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What's the Added Value of a Credit Card with Travel Insurance?

Last updated on July 17, 2018 Views: 8843 Comments: 77

Most of us know that we should have travel health insurance before we depart, but we’re not all aware of the fact that travel insurance can cover us for much more than just medical expenses. What are the different components of travel insurance, and which Canadian credit cards offer what?

In this article

Summary of Travel Insurance Coverage Per Credit Card

 Scotiabank Gold American ExpressAmerican Express Gold RewardsScotiabank Passport Visa InfiniteRBC Visa Infinite AvionDesjardins Odyssey World Elite MastercardNational Bank World Elite Mastercard
BMO World Elite MastercardPC Financial World Elite Mastercard
Credit Score740 -850670-739740 -850670-739670-739740 -850740-850670-739
Days Covered15 days under the age of 65, 10 days for 65+15 days under the age of 6525 days under the age of 65, 10 days for 65+15 days under the age of 65, 3 days for 65+
< age 60 = 60 days, ages 60–64 = 31 days, ages 65–74 = 15 days60 days under the age of 55, 31 days from age 55 - 65, 15 days for 65 - 74
21 days under the age of 6510 days under the age of 65 only
Travel Medical$1,000,000
$5,000,000
$1,000,000
Unlimited
$5,000,000$5,000,000
$2,000,000$1,000,000
Trip Cancellation$2,500 per person / $10,000 maximum
N/A
$2,500 per person / $10,000 maximum
$1,500 per person / $5,000 maximum
$2,500 per person$2,500 per person
$2,500 per person / $5,000 maximumN/A
Trip Interruption$2,500 per person / $10,000 maximum
$1,500 per trip per insured person, $6,000 maximum
$2,500 per person / $10,000 maximum
$5,000 per person / $25,000 maximum
Unlimited$5,000 per person
$2,000 per personN/A
Flight Delay$500 per person - 4+ hour delay
$500 per person - 4+ hour delay
$500 per person - 4+ hour delay
$250 per person / $500 per trip - 4+ hour delay
N/A$500
$500 per person - 6+ hour delayN/A
Lost Luggage$1,000 per group - 4+ hour delay
$500 per group - 6+ hour delay
$1,000 per group - 4+ hour delay
$500 per person / $2,500 maximum - 4+ hour delay
$1,000 for theft or damage, $500 for delay of 6+ hours$1,000 - 6+ hour delay
$750 per person, $2,000 maximum - 12+ hour delayN/A
Car Rental$65,000 - 48 days
$85,000 - 48 days
$65,000 - 48 days
$65,000 - 48 days
Up to actual cost - 48 days$65,000 - 48 days
$65,000 - 48 days$65,000 - 31 days
Hotel/Motel Burglary$1,000 (Cananda & U.S. only)
$500
$1,000 (Cananda & U.S. only)
$2,500
N/AN/A
N/AN/A
Travel Accident$500,000
$500,000
$500,000
$500,000
$1,000,000N/A
$500,000N/A
Annual Fee
$99
$150
$139
$120
$130$150
$150 (waived if sign up bonus is reached)None
Apply HereApply HereApply HereApply HereApply HereApply HereApply HereApply Here

What to Consider When Using Travel Credit Card Insurance

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of the different kinds of travel insurance out there, let’s make sure we understand the essentials:

Charge Travel Expenses to the Right Card

It’s important to note that to qualify for your credit card travel insurance, you’ll have to charge your related travel expenses–e.g. flights, accommodations, and car rental—to your card to be covered. If you happen to have two credit cards that offer travel insurance, then use the card that gives you better coverage when you’re ready to pay.

Try Not to Double Up on What You Already Have

When making your decision about which card is best for your needs, consider what coverage you already have. E.g. if your current car insurance policy already covers you for car rental insurance, then you shouldn’t get a travel credit card that offers car rental insurance as its primary perk.

Conditions Apply

Keep in mind that your credit card travel insurance will not cover any pre-existing condition you have. Nor will your protection apply if you’re doing anything extreme such as bungee jumping or diving. Pregnant women should also be aware that certain conditions apply to them. If you fall into one of those categories, you’ll need to purchase an outside travel health insurance plan as credit card travel insurance is not designed for those scenarios.

Be Aware of Ageism

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The coverage available to you is dependent on the length of your trip and your age. If you’re under age 65, the cards we recommend will cover you from 10-60 days of travel (depending on the card). However, if you’re over the age of 65, the longest amount of coverage offered is just 15 days. If you need additional coverage, you’ll need to call your credit card provider to see if you can pay to get it extended or you’ll need to purchase a separate travel insurance package for any outstanding days.

You Get What You Pay For

I know, I know, we all hate paying an annual fee for a credit card. But sometimes it’s worth it. Although the majority of the recommended cards in this article do have an annual fee, the comprehensive travel insurance they offer easily offsets their annual fee.

Types of Travel Insurance Provided By Credit Cards

The travel insurance lexicon can be confusing for those who are new to travel credit cards, and even for those who have had a travel card for years. We’ve translated everything into plain English so that you’ll know what you’re getting (and what to look for) with each type of coverage.

Emergency Medical Insurance

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Without a doubt, emergency medical insurance is the essential type of credit card travel insurance you’ll absolutely need. Canadians are accustomed to getting free healthcare, but once you travel out of your province of residence or the country itself, the cost of medical attention skyrockets. A quick trip to the doctor overseas could cost you a few hundred dollars while a trip to the emergency room could be in the thousands. Yikes.

Desjardins Odyssey World EliteAll of our featured credit cards offer at least $1,000,000 in travel health insurance per insured person, and you can even get unlimited coverage with the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card. However, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card only gives you 15 days of coverage whereas the National Bank World Elite Mastercard gives you a whopping 60 days of coverage if you’re under the age of 55, but at a maximum of “just” $5,000,000.  If you happen to fall between the ages of 55-59, the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard also gives you 60 days and $5,000,000 of coverage

Technically speaking, the more you’re insured for, the better, but to be realistic, $1,000,000 in coverage should be enough for even serious accidents. What you should look at before you pick a credit card with travel insurance are the other below coverages included beyond emergency medical.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

Travellers often don’t understand how trip cancellation/interruption works. This type of insurance only covers the non-refundable portion of your unused travel arrangements, plus any transportation up to a fixed amount should your trip be interrupted or delayed for a covered reason.

In other words, you can’t just decide that you no longer want to go on your trip and then try to put in a trip cancellation insurance claim. Depending on the policy, you’ll likely be insured for many different reasons, so you’ll want to read the details before you commit, but some of the most common causes are as follows:

  • The insured traveller, travelling companion, or a family member dies
  • The insured traveller, travelling companion, or a family member suffers a serious, covered injury or illness
  • The birth of an immediate family member which requires your attendance after your coverage has begun
  • You or your travelling companion suffer a traffic accident on the way to the airport that needs immediate medical attention
  • You or your travelling companion suffer a job loss through no fault of your own (conditions apply)
  • Your carrier (airline, train, cruise, etc.) does not operate for at least 24 hours due to a strike, natural disaster, or suspended operations
  • A natural disaster makes your home or destination uninhabitable
  • A terrorist event happens within 30 days of your scheduled arrival at your destination

All of the credit cards we feature in this article offer both trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance except for the American Express Gold Rewards card, which provides just trip interruption.

RBC Visa Infinite AvionThe RBC Visa Infinite Avion card offers the best travel insurance in Canada when it comes to trip interruption, since it provides $5,000 per person and a group maximum of $25,000.

As for trip cancellation, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite and BMO World Elite Mastercard have great payouts of $2,500 per person and a group maximum of $10,000.

This type of insurance may seem trivial at first, but it can be very useful for travellers who have elderly parents at home, since it’ll help cover the costs in the event of an emergency that requires you to cut your trip short. Note that the definition of who is a covered ‘family member’ differs per policy, so you’ll need to read the travel insurance plan documentation to ensure your needs are met.

Apply for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion here.

Flight Delay Insurance

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Of all the credit card travel insurance benefits out there, flight delay insurance may end up being the one you claim first. Depending on which credit card you have, after a flight delay of 4-6 plus hours, you’ll be able to claim all reasonable accommodations, meals, entertainment, and personal items purchased up to a certain amount if no alternate transportation is available.

Planes are often delayed or cancelled for a variety of reasons, and it’s in your best interest to make a qualifying claim since it’ll make your delay more comfortable. This is especially true if your flight is cancelled and you’re not able to fly out until the following morning. You can book a hotel of your choice, have a nice meal, and purchase some personal items instead of relying on whatever hotel and meal vouchers are thrown at you by the airline.

Remember, almost every flight delay insurance policy covers the cardmember, the cardmember’s spouse, and their dependent children, regardless if they’re travelling together or not.

Scotia Passport Visa InfiniteThe majority of the cards on our list include flight delay insurance, but one card we particularly recommend is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, since it provides $500 worth of coverage after just a 4-hour delay. Also, the card has no foreign transaction fees which will appeal to all travellers.

Apply for Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite here.

The RBC Visa Infinite Avion card offers $250 per person and a maximum of $500 per group for their trip delay insurance, but they actually separate emergency purchases and give you $500 per person for those expenses. This may appeal to some, but the $500 lump sum offered by the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite will likely cause you fewer headaches if you ever need to make a claim.

Lost, Stolen, or Delayed Luggage Insurance

In my opinion, the best travel insurance packages should include lost, stolen, or delayed luggage insurance since there’s a good chance regular travellers will need to make a claim for this at some point.

This type of insurance allows you to claim essential items if your luggage is delayed for a specified period of time. The term ‘essential item’ is somewhat ambiguous, but generally speaking, you should be able to purchase any clothing you need—including business attire—until your luggage is returned to you as long as the total doesn’t exceed the amount that you’re covered for.

If your bag is lost or stolen, the same maximum amount provided by your insurance applies, but it would only be relevant to what you lost. There’s often a line in the fine print that limits the maximum amount per item, so if you’re carrying any valuables, it’s best to keep it in your carry on luggage.

Scotiabank Gold American ExpressIf you feel that this type of insurance is important to you, then consider the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite or Scotiabank Gold American Express card since they both offer $1,000 per group after just a 4-hour delay.

Apply for the Scotiabnk Gold Amercian Express here.

Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance

Generally speaking, rental car collision/loss damage insurance covers you if your rental car is damaged or stolen while you have possession of the vehicle. Unless your home auto insurance already covers car rentals, then having this type of insurance is a must when you’re renting a car during your travels.

Be aware that car rental insurance can have quite a few conditions relating to the type of car you’re renting and its current value. You won’t have any problem getting insured for a vehicle that’s available at all major car rental agencies, however, if you’re renting an antique, exotic, or expensive car, you may not be covered. As long as the current value of the vehicle you’re renting is less than the total insurable amount offered by your credit card travel insurance, then you’ll be fine.

Some rental car collision/loss damage insurance policies will cover any personal items that are lost when your vehicle is stolen, but they will never include liability insurance (if someone sues you due to an accident you caused in the rental car), so factor that in when you’re assessing your insurance needs.

For this policy to apply, you must decline the car rental agency’s insurance. It should also be noted that you’re responsible until the car rental agency has completed its inspection report, so avoid just dropping off your keys when you’re returning your vehicle.

American Express Gold Rewards CardThe American Express Gold Rewards card offers the best value in this category, with $85,000 for car rentals under 48 days. That being said, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard has no annual fee and gives you 31 days of car rental coverage with a maximum value of $65,000. Also quite a good deal.

Apply for the American Express Gold Rewards here.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

In the event that your hotel room, motel room, or cruise cabin is broken into and your possessions are lost or damaged, then your hotel/motel burglary insurance will reimburse you up to a certain amount.

For this type of insurance to apply, you need to take some reasonable precautions. For example, if you left your door unlocked and open, it’s unlikely you’ll be reimbursed if any of your things end up stolen. Checking into a hotel room at a destination that’s currently in a state of emergency/war/rebellion will also guarantee that you won’t be covered. Also, keep in mind that any lost cash or traveller’s cheques are not covered.

The RBC Visa Infinite Avion card offers the best hotel/motel burglary insurance since you can claim up to $2,500 in lost items.

Travel Accident Insurance

People often mistake travel accident insurance as travel health insurance, but the former is more of a life insurance policy as opposed to covering you for any medical expenses.

Generally speaking, for the policy to be valid, you need to travel on a common carrier (plane, train, bus or ship) and charge your tickets to your credit card. The maximum amount listed in our chart refers to what you would get if you were to suffer a loss of life while travelling.

Also, your travel accident insurance gives you a smaller payout for the loss of any of the following:

  • One or both hands
  • One or both feet
  • Total sight in one or both eyes
  • Speech
  • Hearing
  • Use of upper or lower limbs
  • Use of upper or lower limbs on one side of your body

Obviously this is one insurance policy that you/your beneficiary never want to claim. If there’s one small consolation, your travel accident insurance is treated as a separate policy from your personal life insurance policy so your beneficiary could get paid out twice.

All of the credit cards we have listed that offer travel accident insurance have a cap of $500,000, but the Scotiabank Gold American Express card has the lowest annual fee of $99.

bmo world elite mastercardAll of the credit cards we have listed that offer travel accident insurance have a cap of $500,000, but the Scotiabank Gold American Express card has the lowest annual fee of $99. You could also consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard which which gives fantastic insurance perks and grants you a 35,000 point bonus if you’re able to charge $3,000 in purchases to your card within three months of card membership.

Apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard here.

How to Make a Credit Card Travel Insurance Claim

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To be eligible for your credit card travel insurance, you usually need to charge the entire price of your common carrier (plane, train, bus or ship) expenses to your credit card. Some cards only require you to charge 75% of the price, but it’s best just to charge the entire amount to ensure there are no complications later. If by chance you’re going on a road trip with your own vehicle, filling up a tank of gas as soon as you enter a new province or state would make your travel insurance policy valid from that point.

When it comes to making a claim, generally speaking, you want to contact your insurance provider right away to start a claim file. In the case of emergency medical insurance, it may not be possible to do things right away, so inform your insurance provider as soon as you reasonably can.

If your insurance company accepts your medical insurance claim, then you may not need to pay any expenses out of pocket. However, if you’re claiming flight delay or lost luggage insurance, you’ll have to hang onto any relevant receipts and submit them before your insurer will issue you a cheque. For these delay claims to be valid, you would also need proof that your flight was delayed or cancelled. The easiest way to get that proof is to take a screenshot from the airline or airport website showing the delay.

Regardless of which credit card you choose, make sure you keep the insurance certificate somewhere handy so you can look up what you’re entitled to and what the conditions are in the event you ever need to make a claim.

Final Thoughts

Having travel insurance is a must as soon as you travel out of your home province or the country. It doesn’t matter if you’re crossing the border just for a few hours to shop or you’re headed overseas for a vacation—it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which credit card you choose is ultimately up to you, but remember that there are enough options out there to make sure the protections you get line up with what you need.

Article comments

77 comments
Sami says:

Hello,
I used to bank with big banks and by default get their Infinity, Elite whatever credit cards but I switched lately to the biggest financial cooperative in Canada, Desjardins, and their credit card World Elite Mastercard is simply the best- Best insurance coverage and best cash back ever….

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hello Sami!

Thanks for your awesome comment. We’re aware of the favorable insurance benefits that come with Desjardins cards—we love to recommend them to travellers who are over age 65 due to their lengthy coverage of seniors, and it’s even better for younger cardholders. Desjardins offers 60 days of consecutive coverage with their World Elite Mastercard, so it’s no wonder you’re a fan. This is the card’s strong suit, and though it does offer a solid “cash” back rate (you’re actually earning Desjardins Bonus Dollars), there are cards that are bigger earners out there.

Scotiabank can provide a solid set of insurance benefits as well, with 30 days of coverage for those under 65 and 10 for older cardholders. Its Passport Visa Infinite card also grants better travel perks than the Desjardins option, with a Priority Pass membership to VIP airport lounges plus 6 free entry vouchers each year. That’s a $200+ value alongside the ability to earn cash back plus the insurance package. It’s all about what you prefer. If pure insurance is your preference, the Desjardins card is a great choice, however, you can find a better mix of features if you do your due diligence. Thanks!

GreedyRates Staff

MYGR says:

Many insurance doesnt cover pre existing condition. What if there is medical need if its related to pre existing condition, there is coverage? If so what’s the point of having medical insurance first place.
Is there insurance cover everything that makes more sense.

GreedyRates says:

Hi MYGR, thanks for the insightful comment! We’re happy to assist. Unfortunately, you’re correct–most cards prevent cardholders from availing of their travel medical coverage if the incident occurs because of a preexisting condition. Travel medical coverage included with most credit cards is generally not designed to compete with traditional insurance packages, and is more of a complementary benefit instead. This is why it’s important for those with preexisting conditions to purchase those extra, optional riders via their regular insurance provider, rather than relying on their credit card.

Unfortunately, we don’t know of any Canadian credit cards that cover preexisting conditions, but we have created a handy guide for comparing the best credit cards for travel insurance. Best of luck!

GreedyRates Staff

Lindy says:

Hi, my husband and I are going ti Asia for 22 days. We have the TD Aeroplan Infinite visa which covers for 21 days. What do you recommend one do to get the additional day as would need flight cancelation, delay and medical?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Lindy, thanks for the awesome question! We’re excited to hear you’re going on a trip and understand your desire for comprehensive insurance while travelling. If you want an extra day of coverage there are a couple options available. The first is simply to call TD and give them the details of your trip, and purchase a one-day extension of all card coverages over the phone. This is how they prefer you do it, but just make sure you aren’t calling on your way out the door. Banks that do insurance extensions usually require you to call and purchase it before the trip takes place.

However, if you frequently take lengthy vacations or business trips, you might consider getting a card with more coverage. There are three you can look at with greater coverage than the TD card you currently possess: the Scotiabank Gold American Express, the Desjardins Odyssey Gold Visa, and the National Bank World Elite Mastercard. In that order, the cards have 25, 60, and 60 days of consecutive coverage for the youngest group of cardholders (under 60 on average). In their own unique ways, the cards are all excellent for spending and earning travel rewards as well. We recommend you check out the complete list below, if replacing your TD card is the option you want to exercise:

https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/free-travel-insurance-credit-card/

GreedyRates Staff

Yasir says:

Hey, I am 32 , my wife is 27 and I am looking for book a trip for my parents and us. My dad 72 and my mother 65. Is there any credit who can cover all four of us . Trip cancellation and interruption , baggage and medical.

GreedyRates says:

Hey Yasir, thanks for your awesome question. Of the credit cards that offer insurance coverage to people your parents’ age, the most comprehensive is the Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold card. Those who are age 65 to 75 can obtain medical coverage worth $5 million for 15 consecutive days, and the card also has unlimited trip interruption insurance, cancellation insurance worth $2,500 per person, and coverage for luggage as well. For you and your wife, medical coverage lasts for 60 consecutive days, making this one of the most protective traveling companions out there. The Scotiabank Gold AmEx is also an option to consider, as it will cover your parents for 10 days, yet has a more flexible and beneficial rewards program. You can use the link below to compare the two (and with others as well). Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/free-travel-insurance-credit-card/

GreedyRates Staff

Elizabeth Seabrook says:

I am wondering if there are any credit cards that supply top up insurance for people over 75.

GreedyRates says:

Hey Elizabeth! You’re in luck. One of our most recommended cards for those who want insurance coverage at an advanced age is the Scotia Gold Amex card. This one covers travelers who are age 65 and above for 10 consecutive days. While we normally suggest the Desjardins Odyssey Gold card, we see that coverage stops for cardholders over the age of 74, though from age 64 to 74 they get 15 consecutive days. It all depends on your age and how long you plan to be on vacation.

You can learn more about the Scotia card by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express card review. Safe travels!

GreedyRates Staff

Jackson says:

What a timely article — thanks!

We are concerned about the new enhanced rules for preclearance screening at many Canadian airports. At the subjective whim of a cranky US border agent they can now deny entry, without having to divulge any reason for doing so!

In this case it can be really expensive for anyone who has booked say, a subsequent cruise vacation out of a US seaport (airfare, hotels, restaurants, cruise, land tours, etc.).

For those 65+, are there any credit cards that include trip insurance (ie, CFAR) to provide some protection in the event of border entry denial?

Really appreciate your advice as this dilemma seems to be affecting more and more regular folks (including someone we know).

GreedyRates says:

Hey Jackson, thanks for the very descriptive and enlightening question. We’ve heard talk of border security getting more strict, and realize that this can easily upset someone’s expensive travel plans. Since being denied at the border, often for no explicity stated reason, is not within your control, you would likely be eligible for a trip cancellation or interruption insurance payout. You’re looking for a card with both of these benefits (just to cover all your bases) and then solid travel medical coverage past the age of 65.

We can think of a couple cards that fulfill these requirements. The first is the Scotia Amex Gold card, which covers those age 65+ for 10 days with travel medical insurance, and offers up to $10,000 of trip cancellation insurance for groups. You can learn more about the card by reading our full Scotia Gold Amex review. The next best, in our opinion, is the Desjardins Odyssey Gold card, which has a bit more medical coverage but sacrifices in the trip cancellation department. You’ll get 15 days of coverage with this card, and be able to claim up to $2,500 per person should your trip be cancelled.

GreedyRates Staff

David says:

The best card for travelling after 65

patricia k tucker says:

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
pk

GreedyRates says:

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

Russ says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Canada2017 says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

L Howells says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Poutine says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Poutine says:

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.

Gordon says:

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

GreedyRates says:

Thanks for the helpful comment, Gordon 🙂 Typo has now been fixed.

GreedyRates Staff

Linda says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Teresa says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Blair says:

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?

Blair

GreedyRates says:

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

Chris says:

does National Bank Elite MC have Common Carrier insurance?

GreedyRates says:

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

Brian Nisbet says:

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 ?

GreedyRates says:

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

CLARK says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Char says:

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

GreedyRates says:

Coming soon to a GreedyRates site near you 🙂

GreedyRates Staff

Rosita says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Manny says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Manny says:

Thanks a lot for the information! Trip is going to be much more relaxing now.

Edward says:

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!

GreedyRates says:

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

Edward says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Wayne Jolley says:

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?

wayne

GreedyRates says:

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

Udo stey says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Susan says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

J Callaghan says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Albert says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Ronnie says:

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?

Thanks

GreedyRates says:

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

Terry Stephenson says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

karen says:

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?

thanks
karen

GreedyRates says:

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

Cindy says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Geoff says:

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

GreedyRates says:

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the heads-up! It’s now included.

GreedyRates Staff

Greg says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Greg says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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.

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

J Smith says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

Great catch, we read through National Bank’s updated Platinum MasterCard insurance certificate and amended the chart above to reflect the change.

Thanks for the heads up.

Val says:

Good overview. But are secondary users covered too?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Val, it depends on the coverage and the card. What situation are you trying to solve for specifically?

GreddyRates staff