Compare credit cards with travel insurance

Find a card that helps you stay protected while travelling within Canada or overseas.

Updated

Many credit card providers offer complimentary travel insurance, which can include car rental coverage, flight delay, emergency medical, hotel/motel burglary and much more. While this credit card perk can save you from spending extra on separate travel insurance, you’ll need to pick a card that offers the best coverage for your personal needs. Before applying for a card, you’ll want to carefully read over the terms and conditions for the insurance coverage package – this can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when you actually need to use the coverage.

Compare credit cards that offer travel insurance

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
American Express Cobalt Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, and earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent elsewhere. Terms apply
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year.
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on eligible purchases and get 5x the Miles at Shell until December 31, 2020.
Earn a bonus of up to 2,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived in the first year. Get 5x the Miles at Shell until December 31, 2020.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
20.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent on eligible food, drink, gas and transit purchases (up to an annual spend of $30,000), and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on all other eligible purchases (and after the $30,000 annual spend)
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties and 2 points on all other spend. Terms apply
Receive 50,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first three months of card membership. Terms apply
BMO World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and get 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
Get up to $575 in value in your first year. Get a bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points ($285 travel value booked on bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
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What does credit card travel insurance cover?

You can get coverage for anything from car rental damage to trip interruption. These policies are considered complimentary, though in most cases they’re factored into the cost of the card.

What types of credit card travel insurance are there?

Car rental auto collision damage waiver.

Get coverage for damage or theft to your rental car purchase. To be eligible, you usually must decline the rental agency’s own protection.

Lost or damaged baggage.

Get reimbursed up to a specified amount for lost or damaged bags.

Delayed baggage.

Pays for the cost of essentials until your luggage arrives.

Trip delay.

Pays to help mitigate the necessary expenses spent if your carrier delays your trip.

Trip cancellation and interruption.

Get reimbursed for a cancelled or interrupted trip due to sickness, injury or other eligible events.

Travel accident.

You’ll be compensated should the unthinkable happen and you or an immediate family member suffer a serious injury.

Emergency evacuation and transport.

Get coverage for the cost of evacuation or transport to a care provider should you or an immediate family member become injured.

Phone insurance.

Get reimbursed in the event of damage or theft of your cell phone.

Premium roadside assistance.

Provides coverage for roadside assistance such as towing.

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Who does credit card travel insurance cover?

The cardholder, their spouse or domestic partner, and dependent children under a particular age are typically covered under most credit card travel insurance policies.

A common exception is rental car collision damage, which often only protects the name on the rental agreement, and in some cases any authorized drivers.

Remember that you’ll need to meet a few conditions before you can make an insurance claim. Most providers require that you charge all or most of your trip expenses to your card, and you’ll only get a specific number of consecutive travel days when your insurance is applicable. Additionally, not all insurance will cover you both overseas and within Canada – some cards protect you when you travel to other Canadian provinces while others may not.

Find out more information about insurance coverage

Who counts as an eligible family member?

Generally, immediate family members are eligible family members. This includes your spouse and eligible children. Some policies will extend protection to more than just your immediate family, but it ultimately depends on the provider’s specific insurance agreement.

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How to file a claim with the credit card provider

Most credit card companies ask customers to follow these steps to file an insurance claim:

  1. Contact the claims administrator at the company’s phone number or claims website within a specified time period.
  2. You’ll be sent a claims form and informed of any additional documentation needed for filing. Make the necessary copies and fill out the form.
  3. Send your completed form and documentation to the designated address. Some credit card companies let you upload and send these documents online.
  4. You usually don’t need to do anything afterward, though you can call or check online to monitor the status of your claim.

Is a credit card with travel insurance all you need?

It depends on your coverage needs. Your credit card might only cover a few areas, such as car rental and luggage delays. What’s more, most credit card insurance policies only cover up to a certain dollar amount per year or only a certain number of days abroad. Plus, there are plenty of stipulations in a complimentary travel insurance contract that you’ll need to meet such as paying for all or most of your trip on your credit card.

If you’re a frequent traveller for business or for pleasure – whether alone or with your family – a credit card might not offer enough insurance to effectively cover you throughout the year. In this case, you’ll want to supplement with other options like separate insurance or upgrade your credit card plan to a premium option if possible.

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How to compare credit cards with travel insurance

Compare by reviewing your insurance coverage needs along with your spending habits and financial needs. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Policy details. Does the insurance policy cover all the people you need covered while travelling? Does the offered coverage make the policy worth it? Or are there certain exceptions in the fine print that make the policy a bad fit for your travel needs?
  • Rewards. If a card offers good travel insurance coverage but bad reward earnings on your travel, the card might not be worth it. Ideally, a card should provide great value even if you don’t use the travel insurance coverage.
  • Annual fees. Does the card have a high annual fee? If so, the overall value of the included travel insurance might feel less impactful — particularly if you make good use of the insurance and other features.
  • Interest rates. Finding a card with a reasonable interest rate is helpful if you need to carry a balance over a certain period of time – like when you’re travelling. There are a few low rate credit cards on the market, however you likely won’t get the most comprehensive insurance coverage or the strongest rewards.
  • Additional travel perks. If you travel frequently, consider a credit card that offers great travel perks to make travel easier and more fun. This might include airport lounge access, concierge services, flight upgrades and more.
  • Foreign transaction fees. If you’re spending money overseas on your credit card, you’ll likely be charged a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% – which can quickly add up and cost you a hefty sum of money over the course of your trip. Instead, consider a card that waives foreign transaction fees.
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Complimentary credit card travel insurance can provide the coverage you need in the event of an unplanned event or accident on a trip. But before applying for a card that offers insurance coverage, carefully plan out your travel and purchasing needs ahead of time to determine which card offers the best travel coverage and purchasing power for you. You’ll then need to read the fine print for the insurance coverage since there will be a few conditions you’ll have to meet before you can actually make a claim.

Frequently asked questions

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