This is one that gets people! Nearly all of us have cards that carry “travel insurance” as one of the included benefits. Yay. But we still pick up a separate policy specifically for the trip. Why? Because what the credit cards offer is pretty much the lowest benefit options possible.

This isn’t surprising because, let’s face it, they’re a credit card company – they’re not going to pay for premiums that are going to give the best coverage. That’s not their fault – it’s just good business for them. It’s nice to have for domestic trips (you know, in case your luggage gets stolen or your flight is delayed) but it’s not going to be much help when you’re in another country where automatically the costs of any sort of disruption or interruption of your plans will be greater than you might expect. We’ve learned this from experience!

In addition, there are a number of things that is usually hidden in the fine print (that dang fine print!) that would be good to keep in mind or read through.

For example:

  • You may be required to purchase the ENTIRE trip on the same card to qualify
  • Many policies only the primary cardholder (not all travelers)
  • Pre-existing condition look back periods are usually a lot longer (up to 6 months)
  • “Covered conditions” can be greatly limited and often doesn’t include things like supplier financial default