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Free Credit Card Travel Insurance Comparison – Which Card Is Best For You?

travel insuranceWhile vacations are intended to be worry free, Murphy’s Law states that when something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Hence the popularity and need for travel insurance.

From flight delays, to lost baggage, cancelled trips, car rental dings and sickness abroad, we’ve all either experienced or heard of a travel horror story. Travel insurance is a must to protect ourselves from the potentially devastating effects of having to pay for accidents out of pocket.

What most Canadians don’t know is that they already have insurance protection for many of the most important travel insurance coverages. Many of the best credit cards now offer comprehensive travel insurance as a card benefit, including: travel medical, car rental, travel accident, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, lost baggage, and motel burglary amongst others.

Just how good are the coverages, and which Canadian credit cards offer the best travel insurance packages is something that will vary by each person’s needs.

Credit Card Travel Insurance Comparison

TD Aeroplan Infinite Scotia Amex Gold BMO World Elite MasterCard Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold National Bank World Elite MasterCard American Express Gold Rewards CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite RBC Avion Visa Infinite
Travel Medical 21 Cons. Days
4 Days/65+
25 Cons. Days
10 Days/65+
21 Cons. Days
No Coverage 65+
Up to 59 60 Cons. Days
60-64 31 Cons. Days
65-75 15 Cons. Days
Up to 54 60 Cons. Days
55-64 31 Cons. Days
65-74 15 Cons. Days
15 Cons. Days
No Coverage 65+
15 Cons. Days
3 Days/65+
15 Cons. Days
3 Days / 65+
Trip Cancellation $1,500 / person
$5,000 / group
$2,500 / person
$10,000 / group
$2,500 / person
$5,000 / group
 $2,500 / person $2,500 / person N/A $1,000 / person
$5,000 / group
$1,500 / person
$5,000 / group
Trip Interruption $5,000 / person
$25,000 / group
$2,500 / person
$10,000 / group
$2,000 / person  Unlimited $5,000 / person $1,500 / person
$6,000 / group
$2,000/ person $5,000 / person
$25,00 / group
Flight Delay $500 $500 $500  $200/day $500 $500 $500 $500
Lost Luggage $1,000 / person
No group limit
$1,000 / person
$1,000 / group
$750 / person
$2,000 / group
No group limit
$1,000 / person
No group limit
$500 / person
$500 / group
$500 / person
No group limit
$500 / person
$2,500 / group
Car Rental CDW, theft CDW, theft CDW, theft, ADD, Personal  effects  CDW, theft CDW, theft, Personal effects CDW, theft CDW, theft CDW, theft
Hotel/Motel Burglary N/A Yes N/A  N/A N/A Yes N/A Yes
Travel Accident $500,000 $500,000 $500,000  $1,000,000 N/A $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
Annual Fee
Sign-up Bonus
30,000 Miles
$0 1st Yr.
$99 after
25,000 Points
20,000 Points
0 Points
0 Points
$0 1st Yr. $150 after
25,000 Points
15,000 Points
15,000 Points
  Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now  Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now

When selecting which credit card is right for you, you’ll want to evaluate the earning potential of each card, the point redemption options and structure, the annual fee, and obviously the insurance coverages. Travel insurance needs will vary by person, stage of life and travel type. But here are a few suggestions we have:

1. Always carry travel insurance when going out of province or country. Your provincial health-care plan does not cover all of the costs you can incur in a U.S. hospital. Typically you will only be covered for the equivalent cost of care in a Canadian hospital, which is far less.

2. Check for eligibility, limitations and exclusions.  People 55+, adventure travelers, motorcyclists, pregnant women should read the fine print of each insurance certificate.

3. If you have any health related issues prior to your trip they can impact availability of your protection.  Check your insurance certificate.

4. You have no medical secrets. When making a claim, your insurer will comb through your medical records to assess pre-existing conditions, what you’ve been treated for, when and what medications you’re on.

5. Rental car insurance on credit cards will only cover collision damages. You will need your own third party liability coverage (covers you if you hurt someone else).

6. Most credit card insurances (except for travel medical) only apply if you pay for the covered service with your credit card.. For example, you have to pay for your airline ticket with your credit card to be covered by its trip cancellation insurance.

Some credit cards offer phenomenal travel insurance coverages that will give you all you need. Others will get you halfway there, and you can top-up any holes with your insurance broker. When in doubt, review your insurance certificates and call the credit card company and/or its partnering insurance company. Either way, if you travel alone or with family, check to see what your credit card already covers you for, so you don’t pay twice.


  1. The best card for travelling after 65

  2. I am 63 with no pre existing medical conditions. My husband is 67 and has a pre existing heart condition and takes medication. He is stable. Can you advise a credit card that will cover us when we travel to Mexico and the Caribbean this winter? 15 days would be good.
    Thank you

    • Hi Patricia, thanks for coming to Greedyrates with your inquiry. You’re looking to get 15 days of coverage while abroad, which is certainly possible for both you and your husband. Normally, credit cards significantly shorten your time covered once you hit age 65, but the Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold card does not. You’ll get 31 consecutive days of coverage and your husband, since he’s older than 65, is covered for 15 of those days. You can also feel free to check out the Scotia AmEx Gold card, which offers only 10 days but might have more valuable set of bonuses for you two. Happy travels!

      GreedyRates Staff

  3. Are there any Canadian credit cards that don’t have an annual fee and provide up to 3 days of travel medical insurance? As well, are there any that provide up to 3 days for someone over 65?

    • Hi Russ, thanks for your great questions. We have an interesting offer for you: one of the best travel cards available is currently giving free one year membership. The CIBC Aventura Visa is normally $120, but you’ll get this amount rebated in the first year, plus 15,000 welcome points, fast rewards, and 3-15 days of coverage for those over age 65. Otherwise, the Desjardins Elegance Gold card is a great option. It has no annual fee at all, and covers those under age 75 for 3 days while abroad. There are unfortunately only a couple options, but either of these cards will be a smart choice. You may even find that the price tag on the Aventura Visa is worth it after the first year. Let us know what you discover!

      GreedyRates Staff

  4. Hi, I will be travelling to Germany by plane for 28 consecutive days with my husband and our 2 children. My Husband will take a flight one week later, but we will return together. I have the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card, but as it does not have trip cancellation insurance, I am thinking of getting the Scotia Passport Gold Visa card in addition (or even instead). Will my husband be covered if the Passport Visa card is in my name considering he’ll take the trip a week after but returning together? Does he need to get a supplementary card and book his itinerary on the card in his name?

    • Hey Canada2017, thanks for your questions! As we understand it, you want coverage for trip cancellation for both you and your husband via the Scotia Passport Gold Visa card. Though he will be travelling separately, the fine print indicates that he will still be eligible for reimbursement if your travel arrangements were all made with the card. Here’s what it says: “You, your spouse under age 65, one travelling companion under age 65 and your eligible dependent children travelling with you, are automatically insured for up to $2,500 per person for eligible expenses (maximum $10,000 per trip) when you charge such trip expenses to your ScotiaGold Passport® Visa* card and are forced to cancel or interrupt your trip for eligible medical or non-medical causes.”

      There are some questions that aren’t answered by this blurb, and even the finest print is usually not adequate to solve such a circumstantial issue. We recommend that you call Scotiabank and ask a customer service represenative. Scotia has amazing customer service, and they will be happy to provide a more concrete answer than ours.

      GreedyRates Staff

  5. We have a Costco Capital One Mastercard. Is there any medical insurance coverage? We read travel interruption, baggage lost, car rental and accident protection but nothing about medical. We are seniors and a little concerned about travelling without insurance

    • Hi there,

      Let’s see if we can help you. Though we don’t actively review Capital One credit products yet (legal issue), we can surely find the information you’re looking for in the fine print. Your card does have common carrier travel accident insurance, some protection for a rental car, baggage delay, etc. However, we see no medical insurance coverage.

      We at GreedyRates agree – you and your spouse shouldn’t be traveling without some coverage. We can recommend that you look into the BMO World Elite Mastercard. It provides travel medical for customers from age 65 to 75, for 15 consecutive days. While we won’t be so rude as to ask your age, we suggest that you check out the handy chart in our article to find which card is best.

      We hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  6. Hi Greedyrates,

    I currently have the Desjardins Odyssey Gold Visa, however, I can not find the Flight Delay insurance, is it hidden in the Trip Interruption insurance?
    Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Poutine, thanks for asking your question here.

      The Desjardins Odyssey Gold Visa is a great travel companion, but it is hard to find specific information related to travel delay insurance. In their insurance guidebook’s fine print, labeled as a part of ‘Trip Cancellation’, Desjardins states the following:

      “If you miss your departure or it is delayed due to one of the recognized causes, we will reimburse:

      a) The living expenses you incur [up to $200 per day and $2000 total]
      b) The additional cost for changing the date or time of the ticket you purchased with your credit card from a scheduled carrier (plane, boat, train, bus). The new ticket must be a one-way economy ticket and be used to get you to the planned destination by the most direct route.
      c) The unused and non-refundable portion of the costs you paid in advance to a travel service supplier for land arrangements.””

      This clearly says to us that there is flight delay insurance, and that the likely problem was that carriers simply label their insurance packages differently. If you like, please call support and ask them. We’d like to update our review, so let us know what you find out.”

      We hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Hi Greedyrates,

        I called Desjardins insurance, and was told that those situations will be covered:
        Bad weather, road closure by police, etc

        However, the overbooking by the airliner is not covered. So that Desjardins does not provide the Flight Delay insurance properly.

  7. There’s a typo in the Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold column. Should be be “60-64 31 Cons. Days”. Thanks for the info!

  8. HI
    My husband will be turning 65 in 2018, and we will have to change our credit card, as the one we have now only covers the medical and travel insurance until age 65. Which credit card has the best insurance for anyone over 65 that you know of?

    • Hey Linda!

      First of all, congratulate your husband for us and wish him a happy birthday. This is a big milestone, and you’re right – his new age makes it necessary to explore new credit cards. If emergency out-of-province medical coverage is what you need, then many cards will not be adequate. While some will cover people who are over age 65+, it is usually for a paltry 3 or 4 days. These include the CIBC Aventure Visa card and the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card. For shorter trips, this could be suitable, but for longer coverage while abroad, there is one clear winner.

      The Desjardins Odyssey Gold credit card offers medical coverage for cardholders under the age of 75 for 15 consecutive days, including the day of departure. Two full weeks should be enough for you two, and ranks among the best coverage benefits for those in your husband’s age group. Best of luck and happy travels!

      GreedyRates Staff

  9. Hi, My son have a Scotia Gold Passport Visa.

    if I apply as a Supplementary cardholder. Will I get the same Travel Insurance coverage, such as trip cancellation/interruption, travel medical and accidental insurances, etc… when I purchase the flight ticket as a supplementary cardholder?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Teresa, thanks for your great question.

      Many current and potential cardholders want to know the benefits that are extended to their spouses and relatives as well, and we’re happy to provide an answer.

      While the rules for covering supplementary cards with travel and other insurance benefits vary between issuers, for Scotiabank specifically, the details of coverage should have been sent to you as a Certificate of Insurance that came with the card.

      Those who carry supplementary cards are usually covered without much limitation, other than that they must accompany the primary cardholder on the same itinerary. When traveling alone, supplementary cardholders are sometimes protected with their card’s insurance – but whether or not this applies to you, we cannot say. We recommend calling Scotiabank and inquiring further, or referencing the document sent to you alongside the card itself. This is information we’d like to incorporate into our future reviews, so please follow up! We appreciate it.

      GreedyRates Staff

  10. I paid for round trip Air Canada flights to England on my CIBC Aventura VISA Infinite card for my family (me, wife, daughter and son-in-law). Then my daughter had emergency surgery in Mallorca. I had to delay our return by 2 days, until she was well enough to fly. Air Canada made me pay the $300 change fee plus the then going rate fro the return flight which was another $822, $1122 each. I paid for these change fees on another VISA card, cause I don’t like taking my Aventura VISA Infinite when I travel. Will the Trip delay Insurance still cover me even though I paid for the flight change with another card?


    • Hi Blair,

      We are sorry to hear your trip was impacted in this way and wish your daughter a swift recovery.

      It was good that you purchased your trip using the CIBC Visa Infinite card, as you may have a chance to recover some of your extra expenses. Either way, we need a significant amount of additional detail on your daughter’s ailment, how far you were into your trip, and a plethora of other information in order to give you a concrete answer on whether you can expect the insurance to cover you or not.

      There are pages of fine print, differences in how each cardholder defines certain terms and other constraints in how one can get covered by their card’s insurance. For instance, in the case of an emergency, one never considers that they might have to check with their issuer to see which of the nearby hospitals are eligible for coverage.

      Accordingly, we recommend you gather the details, documents and other proof you have before contacting CIBC. They will deliver you a proper answer. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  11. does National Bank Elite MC have Common Carrier insurance?

    • Hey Chris, thanks for coming to us with your question.

      Common carrier insurance, also known as travel accident insurance, is not available with the National Bank World Elite MasterCard. While it does have other protections, including medical and hospital insurance, trip cancellation and interruption, flight delay and more, if you absolutely need travel accident insurance, look to the other cards on this list.

      We need to take another look at the National Bank card, as circumstances may have changed since the last time we reviewed it. If you’d like, you can call customer assistance to get a more thorough answer. Thanks again for your question, and good luck on your search!

      GreedyRates Staff

  12. Wanted to upgrade our Visa to have medical travel coverage, but bank refused unless we have a yearly income of 70,000
    our mortgage is almost paid we have almost zero debt ,how can they get away with this discrimination ?????

    any other options ?

    • Hey Brian!

      Thanks for your comments and inquiry. It’s great that you want to protect your family with some additional travel medical coverage, and there are many options available to you besides upgrading your Visa. The household income limitation is sometimes frustrating, but it is somewhat necessary to help banks be confident in the solvency of their customers.

      From the sound of it, we are sure your financial situation is healthy, but an income restriction is usually non-negotiable. One potential solution for you is to apply for a second credit card that offers you the same travel medical benefits without requiring a high household income.

      In this endeavor, we think that the American Express Gold Rewards card would suit your needs quite well. AmEx looks at each applicant individually to determine an appropriate credit limit, but does not restrict applicants based on their income anymore! The travel medical assistance obtained is exactly suited to your family’s needs, and also comes with a plethora of other bonuses including trip cancellation insurance, lost or damaged baggage, rental car and more. Check it out and let us know how it goes!

      GreedyRates Staff

  13. If I booked a flight with aeroplan points and pay the balance (tax & fees) with my Scotia Amex Gold card, am I still covered under the trip cancelation insurance from the card? The fine print says I’m only eligible if i charged at least 75% of trip cost to the card. So does this balance after points redemption count as the “full” cost of the trip? THANKS.

    • Hi Clark,

      Unfortunately, the policy will only cover any excess costs over and above the travel rewards provided by any reward or frequent flyer plan. The policy does not cover the value of the loss of any rewards or frequent flyer plan points, except Scotia Rewards points. In other words, if you booked the flight using your rewards points you are not eligible to be refunded the cost of your flight should it be cancelled. The taxes and fees you paid with your Scotiabank Gold American Express probably do not constitute 75% of the price of your trip, and so if it is cancelled only those funds will be returned to you in addition to the Scotia Rewards points you spent.

      We wish you a safe and pleasant journey,

      GreedyRates Staff

  14. Would be great if you could include the Capital One Aspire Travel card!

  15. This is a general question. If I charge my son’s trip with any of the above credit card that has free travel insurance, will he be covered if I am not travelling with him?

    • Hi Rosita,

      The answer is it depends on your card. There are examples of both, so you’ll have to check your card’s certificate of insurance or call to make doubly sure your’re reading it correctly (that’s what we do!).

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  16. Hello, I have the ScotiaBank Gold Amex card and just wondering if it covers me if I am travelling to Asia for less then 25 days? It says that it covers out of province or territory in canada but does not state out of the country on their website or travel coverage certificate.

    • Hi Manny,

      Subject to any exclusions covered in the certificate of insurance, yes Scotia’s Travel Medical Insurance absolutely covers you when travelling outside of Canada – including Asia! Enjoy your trip.

      GreedyRates Staff

  17. It seems that the cards above really have great coverage. However, would it be enough for a cruise trip? Let’s say for a relatively short cruise of around $2500 a person. Would, let’s say the Amex Gold, has enough to cover it? I always heard people saying credit card’s insurance is not enough and people should purchase insurance specific for cruise!

    • Hi Edward,

      Thanks for writing in. We’d be glad to hunt down an answer for you. Just to be clear, so we research the correct answer, which insurance coverage are you referring to?

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Let’s start with trip cancellation/interruption. Besides of someone being sick or death, which is kind of standard coverage for all trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Would there be any specific items that could happen and covered by cruise specific insurance but not the credit card insurance? Such as loss of job, death of close relatives, home damage, jury duty, etc.?

        For medical, what if one of my family members needs to be transferred to hospital due to urgent medical needs (not pre-existing condition)? And we are in the middle of the sea? I understand this is kind of rare. But if it happens, it definitely could cause serious financial impact if it is not covered.

        Those are the items I would really need help with. It would be great if any credit card above can have sufficient coverage. My main concern is when down to the fine prints, would cruise specific insurance covers way more even both sides are under the same header like trip cancellation?

        By the way, my main focus is on insurance for Norwegian cruise, not sure if that help anything!

        Thanks a lot.

        • Hi Edward,

          With respect to trip cancellation, you are usually (each policy for each card may be different), covered for death, sickness, injury or quarantine of an immediate family member, travelling companion or their immediate family member. You can also be covered for an unexpected sickness, death or injury to a caregiver for one of your dependents. Cancellation of a meeting due to the death, injury or sickness of the person you were supposed to meet with. Jury duty selection. A travel advisory is issued by the government of Canada for your destination after you’ve booked your trip, a transfer by your employer requiring a change of address, catastrophic damage to your home, etc…

          Yes you may be covered if you fall sick on a cruise and are in international waters and require to be removed from the ship. That said, each card offers different exclusions so you’ll have to double check. However, in general you should be ok.

          Hope that helps,

          GreedyRates Staff

  18. What’s the bottom line on using canadian visa /mastercards for CDW car insurance coverage in UK and Europe. So far my research instructs me that I have no coverage for CDW abroad with RBC Avion visa infinite.

    Ar there other cards that do have this coverage as this CDW coverage is almost the same as the initial rental rate?


    • Hi Wayne,

      We just double checked with RBC and Aviva and the Avion’s Collision, Damage Waiver Car Rental Insurance covers you in EVERY country in the world – there are no country exclusion whether it be in the UK, Europe or anywhere else. We also reviewed the certificate of insurance and could not find any country exclusions either. Where are you seeing that the UK and Europe are excluded for CDW abroad with the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card?

      GreedyRates Staff

  19. Hi, I’m living in Canada and went on a trip to Germany, while in Germany i booked and paid with my cibc visa infinite a 7 day holiday with flight and hotel to spain. 3 days later i had to cancel the trip the night before departure to this spain trip as my dad passed away. Cibc visa is saying that if i paid for that trip while in Canada they would have covered the trip cancellation. Can i fight this?

    • Hi Udo,

      Sorry for the delay in response, we wanted to research your case with CIBC and Royal & Sun, who runs their trip cancellation insurance program for the Aventura Visa Infinite card. We were told that it does not matter where you book your flight. You are allowed to be outside of Canada. The only condition is that it has to be done with your credit card, and it has to be a round-trip flight, i.e. Germany-Spain, Spain-Germany.

      If that is the case, we would suggest you call Royal & Sun at 866-363-3338 and have them review your case.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  20. I have a Scotiabank Gold Passport Visa, which provides coverage for up to 30 days outside the country up to age 65. I plan to be going to the US for approximately three months this winter. I was in touch with their partner who quoted a premium for the entire time which was very high. I contacted the CAA and their premium, for what appeared to be a similar coverage was quite a bit lower. I do need to explore further to compare.

    I don’t want to be in a situation which I have read about where I buy secondary insurance and the first company declines because it was more than 30 days and the second company declines because I had another insurer. Am I best to simply cancel my credit card and get one with no travel insurance, as when I travel outside the country I am always with my husband who has coverage for both of us on his card, and buy insurance for those longer periods out of the country?

    • Hi Susan,

      Without knowing the terms, conditions and exclusions of each policy it’s really hard for us to provide accurate advice. We would not make the mistake of assuming all policies are the same. That said, we have never heard of anyone having to cancel their credit card to ensure coverage eligibility for a stand alone out of country travel medical policy.

      Clearly you will need some additional coverage, since the best credit card travel medical insurance will only cover you up to 60 consecutive days out of country. We’d recommend you speak with an insurance broker to help you find the best and most economical options in the marketplace, given your situation. A good broker will be able to help lay your options out for you.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  21. Was there a reason that Mastercard (I use CUcredit, an former credit union card) was not included? It gives 15 travel insurance.

    • Hi J Callaghan,

      There are several MasterCards included in the chart above. We tried to include some of the more popular cards in Canada, as well as a range of coverage qualities. Moreover, because the CUETS MasterCard World Elite is only available to participating credit union members, we did not included it in the chart above. That said, hopefully it gives you the information needed to asses the quality of coverage your card has relative to the market.

      The MasterCard World Elite product from CUETS, offers excellent insurance coverage. It comes close to Desjardins and National Bank, with its travel medical coverage for those up to 74 years of age, for 15 consecutive days, for $2M. However, the one coverage that seems to be missing is trip delay insurance.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • FYI CUETS MasterCard IS available to NON credit union members. It just that non members cannot apply online, and have to use a different paper form available for the asking at some credit unions.

        • Hi Albert,

          We based our decision on the fact thate some credit unions allow non-members to apply for the CUETS card and others do not. Without doing an inventory of the hundreds of credit union policies, we’d feel bad sending people to the nearest credit union only to find out it doesn’t accept applications from non-members. In actual fact, most credit unions are NOT supposed to allow non-members to apply.

          We do get your point and it is valid. For those willing to put in the effort, it could be worth their while and the insurance program is solid!

          Thanks for writing in!

          GreedyRates Staff

  22. While I was checking the Cardholder Agreement Guide for TD Aeroplan Infinite card, it looked like the card provides ADD for rental car (Section 3 under COMMON CARRIER TRAVEL ACCIDENT INSURANCE). Wondering whether I noticed it correctly?


    • Hi Ronnie,

      Thanks for writing in and letting us know. Looks like you are correct:

      Section 3 – Rental Car Accident Coverage
      Benefits will be paid as specified in the Schedule of Benefits below if an Insured Person suffers a Loss while operating
      or riding as a passenger in, or boarding or alighting from any Rental Car provided that:
      (a) The cost of the Rental Car was fully charged to your Account; or paid either in full or partially using your Aeroplan
      Miles. If your Aeroplan Miles have only partially paid for the cost of your Rental Car, the balance of that cost must
      be fully charged to your Account; and
      (b) there has been no violation of the rental agreement by the Account Holder; and
      (c) the driver of the rented automobile is not legally intoxicated nor under influence of any narcotic unless prescribed by
      a licensed physician. The maximum benefit payable for any one Rental Car Accident is $2,000,000 in total.

      Nice benefit. Hopefully you never have to use it!

      GreedyRates Staff

  23. Terry Stephenson

    If as in the case of Amex Gold card the medical insurance only covers 15 consecutive days can a second card either Amex SPG or Visa Infinite First Class cover the remaining 7 days of a 21 day vacation?

    • Hi Terry,

      The coverage from each card will begin on the day you arrive in the other province or country. As such, you cannot combine the coverage days from each card to engineer a longer coverage period.

      Nice thinking though!

      GreedyRates Staff

  24. hi – I have a Scotia Amex Gold card.

    I understand that there is a 25 day limit [for under 65’s]. But how many trips can I make in one year? I drive into the states regularly [perhaps 4-5 times] for a couple of weeks duration to visit family. Am I covered for each trip? and what happens for the remainder of the year if I do make a claim?


    • Hi Karen,

      You are covered for each trip, up to 25 consecutive days each. That means you can go for one trip that is 20 days, come back home, then go on a second trip that is 22 days, repeatedly and be covered throughout. Making a claim should not impact your future coverage, unless there are claim amount (dollar) maximums for a given time period, which there usually are.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  25. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but you have to book your travel under the credit card in order to benefit from that credit card’s travel insurance coverage, correct? I am planning a trip to Tanzania and want to wire the funds to avoid the 2.5% incremental fee they will charge if I use a credit card. So if I don’t charge the trip on my credit card, then I wouldn’t be covered, correct?

    • Hi Cindy,

      Not a dumb question at all! The answer depends on what type of travel insurance your referring to. You do NOT need to book your trip through your credit card for out of country travel medical insurance coverage. Even if you drive into the U.S. you will be covered. However, for most other travel insurances like trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption, or lost baggage, you do have to book the trip through your credit card.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  26. When you updated this article, why did you not include the card you described elsewhere as the best card for insurance: the Desjardin Odyssey?

  27. Great comparison. Would be great if you could do a deeper dive how medical insurance offerings vary. i.e., what sorts of pre-approvals are required for coverage once an emergency situation occurs, how are reimbursements made…are receipts required or can the foreign entity bill the credit card company directly for reimbursement, how difficult is it to get reimbursed from the card company as well and are some more unreasonable to deal with than others. Always good to know what sorts of ‘gotchas’ might exist ahead of time. Realize some of these questions are more of the qualitative nature but it would be useful to leverage the wealth of experience that must exist, both good and bad.

    One offering you haven’t listed here that my card, the Visa Desjardins Travel Gold has is Emergency Travel Assistance. This is tied in with with medical emergency situations but covers a broad range of services beyond that including assistance with stolen documents and identification, cash advances as well as the aforementioned medical assistance.

    Also, now that I’m retired and my wife and I have a much reduced income relative to when we were working, I’m wondering if the card companies base their approvals on net assets, which in our case is reasonable, or is annual income the only factor that matters. It would be good to know that if we found a card that better suited our needs that our modest income wouldn’t be an impediment, or are we now ‘stuck’ with the card we now have because we wouldn’t qualify for any of the others, simply because they look at income only.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Greg,

      That’s a big project! Unfortunately we don’t have the data to qualitatively judge and compare travel medical offerings fairly i.e. understanding claims turndown ratios, amount funded versus claimed etc… Agree on Desjardins, a great insurance offering, but their appetite for cardholders outside of Quebec is limited.

      The question of getting approved for a premium card based on assets is interesting. In the United States it’s done. The income requirements are actually set by MasterCard and Visa. In Canada, as far as we can tell after making a few calls, MasterCard and Visa only have minimum income requirements, there is no “and/or” asset threshold unfortunately. That said, income verification is kind of loosey goosey.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Thanks for your response. I realize that what I was asking is a tall order but as a consumer one is really flying blind as there isn’t any comparison information out there. The implications of this is that one often doesn’t find out the shortcomings of these offerings until it is too late, potentially at great financial costs and personal anxiety.

        Re Desjardins, I live in BC and have obtained the card through Coast Capital Savings, a BC based financial institution that uses Desjardins Visa services. I’m not sure if smaller institutions in other provinces use them as well. If not, you are correct in that they are somewhat limited outside of Quebec. I would say that their offering compares very favourably to the ones you’ve listed in your article but your Quebec comment helps explain why I never see their offering in any review comparisons.

        You might also be interested that they also offer 1% cash back and this can be used to offset travel purchases. (They used to offer 2% on foreign currency transactions but regrettably, this was cancelled.) I realize your article focussed on Insurance only but it would be interesting to see what the other cards’ cash back offerings are as well.

        Thanks again

        • Hi Greg,

          With respect to the rewards value offered by the cards, most offer more than 1% in value. While none are cash back cards, they either offer points or miles that can be redeemed for travel. As such most listed above offer in general between 1.5% to 2% in cash value. In addition, many have very attractive sign-up bonus offers, which you should always strongly consider – unfortunately new customers get rewarded more than old customers with incentives – as is the case in most industries.


          GreedyRates Staff

  28. Hi, thank you for this one-stop detailed table summary of premium credit card travel insurance packages and caveat footnotes. Would you be able to please point out where on the National Bank World Elite MasterCard certificate you find their 500,000 Travel Accident coverage?

  29. Good overview. But are secondary users covered too?

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