require a medical evacuation, costs can range from $15,000 to well over $100,000.

You Can Count on Emergency Evacuation & Transportation Insurance to Be Unreasonably Expensive

These cards have NO limit to the amount they’ll cover in this field.  So if the worst does happen, you won’t pay a dime to be rushed to a facility that can help you.

The cards also come with up to $500,000 per person in Travel Accident Insurance ($3,500,000 maximum)

Citi Premier Card

Apply Here:   Citi Premier℠ Card

Our Review:   This Offer Can Earn You HUNDREDS in Travel (or Potentially $1,000+ When You Transfer to Airlines!)

The Citi Premier Card comes with surprisingly good travel insurance benefits.  You’ll get secondary auto rental insurance in the US, and primary insurance internationally, when you decline the rental agency’s insurance.

You’ll also get up to $100 in compensation when your bag is delayed 6+ hours.  If your bags are lost, you’re eligible for up to $3,000 per traveler, per trip, with a max payout of $10,000.

The card doesn’t have Emergency Evacuation & Transportation Insurance like the AMEX Platinum cards, but it comes with other benefits they don’t have.  Like up to $5,000 in Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance.  Examples of an eligible claim would be:

  • A medical professional advises you not to travel due to injury or sickness
  • You’re laid off or fired from your job
  • Severe weather halts all travel to your destination for 24 hours

You’ll also get up to $500,000 per person in Travel Accident insurance.

Bottom Line

A few credit cards have superior levels of travel protection for trip cancellation or delay, and baggage loss or delay:

Coverage varies depending on the card, so be sure to look at each card’s terms and conditions closely.  For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has trip and baggage delay coverage that starts after only 6 hours.

Be sure you understand exactly what your card covers before you depart.  So if anything happens unexpectedly, you’ll be prepared to make a claim!

Let me know in the comments if you have an experience with a delayed or canceled trip, or a delayed or lost suitcase!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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To have the AMEX evacuation insurance, I must charge all travel and lodging to card? Also, for some reason I thought AMEX Platinum had free primary rental car insurance.

For Chase cards, is award travel covered with the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred or only the Reserve?

Recently used the Trip Delay benefit as our flight home (from Europe) was cancelled due to air traffic controller strike. I had booked United Award flights but paid the taxes/fees on my United Visa card.

We called Chase before making arrangements to get home to see what was covered. I saved the webpage showing the airline cancelled our flight for that day, which was sufficient for my claim. In addition, my statement showing 2 round trip award flights were paid on the card, and all receipts were submitted online.

Chase covered our expenses: lodging (apartment i booked since I figured same cost as a hotel), subway tickets, taxi to airport, meals, and toiletries. It took a few months but they also had to translate receipts. Happy with the experience overall. Great benefit to having the card! They paid my entire claim minus $50 for alcohol and tips paid to restaurants.

Citi prestige also covers pre-existing health conditions. Chase specifically excludes this.

Daraius,

I believe the Chase Ritz Carlton card also offers similar travel protection.

Does the chase ink card offer the same insurance?

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