Best credit card for travel insurance

7 min Read Published: 03 May 2024

Best credit card for travel insuranceThere are a whole host of rewards and benefits that you can access by taking out the right credit card. This could be breakdown cover, cashback, gadget insurance, airmiles or membership of a rewards scheme. One of the other bonuses available in the UK from certain credit card providers is free travel insurance. Credit cards for travel insurance can seem like a great way to cut out a sometimes pricey part of travelling. However, you will need to weigh up whether a credit card with travel insurance is worth it when compared to a different card and a standalone travel insurance policy. In this article we will explain how credit card travel insurance works, show you the best deals and the issues to watch out for, and how to find the best-value solution.

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What is a credit card for travel insurance?

Some credit cards come with the bonus of a free travel insurance policy for the cardholder. If you travel regularly, this could be an important factor in picking out the right credit card for you. By having a credit card with travel insurance baked in, you won’t need to worry about taking out a policy whenever you travel, comparing deals to find the best price or remembering to renew your plan when it ends.

However, travel insurance is unlikely to be a big enough bonus in itself to draw you to a particular credit card. For most people, the cost of a travel insurance policy will not be enough to justify a higher interest rate or a more expensive annual fee, though it could if you are a regular business traveller.

What is covered through credit cards with travel insurance?

This will vary hugely between providers, so make sure you understand what you are getting from your credit card before you set out on your travels.

A limited number of cards will offer a comprehensive, worldwide, annual multi-trip travel insurance policy, while other cards will offer what is called ‘travel accident cover’. This will cover accidents resulting in permanent injury or death, so not the everyday protection you would expect from a full travel insurance policy. Some cards will also include baggage delay cover or flight delay cover.

Which credit card with free travel insurance is best for you?

Comparing different credit cards is a key part of getting the best deal for you. Money to the Masses has helped to simplify this process by partnering with Creditec*, an online comparison service. You do not need to trawl through countless different provider websites hunting for the best cashback or lowest fees, as Creditec’s* personalised search results will show you the key details you need to know in one place. Your tailored list will also feature the cards that you are more likely to be accepted for, cutting down the chance of any applications you make being rejected. Your search results are built using a soft credit search, so there will be no damage to your credit score. You can start your search by clicking this link*.

The best credit cards with free travel insurance – May 2024

These cards include free annual worldwide travel insurance.

Card Annual fee Representative APR (variable) Check your eligibility before you apply?
Yonder Credit Card (London residents only) £180 (£15 a month, but free for the first month) 66.7% No
American Express Platinum Credit Card £650 704.6% Yes - Check eligibility*

The best credit cards with free travel accident insurance – May 2024

These cards do not include a full travel insurance package, but they do provide varying levels of travel accident cover and travel delay cover.

Card Annual fee Travel accident cover Travel delay cover Representative APR (variable) Check your eligibility before you apply?
American Express Cashback Everyday Credit Card £0 £150,000 £0 31.0% Yes - Check eligibility*
American Express Rewards Credit Card £0 £150,000 £0 31.0% Yes - Check eligibility*
American Express British Airways Credit Card £0 £75,000 £0 31.0% Yes - Check eligibility*
American Express Vitality Credit Card £4.75 £150,000 £0 42.4% No
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card £195 (£0 in year one) £250,000 £600 88.8% Yes - Check eligibility*
American Express British Airways Premium Plus Credit Card £300 £250,000 £600 (plus up to £1,750 for baggage delay) 113.1% Yes - Check eligibility*

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Do you need a credit card with travel insurance?

You do not have to get a credit card with travel insurance in order to get a travel insurance policy. Travel insurance is a great perk if it is included with the best credit card for you, or a valuable extra if you are a frequent traveller. However, you may find that it is cheaper and easier to focus on your credit cards and travel insurance separately as the savings you make on not having to buy travel insurance may not outweigh the cost of the card. We explain the cost of travel insurance in our article ‘How much does travel insurance cost?’.

You can check out who we think are the best standalone travel insurance providers in our ‘The best travel insurance providers in the UK in 2024’ article. You can also look at the latest deals on the best credit cards in our ‘Best credit cards in the UK’ article.

Another alternative option could be to use one of the cards in our ‘Compare the best cashback and reward credit cards’ article to earn valuable rewards or cashback and put the money you earn or save towards a standalone travel insurance policy.

Keep in mind that even the best credit card with travel insurance may not be the right choice for spending abroad. Spending in a foreign currency can be expensive if you are not using the right plastic – usually a specialised travel credit or prepaid card. We cover the best options in our article ‘Compare the best travel credit cards’.

Will you need additional travel insurance?

If your credit card only offers travel accident insurance, you may want to supplement this with a full travel insurance policy. Credit cards including free travel accident insurance may only protect you against the costs of fatal accidents, lost or stolen bags and serious injury. These types of policies often exclude important extras such as medical expenses covering accidents and illness while away and they often won't include cancellation cover or curtailment in case your trip is cut short.

A full travel insurance policy should ensure you are protected from the moment you take out the policy, so you are covered if your trip is cancelled or something out of your control prevents you from going. It will usually cover any medical costs or other emergency issues too.

Make sure you understand what your specific card is offering you before you set out on your trip. Not having sufficient cover could leave you seriously out of pocket if something goes wrong. Read our article ‘Do I need travel insurance?’ for more information.

Do credit cards with travel insurance require a high credit score?

Credit cards that come with valuable rewards and cashback are generally only available to applicants with good credit scores. Credit cards with travel insurance also fall into this category.

For most credit cards, you can find out if you are likely to be accepted without needing to fill out a full application and agree to a credit check. Eligibility checkers will show you the chances of getting the card you want without impacting your credit score.

What about Section 75 protection?

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act is UK legislation that makes your credit card provider jointly liable with the retailer you have made a purchase from if something goes wrong with a purchase that costs more than £100 and less than £30,000. The issue could be that what you bought is faulty or it is different from the description, the retailer has gone bust or a service has not been delivered as promised. Either way, you will be entitled to a refund from the retailer or your credit card provider. We go into more detail in our article ‘Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act explained – plus how to claim’.

In terms of travel, Section 75 ensures that if you pay for a flight or holiday that costs more than £100 and less than £30,000 with your credit card, you will be protected. You will even be covered for the full cost under Section 75 if you only paid for part of your flight or holiday with your credit card, such as a deposit. However, Section 75 is payment protection, not insurance. It will not cover medical expenses or other emergencies, including having to cancel your travel for reasons unrelated to the retailer.

How do I find the best credit card?

There are a range of different types of credit cards in the UK and picking the right one is not always easy or obvious. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you need one at all. We explain how to do this in our article ‘Should I get a credit card?’.

Once you know that a credit card is the right option for you, your next step is to turn your attention to the different types of credit card. We cover this topic in our article ‘Which credit card is best for me?’.

Debit cards with travel insurance

While there are a limited number of credit cards that come with a travel insurance policy, you may be able to find a current account that includes travel insurance. Current accounts that include extra bonuses such as travel insurance, breakdown cover or mobile phone insurance are known as ‘packaged’ bank accounts. We go into more detail and cover the best options in our ‘Best packaged bank accounts’ article.

Alternatively, you could simply take out a standalone travel insurance policy to cover you on your next trip or all year round. Go to our ‘The best travel insurance providers in the UK in 2024’ article for the best options.

 

 

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