Is credit card complimentary travel insurance enough to cover you in a jam?

Last updated on August 4th, 2023
  Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.
Travel insurance and credit cards

At Savvy, our mission is to empower you to make informed financial choices. While we maintain stringent editorial standards, this article may include mentions of products offered by our partners. Here’s how we generate income.

If you are a proud owner of a platinum or rewards credit card, you may have access to a complimentary travel insurance program. These are popular enticements to get people on board their credit card. The premise is simple – every time you buy overseas (sometimes domestic) travel with your credit card, you are covered by travel insurance. This might even extend to your entire family, such as your spouse and children.

Though it sounds like a great deal, what does your “free” travel insurance cover? Is it cheaper? Should you consider buying a travel insurance policy above what your credit card offers? We attempt to answer all these questions below.

How much coverage do you get?

This is a “how long is a piece of string” question. Some cards, even platinum and black cards include baggage insurance, smartphone insurance, travel delay insurance, public liability, roadside assistance, car rental damage waiver and much more. However, the amount of cover may be capped compared with taking out a standalone policy. A cap, especially in countries like the United States, may leave you out of pocket. Some card policies may not cover adventure sports or risky activities such as rock climbing, for example.

Costs – before and after

Complimentary travel insurance with your credit card costs nothing – upfront. This is all provided without additional cost when you purchase airline tickets or travel using the card which offers the insurance. If you take a few trips a year, you may get more value out of your card’s annual fee than not. The only downside is the excess – credit card travel insurance excesses (or deductibles) can top out at $500, while standalone policies cost about a fifth of that ($100 at most.)

Convenience and flexibility

Though credit card insurance is complimentary, the onus is on the cardholder to activate the coverage before they depart. Standalone cover kicks in on your nominated date and expires when your trip ends. Sometimes credit card travel insurance may only cover you for a limited time, which expires whether you’re back or not. Credit card policies may not be altered; while standalone policies may allow you to adjust your level of cover, cover pre-existing conditions, and give allowances for variable excess fees.

Domestic vs. international travel

Complimentary credit card travel insurance covers your trip worldwide, no matter where you tend to go. Standalone policies (and their costs) will depend on where you travel to – US travel insurance is much higher than Europe for example. Domestic travel is usually not covered by your credit card policy. Some cards might offer inconvenience insurance or rental car insurance, but doesn’t cover medical or liability bills.

Did you find this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

In this article

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on pinterest

Smart money saving tips

Subscribe to our newsletter.

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy

Related articles