The Best Credit Cards With Travel Insurance for 2024

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

The funny thing about credit cards with travel insurance is that none of them are the same. They all offer similar insurance, but each one is just different enough that it’s impossible to say one card is better than the others. 

Fortunately, most of the best travel credit cards in Canada come with a decent amount of travel insurance, but you need to read the certificate of insurance to find out what you’re covered for and when you can make a claim. 

Since there are dozens of credit cards in Canada that offer travel insurance, it can be too time-consuming (and annoying) to read the policies of each card. I’ve looked at them all and I’ve narrowed down the list of the best credit cards with travel insurance to the following four.

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on grocery and restaurant purchases up to $2,500 per month. Then earn 2 points per $1 spent
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on gas, electric vehicle charging, recurring bills and à la carte Travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Unlimited access to National Bank Lounge at Montreal-Trudeau airport
  • Annual $150 travel credit

Without a doubt, the National Bank World Elite Mastercard is the best credit card with travel insurance in Canada. It stands out above the rest simply because the coverage is generous regardless of how old you are. You get $5,000,000 in medical insurance coverage for 60 days if you’re under the age of 55, 31 days for those aged 55 – 64, and 15 days for 65 – 75. There’s no other credit card that offers that much travel insurance on the market.

American Express Platinum Card

  • $799 annual fee
  • Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • 30,000 additional points when making any purchase in months 14 – 17
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, and 1 point on all other purchases
  • $200 annual travel credit
  • $200 annual dining credit (per calendar year)
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

Although the American Express Platinum Card comes with just 15 days of coverage for travel medical insurance, it does have one of the highest maximum payouts of $5,000,000. The included flight delay insurance is also the highest of the 4 cards I’ve listed at $1,000 per person after a delay of just 4 hours.

The annual fee of $699 will turn some people off, but you get an annual travel credit of $200, unlimited lounge access, and a massive signup bonus of American Express Membership Rewards points (when using a referral link) which will appeal to frequent travellers. 

American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • $250 annual fee
  • Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $1,000 each month for 12 months (60,000 points total)
  • Earn 10,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel purchases
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $100 Annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Membership + 4 annual Plaza Premium passes
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

The American Express Gold Rewards Card’s travel insurance isn’t as good as what the Platinum Card offers, but the annual fee is significantly lower at $250. Since you get an annual travel credit of $100, your net annual fee is actually $150.

When you look at the travel insurance included, you’re getting a pretty decent package. Emergency medical is worth up to $5,000,000 and it covers those under the age of 65 for 15 days. your trip cancellation and interruption are good up to $1,500 per person, but there’s a combined limit of $3,000 and $6,000 respectively. All of the other included travel insurance policies provide you with a decent payout.

BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®*

  • $150 Annual fee – First year free*
  • Get 45,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months, and 3,750 points for each subsequent month in which you make at least $2,500 in purchases on your card, for 12 months
  • Earn 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills
  • Earn 1 BMO Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass, plus 4 annual passes

The travel insurance included with the BMO World Elite Mastercard isn’t top of the class for any specific category, but it’s still pretty generous. You could argue this is the best credit card with travel insurance since you only need to charge a part of your ticket to your card for your insurance to apply. That’s right, according to the fine print, you could even charge just $1 of your travel expenses to your card and your insurance would be valid.

Because of this clause, the BMO World Elite Mastercard is a great choice for those who often book flights on reward miles and still want a comprehensive travel insurance package. Oh, it helps that this card waives the annual fee for the first year (one of the few credit cards with travel insurance that does this) and the sign up bonus is usually quite good.

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

  • $150 annual fee
  • 30,000 Scene+ points when spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 10,000 points when spending $40,000 in the first year
  • Earn 3 Scene+ points per $1 spent at Empire owned supermarkets
  • Earn 2 Scene+ points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and daily transit purchases
  • Earn 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Visa Airport Companion Program membership + 6 passes per year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Ever since the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card came to the market, I’ve felt like it’s the best all-in-one travel credit card since it gives you a generous sign up bonus, a decent earn rate, airport lounge access with 6 free annual passes, and no foreign exchange fees.

The travel medical insurance covers you up to 25 consecutive days per trip for those under the age of 65 and for 3 days if you’re 65+. What’s nice about this card is that it includes every type of travel insurance possible, such as trip cancellation/interruption, flight delay, lost luggage, car rental, hotel/motel burglary and travel accident.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee – First year free
  • 15,000 Aventura points when you make your first purchase
  • 20,000 Aventura points when you spend $3,000 in the first 4 months
  • 25,000 Aventura points when you spend $6,000 in the first 4 months
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on CIBC travel
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery, and drug store purchases
  • Earn 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Visa Airport Companion Program membership and 4 free annual passes

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is popular because it’s a travel credit card that usually waives the annual fee for the first year. That means you can test out all of the card’s benefits and features, including its travel insurance, for free.

The travel insurance you get covers $5,000,000 in medical expenses for 15 days if you’re under the age of 65. For those 65+, you’ll only get 3 days. The trip cancellation and interruption insurance are good at $1,500 and $2,000 respectively. Oddly enough, the hotel/motel burglary insurance is better than most other cards at $2,500.

PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 45 PC Optimum Points per $1 dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Earn 30 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent where PC Products are sold and at PC Travel
  • Earn at least 30 PC Optimum Points per litre at Esso/Mobil locations
  • Earn 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other purchases

I know it may seem off that the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard is on the list of the best credit cards with travel insurance, but hear me out. This card has no annual fee and no catches. As long as you hold this card, you’ll get access to the 10 days of emergency travel medical insurance. Obviously, that’s not a huge amount, but this is a free credit card, so you shouldn’t complain too much.

What does credit card insurance cover?

If you look at the above chart, you’ll find exactly what does credit card insurance cover. For most people, they’re looking for travel medical insurance. This type of insurance would cover any costs if you had to make a quick trip to the doctor or an extended stay in the hospital. Since the cost of medical attention can be quite high outside of Canada, it’s recommended that you always travel with travel medical insurance. To be clear, your provincial healthcare won’t cover you if you leave the country.

The other types of credit card travel insurance include things such as trip cancellation, flight delay, baggage delay, car rental theft and travel accident. Not all of the best credit cards with travel insurance include all of these benefits so you should pick a card that includes what’s most important to you. Although this type of travel insurance is optional, I personally would never travel without trip cancellation, flight delay/interruption or lost/delayed luggage insurance. There has been more than one occasion where these types of insurance have saved my trips.

How to qualify for credit card travel insurance

With travel medical insurance, you get it just by being a cardholder. For all the other types of credit card travel insurance, there will be a few conditions. First off, to qualify, you need to charge a set amount of your travel purchases to your credit card to qualify. For example, American Express travel insurance applies when you charge all of your travel expenses including taxes to your card, whereas as with the BMO World Elite Mastercard, you can charge any amount.

It’s important to read your certificate of insurance as sometimes the charge requirement required may differ depending on the type of insurance you’re claiming. It’s possible that one credit card with travel insurance only requires 75% of your flight to be charged to your card for your trip cancellation to apply, but you may need to charge 100% of your car rental to your card if you want to be insured.

Is credit card travel insurance enough?

Deciding if credit card travel insurance is enough really depends on your situation. You’ll notice that most of the cards listed here only offer a few days of travel insurance those 65+. Even if you’re under the age of 65, some cards only cover you for a maximum of 15 days which isn’t a lot. The good thing is that you can purchase an extended policy if you call your insurance provider.

When it comes to the actual payout, I think the travel medical insurance included is enough since you’re covered for about $1,000,000 or more with most of the cards. Trip cancellation insurance can be enough, but some cards have a cap on them. This may not matter if you’re not taking an expensive trip, but for people who are doing something expensive, the cap may not even cover the cost of their flights.

Generally speaking, I think credit card travel insurance is enough. That said, if you’re 65+, I recommend purchasing an annual multi-trip policy as it’s relatively inexpensive.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

19 Comments

  1. Viviene on February 15, 2020 at 11:51 AM

    Hi
    I just came across this posting because I am looking the travel insurance that comes with my platinum card. I have booked several flights using my BA Avios points and my Amex Platinum card to pay the fees and taxes. Will these flights be covered for trip cancellation or any insurance through Amex?

    In addition, I have made a reservation at a Marriott hotel using my Marriott points and plan to use my SPG card to pay the cash portion. Cancellation is free up until 2 days before arrival. If, however, my trip is cancelled the day before, will I be covered by Amex SPG insurance?

    I have a BMO Mastercard elite also and have booked the first night using points and cash with this (just because I wanted to use up my points) – would this count as the $1 towards my trip? Or will I need to buy separate insurance to cover everything?

    Thanks for any advice you have to offer.

    • Barry Choi on February 15, 2020 at 3:04 PM

      Hi Viviene,

      With the exception of travel medical, your Amex travel insurance would not apply as you used BA Avios points to offset your costs. The certificate of insurance states the following – “provided you pay the entire cost with your card, or by redeeming Membership Rewards®”

      The SPG Amex does not have any trip cancellation insurance.

      Yes, the $1 used with your BMO Mastercard would make your travel insurance valid.

    • Jake on August 11, 2021 at 7:56 PM

      Why not include my TD Infinite Visa?

  2. Vivienr on February 15, 2020 at 3:22 PM

    I’m so glad I came across this entry today! I leave on Wednesday.

    So I’m taking a flight from JFK to Hawaii, staying for a week , then flying to Cancun for another week with a one day stopover in Miami before heading back to JFK. I used BMO card for first night in Hawaii so does insurance cover just the Hawaii portion or the whole trip?

    • Barry Choi on February 15, 2020 at 3:27 PM

      Viviener,

      The issue is how you paid with your BMO card. If I understand correctly, you used your BMO card for your first night in Hawaii. That means your travel insurance would only be valid for that stay. It would not cover your flights since you paid the balance with your Amex card.

      To be clear, you get travel medical insurance no matter what. Trip cancellation, lost luggage, trip delay etc. wouldn’t apply unless you paid with a credit card that included it and met the conditions.

  3. Viviene Ogugua on February 15, 2020 at 5:11 PM

    Thanks for the clarification.

  4. Martha on March 11, 2020 at 8:44 AM

    How does the RBC infinite Privilege Avion Card compare with the above cards? Thank you

  5. Martha on March 11, 2020 at 8:46 AM

    How does CAA Trip cancellation compare with above? Thank you

  6. Greg Hartigan on October 17, 2020 at 12:33 PM

    Hi Barry,
    I have had a CIBC Aerogold card for years and to be honest never really looked into the benefits other than airmiles. As you know this card accumulates Aeroplan miles on Air Canada based on my spending. I believe the annual fee is $120. I’m now 70 years old…does my age affect the benefits?

    How does this CIBC card stack up to the ones you have listed above?

    Thank you.

    • Barry Choi on October 17, 2020 at 2:07 PM

      Hey Greg,

      Your age only affects the travel insurance. Since you’re 25+, you only get 10 days of coverage. That said, I always recommended seniors who need travel insurance get a separate policy from a travel insurance provider because the underwriting process is better.

      Come November 8th, your card will be changing to the new Aeroplan cards which will give you some additional Air Canada benefits.

  7. CJ on January 10, 2022 at 9:24 AM

    Hello
    I am looking for a rewards card with no forex and emergency medical coverage for 65+
    Can you help?

    • Barry Choi on January 10, 2022 at 9:46 AM

      CJ,

      I recommend anyone that’s 65+ to get their travel insurance from a regular travel insurance provider instead of relying on their credit cards. Having a separate policy will almost always offer you better protection.

      As for a no forex fee card, I recommend the Wealthsimple Cash Card – https://www.moneywehave.com/wealthsimple-cash-review/

  8. Joy on March 19, 2022 at 4:30 PM

    I have had a mbna card for a few years know, just found out they change my travel insurance, which amounted to almost nothing, charged me $120 yearly, when questioned about my coverage, and wanted to change to World Elite card which is $120 yearly as well for full coverage was told i needed $80,000 in income. Since retired, annual income not possible to meet, have excellent credit score, no debts and cash in bank, was informed that didn’t matter. Made no sense to me, but the final kicker was ask how seniors where to be able to have this card, “Seniors don’t travel much” not sure what world he lived in. My biggest problem is that the annual fee is the same for both cards. My advise to you is to check out all the fine print, and actually find a card that does use credit history to provide some service.
    Have switched to Meridian Infinity Card cheaper annual fee and full coverage!!!!!!

  9. ken C on August 28, 2022 at 12:08 PM

    Barry,

    I always enjoy reading your excellent articles.
    If I use my credit card to buy and pay for vacation trips for several people, are they covered individually by the one credit card? Thank you.

    • Barry Choi on August 28, 2022 at 1:58 PM

      Hi Ken,

      No, your included travel insurance only covers your spouse and dependent children under the age of 18.

  10. ken C on August 31, 2022 at 11:49 AM

    Thanks Barry for your useful info. Do any of these credit cards cover hotel costs if you already booked them but have to cancel the trip? If not, is there any kind of insurance that covers hotel costs to get the full cash refund? In this pandemic world, it is very hard to plan holidays where you already paid for everything and all of a sudden you find yourself you have to cancel the trip due to covic.

    Thanks Barry. Have a great day.

    • Barry Choi on September 1, 2022 at 10:26 AM

      Hey Ken,

      You’d only get a cash refund if you have trip cancellation insurance and the reason you cancelling your trip is covered by your insurance policy. In addition, there’s typically a max amount you can claim.

      I personally book fully refundable hotels these days. When it gets closer to my date, and I know for sure that I’m going, I’ll book a cheaper rate which requires me to pay in advance.

      • LuisMitchell on May 1, 2024 at 9:23 PM

        Exactly! I’m agreed with you here. So I think a travel insurance is mandatory for everyone. What do you think?

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