Credit cards allow you to book your next trip online. In fact, you get rewarded to going on vacation! However, there are some risks associated with travel. A credit card that comes with complimentary travel insurance is ideal to give you some peace of mind that you can enjoy your trip while getting coverage for emergencies, should you need it.
What Is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is designed to help cover unexpected costs that can come up when you’re on a trip. Complimentary travel insurance is the insurance included with some credit cards. There are different types of coverage, which vary depending on your credit card policy. You can claim up to a specified maximum amount in each category that you are covered.
Types of Complimentary Travel Insurance
Travel Medical Insurance and Evacuation Coverage
Travel medical insurance provides emergency medical coverage when you are outside your home country. This covers expenses like doctor’s visits and hospital stays. Another aspect of travel medical insurance that your policy may or may not cover is “Medical Evacuation and Repatriation.” This pays for transportation to a nearby hospital or a medically-staffed return trip if necessary. The transportation or evacuation costs are separate from the treatment costs. In general, this insurance is for emergencies only. Pre-existing medical conditions are generally not covered. Travel medical insurance is ideal for anyone leaving their home country. On the other hand, evacuation insurance is best for cruise travelers with health insurance and travelers visiting remote locations.
Loss or Damage to Personal Property
This type of travel insurance is my travel kind. It is especially useful when traveling to overpopulated cities, where pickpocketing is common, or less developed countries where crime is prevalent. This insurance coverage is designed to compensate you for the loss of your luggage and other personal items in the event they are lost, damaged, or stolen. There is usually a maximum limit per person, per trip and generally requires a police report. Furthermore, always have an itemized list, as well as the original receipt, for proof of purchase of your valuables before you leave.
Trip Cancelation Coverage
This insurance covers travel cancellations that may arise due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the accidental death of you or a traveling companion, the sudden illness or hospitalization of a non-traveling family member, natural disasters at home or at the destination.
Travel Inconvenience Coverage
Travel inconvenience insurance is a bit luxurious. It covers you in the event of disruptions and inconveniences to your travel plans. For example, if your flight gets delayed and you miss your connecting flight or if your luggage gets lost, you likely will need to spend money on extra accommodations, meals, and replace your personal effects and clothing. By saving your receipts for your claim, you could be reimbursed for part or all of your extra costs.
Travel Accident Coverage
Travel accident insurance covers the costs if you get into an accident while overseas or in transit. This plan focuses on serious injuries and death, also known as AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment). Less serious injuries may qualify for a portion of the maximum coverage, but it is best to check your policy. This type of insurance is ideal for someone who doesn’t already have life insurance and is concerned about serious injuries with permanent effects.
Other Factors to Think About
Eligibility and Activation of Insurance
Even if you have the coverage, make sure that you know the terms and conditions. Some credit card providers require that you activate the policy before your trip, or even before you purchase your return ticket. Also, make sure you are headed to a country that is covered by your credit card policy.
Length of Travel
Be sure to check the length of coverage your credit card companies offer. Most complimentary travel insurance policies cover trips between three to six months. If you plan to travel for longer than the covered length, be sure to ask about an extension.
Levels of Coverage
Every policy has different claim maximums and coverage categories. Furthermore, there are different amounts for the cardholder, your spouse, and your children. Be sure to what type of coverage best suits your situation and how much you need.
Terms and Conditions
Always know the procedure of filing a claim and all your policy’s terms and conditions before you travel. This will help you have a clear mind of what documents you need in the event of an emergency. Additionally, be aware of deadlines. Report any theft to the local police within 24 hours, call your insurer to report an illness or emergency within 24 hours, and get a written report if the airline loses your bags. This is crucial if you want your claim to go through.
Is It Really Complimentary?
If you are looking specifically for a credit card that has free travel insurance, be sure to weigh the costs of having that type of credit card. Nothing is truly “free.” Consider the credit card’s annual fee, interest rates, currency conversion fee, including foreign transaction fees, and the rewards they offer for just using your card. See below for our recommended list of the best credit cards with free travel insurance.
Recommended List of Credit Cards with Free Travel Insurance
HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card
The HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card offers a comprehensive worldwide travel insurance program, covering over 20 benefits. In fact, it has the highest travel insurance coverage among Singapore credit cards. It includes: travel accident insurance coverage of up to US$2 million, emergency evacuation, compassionate visits and repatriation of mortal remains coverage of up to S$250,000, as well as medical expenses incurred overseas of up to S$100,000 and S$10,000 benefit for follow-up treatment in Singapore. Travel inconveniences are covered by a maximum benefit of S$10,000 and a personal liability cover of S$100,000. They recommend that you simply charge the full expense to your card to automatically get coverage. This card is best for high-income travelers, as it does have a fairly steep annual fee of S$488 for HSBC Premier customers and S$650 for other bank customers.
ANZ Travel Visas Signature Card
The ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card has one of the highest local spending air miles earn rates. It also offers a commendable travel insurance package. Adults are covered for up to S$1 million in the event of a travel accident, up to S$25,000 for emergency medical treatment, up to S$100,000 for emergency medical evacuation, and up to S$10,000 for repatriation of remains. In the even of lost baggage and other travel inconveniences, the claimed maximum is S$1,000. This card has a principal annual fee of S$200 and is a good option if you are a mid-range credit card user looking for high travel protection.
Citibank Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Citibank Rewards Visa Signature Card is a special card that is not a travel credit card but a reward card because it was designed for shoppers! Nonetheless, it offers complimentary travel insurance coverage, if you use it to pay for your flight. It offers up to S$1 million for travel accidents, up to S$40,000 for emergency medical and dental treatments, S$100,000 for emergency medical evacuation and S$50,000 for repatriation of remains. For travel inconveniences, such as baggage loss or delays, flight delays, and trip cancelations and interruptions requiring at least 5 days of hospitalization, you can claim up to S$1,000 per person. This card has an annual fee of S192.60, which is waived the first year. This card is ideal for shoppers who travel and particularly like to buy clothes, shoes, and handbags, as they can earn 10 reward points of 4 miles for every S$1 spent.
HSBC Premier Mastercard
The HSBC Premier Mastercard is an entry-level HSBC credit card that offers a good travel insurance plan. The coverage includes S$1 million for travel accidents and up to S$10,000 for trip cancelations, luggage delays or losses. Although this credit card’s travel package covers fewer categories, it has one of the highest claim limits among all credit cards for travel inconveniences and offers the highest travel accident coverage in its class. The best part is that there are no annual fees. This card is best for young travelers looking for a low maintenance cash back credit card.
Travel insurance is an added bonus that can come with your credit card. In the event of an unforeseen emergency, this protection can help you avoid a huge medical bill. Always think about what type of coverage you need, the maximum coverage amount that is best for you and if you will be traveling with your family. Always exercise precaution when traveling abroad to avoid having to file a claim in the first place. However, if something does happen, be prepared. Your credit card has you covered!