The Complete Guide to Credit Card Insurance

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While many of us may focus on earning and redeeming points and calculate the value of our credit cards on that alone, there are additional benefits that are offered on our credit cards that aren’t so obvious. One such group of additional benefits is the insurance coverages and protections that come with various credit cards.

These insurance benefits can seem overly complex and perhaps not applicable to your situation, but many can provide economic relief should you need to file a claim for a covered incident.

Additionally, if you are aware of which insurance benefits are available and how to take advantage, you may receive a lot of extra value out of your credit cards.

In our article today we’ll look at some of the common insurances you might find on your credit cards, as well as a list of which cards carry these benefits and protections.

If you want to realize extra value from your credit card, you’ll find our list of card insurance offerings useful. After all, it’s best to know which coverages are offered on which cards, before you need to file a claim.

Before We Get Started

Before diving into the specific insurances available, let’s talk about credit card insurances in general.

First, each insurance benefit differs per credit card and card issuer. So not every card by 1 provider will have every insurance.

Next, the levels of coverages provided will vary between card issuers and individual credit card products. You’ll need to access your Guide to Benefits or Cardholder Agreement to determine the level of benefits available for your specific card. You can also call the number on the back of your card for more details on each insurance coverage.

Finally, most credit card insurances are secondary to other insurance you might have. This means that your coverage only starts where any other insurance you have ends. You also may be required to first file a claim with your own insurance before collecting from the coverages on your credit card.

For example, in the case of return protection, this means you must try to collect from the merchant from which you purchased the item before filing a claim with your card insurance.

Now, on to the collection of shopping and travel insurance benefits you might find on various credit cards.

Shopping Insurance Benefits and Protections

Most credit cards come with some level of protection for items you purchase with the applicable card. Here, we cover some of those protections and benefits that could add value if your eligible purchases are lost, stolen, damaged, or if you should find a lower price.

Purchase Protection Insurance

Woman Holding A Broken Cell Phone
Purchase protection can provide protection if an eligible item is damaged within the coverage period. Image Credit: paulzhuk via Shutterstock

Purchase protection insurance can provide coverage when an eligible product, purchased with your card, has been lost, damaged, or stolen within a stated time period from the date of purchase. Coverage limits per item, per claim, and per year may apply.

Dozens of credit cards carry this commonly-found coverage. American Express alone offers the coverage on 62 of its cards.

The following is a sample of some of the best cards that offer a purchase protection benefit, however, you can learn more about this coverage and additional information on the cards that offer it in our comprehensive article on the topic.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
American Express — Terms Apply
Citibank

Return Protection Insurance

The return protection insurance benefit covers you in cases where an item you have purchased is not accepted for return by the merchant from which you purchased it. The coverage is limited to a specific time frame from your purchase date — typically 90 days.

You’ll receive a maximum dollar value per item that you need to return, and you may have to send the item to the credit card company (although not always).

Note that you will have to cover the cost of shipping for returning items.

Here are some of the cards on which you can expect to find the return protection benefit:

Card Issuer
Applicable Card
Chase
American Express — Terms Apply
 
 

Extended Warranty Protection Insurance

apple watch macbook iphone
Extended warranty coverage can add years of protection to the manufacturer’s warranty for qualifying items. Image Credit: Dylan Ferreira via Unsplash

One of the most common credit card insurances is extended warranty protection. With this benefit, you’ll often find an additional year or more added to what you’d normally receive with a manufacturer’s warranty.

The caveat is that the original warranty has to be less than 3 to 5 years, depending on the card, and may only match the length of the manufacturer’s warranty if it is less than a year.

Here are some of the best cards that come with an extended warranty plan on eligible purchases:

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Cash card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • United℠ Explorer Card
American Express — Terms Apply
  • If you have an Amex card, chances are it has extended warranty coverage as 59 of its issued cards offer the coverage
Citibank

Cell Phone Protection

Cell phone protection is a valuable benefit that is becoming more frequent on credit cards. You’ll need to pay your monthly cell phone bill with the applicable card and be aware that financed phones, rented phones, and borrowed phones may not normally be covered.

Coverage can range in value from $600 to $1,000 with some cards allowing you to file more than 1 claim per year. Deductibles and other conditions may apply.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
American Express — Terms Apply
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express®
Barclays
  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
  • Uber Credit Card
Citibank
  • Citi Prestige card
U.S. Bank 
  • U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
 Wells Fargo
  • Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card

Price Protection

Price protection is a benefit that allows you to submit a claim if you find a lower advertised price for a purchased item. The item must be purchased with the eligible card and a claim submitted within a certain time period, typically 90 to 120 days after the purchase date.

You’ll need to provide original receipts with your claim along with copies of the advertisement where you found the lower price.

This benefit is only eligible up to a certain amount of coverage per item, as well as a total amount per year.

You’ll receive the difference between the purchased price and the advertised price you found.

Here is a sampling of the very few credit cards that still offer a price protection benefit:

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card
  • United Club℠ Card
  • United Gateway℠ Card (previously the United℠ TravelBank Card, no longer open to new applicants)
Wells Fargo
  • Wells Fargo Signature card

Bottom Line: Shopping insurances and protections for eligible items you purchase with your card can offer valuable economic benefits should the item become damaged, lost, stolen, or you find the item for a lower price. When purchasing an item with your applicable credit card, be sure to save receipts in case you need to file a claim. 

Travel Insurances

In addition to shopping protections, you’ll find several valuable travel insurance benefits on select credit cards.

Let’s dive into a few key travel insurance coverages and a list of some of the best cards on which you can find these benefits.

Primary Car Rental Insurance

Primary car rental insurance covers you when renting a vehicle and provides coverage directly without having to first file a claim with your own insurance company should you have a covered incident. Normally, you’ll find coverage for damage, theft, loss of use, and some towing coverages.

The benefit is activated when you decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) insurance from the rental car company. Liability coverage is not included on credit cards.

The following cards are among those that offer primary car rental insurance, but be sure to check out our piece dedicated to the top cards for coverage: The Best Credit Cards for Car Rental Insurance Coverage.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Cash card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
American Express
  • While Amex-issued cards do not come with primary car rental insurance (only secondary), you have the option to purchase premium primary car rental protection for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental period — terms apply

Roadside Assistance or Dispatch

Towing
You’ll have peace of mind knowing you have roadside assistance should you experience a breakdown. Image Credit: Mikadun via Shutterstock

If you get stranded by the roadside, having access to complimentary roadside assistance could be extremely valuable. Unfortunately, more and more cards are removing premium roadside assistance coverages from their offerings.

Premium roadside assistance normally covers towing (with limits), tire changing, emergency fuel delivery, jump starts, and lockout service. There can also be a cap on the amount of coverage provided for each incident. Roadside dispatch service differs in that it provides assistance securing help and normally includes a discounted service call fee, however, you will be responsible for the entire service call fee.

Here are a few cards that still offer premium roadside assistance.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • United℠ Business Card
  • United Club card
  • United Club℠ Business Card
  • United Explorer card
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Card (note that this card is no longer available to new applicants but is available as a product change from eligible Marriott-branded credit cards)

Travel Accident Insurance

The majority of credit cards offer travel accident insurance. It is an ancillary coverage that rarely gets used but one that could provide a substantial benefit should a covered event occur.

The coverage only applies should there be death or severe injury when traveling on a common carrier during a covered trip.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • United Explorer card
American Express — Terms Apply
  • 62 American Express-issued cards offer a travel accident insurance benefit

If you’re looking for the best cards offering this benefit, explore our top list of cards that offer travel accident insurance. Or, for more general information on travel insurance, check out our article on the Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Travel Insurance.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance

When your trip is canceled or disrupted you may incur unexpected expenses or change/cancellation fees. If you have the right card, you may be able to receive reimbursement if the cancellation or disruption is an event covered by the trip cancellation/interruption insurance on your card.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
 
 
 
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • United Club card
American Express — Terms Apply
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Platinum card

Trip Delay Insurance

Trip delay insurance can save the day if you are stranded at the airport, but your flight doesn’t actually get canceled. Coverage varies by card but usually kicks in after a 6-12 hour delay.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • United Club card
  • United Explorer card
American Express — Terms Apply
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Gold card
  • Amex Platinum card

Lost and Damaged Luggage Insurance

If your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen, it can put a damper on your trip. Baggage insurance can help compensate you in the event of a covered loss.

The coverage is found on a lot of cards but here are some of the best cards for luggage insurance. To learn more, check out our article on the best cards for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage insurance.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • United Club card
  • United Explorer card
American Express — Terms Apply
  • Amex Gold Card
  • Amex Platinum card
  • Blue Cash Preferred card
  • 53 Amex issued cards offer the Baggage Insurance Plan

Baggage Delay Insurance

Delayed baggage insurance provides a means to be reimbursed for incidental expenses should your baggage be delayed a specific amount of time, usually more than 6 hours.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • United Club card
  • United Explorer card

Bottom Line: Several cards offer some sort of baggage insurance. Learn about the details of this coverage and which cards offer protection if your bags are lost, stolen, damaged, or delayed, in our informative article. 

Additional Card Benefits

United Polaris Lounge ORD View
Check your credit cards for additional benefits such as lounge access, statement credits, and more. United Polaris Lounge Chicago. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

In addition to insurances and protections, you’ll find a variety of valuable benefits offered on many credit cards. Here’s a sampling of benefits you might find and

Statement Credits for Purchases

Some credit cards offer reimbursement for specific purchases in the form of a statement credit. If you can utilize this benefit, it can provide direct economic value and potentially offset much of the annual fee.

Here are some examples of cards that offer annual statement credits for specific purchases:

  • Amex Gold card — $10 monthly dining credit, $10 Uber Cash credit (starting in 2021), $100 airline incidentals fee (through December 31, 2021)
  • Amex Platinum card — $200 for Uber, $100 Saks Fifth Avenue, $200 airline incidentals fees, up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees (terms apply)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card — $300 statement credit for travel purchases (including gas and grocery purchases through June 30, 2021), $60 DoorDash credit each calendar year through 2021, up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • Citi Prestige card — $250 travel credit, up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — $250 resort credit, $200 airline incidentals credit, $100 property credit at Waldorf and Conrad (terms apply)

If you’d like to learn more about maximizing credit card statement credits, we’ve done the leg work for you in our article on this specific topic.

Hot Tip: Many credit cards have recently added additional temporary statement credit options. For example, the Amex Platinum card has added up to $40 per month in statement credits for streaming and wireless services. The offer expires December 31, 2020, and terms apply. 

Entertainment Benefits

Premium credit cards such as the Amex Platinum card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and the Citi Prestige card stand out by offering invitation-only events, VIP treatment, and presale ticket purchase access. You’ll find various levels of entertainment-related benefits on the majority of credit cards.

Learn more about these benefits and which credit cards are best for entertainment purchases in our comprehensive article.

Airport Lounge Access

If you travel frequently, you’re sure to appreciate having worldwide airport lounge access. This benefit is normally found on premium-level credit cards but other cards may offer a limited number of single-use passes.

Card IssuerApplicable CardLounge Benefit
ChasePriority Pass Select membership
United Club access
2 single-use United Club passes per card anniversary year
American Express — Terms Apply
 
 
 
 
 
Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass Select membership, International American Express Lounges, Delta Sky Club when flying Delta, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges
Priority Pass Select membership
10 Priority Pass single-access passes each anniversary year
Delta Sky Club access for cardholder
Citibank
 
Admiral’s Club access
Priority Pass Select membership

Hot Tip: If airport lounge access is important to you, you’ll want to know all about how to secure complimentary access via the right credit card. We’ve put together an article with all the information you need. 

Travel and Emergency Assistance

If something should go wrong during your travels, it’s good to know you have access to assistance 24/7. Most credit cards provide some level of travel assistance that can help you arranging emergency transportation, translation services, local medical referrals, and more.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
  • All Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders have access to the Travel and Emergency Assistance services hotline
American Express
  • All U.S. American Express issued cards have the Global Assist Hotline
  • Amex Platinum card members have access to the Premium Global Assist Hotline
  • Terms apply

Complimentary Concierge Service

Need hard-to-get dining reservations, help to arrange a birthday celebration, or assistance finding that perfect last-minute gift? One call to your complimentary concierge assistant could be the answer to your problem.

Premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the Amex Platinum card, and the Citi Prestige card offer elite-level dedicated concierge service privy to only their premium cardholders. However, you can find concierge service on several other cards.

Card IssuerApplicable Card
Chase
 
 
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Chase Visa Signature cards have Visa Signature Concierge service
American Express – Terms Apply
 
 
 
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Gold card
  • Amex Platinum card
Citibank
  • AAdvantage Executive World Elite card
  • Citi Prestige card

Hotel Elite Status Benefits

Hyatt Andaz Mayakoba Pool
Some credit cards offer complimentary hotel elite status. Hyatt Andaz Mayakoba Pool. Image Credit: Hyatt

Many hotel-branded credit cards come with hotel loyalty program elite status just for having the card.

Hotel Program and Cards that Provide Complimentary Elite Status

Marriott Bonvoy

Hilton Honors

World of Hyatt

IHG Rewards Club

Bottom Line: Having hotel loyalty program elite status can deliver great benefits such as room upgrades, on-site amenities, greater earnings, early check-in, late checkout, and more. We’ve mentioned just a few of the major programs here, but for more information on these and additional cards offering complimentary hotel elite status and a faster path to elite status, check out our detailed article. 

Additional Hotel Affiliation Benefits

Dig a little deeper when you’re looking for hotel elite benefits on your credit card. Many cards have affiliations with luxury hotel programs and offer elite-type benefits when using your card to book a stay.

You’ll find perks such as upgraded rooms, early check-in, late checkout, on-site amenities, daily hotel credits, complimentary breakfast, and more.

Card IssuerApplicable CardsAffiliated Hotel Program
Chase
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Most Chase Visa Signature cards
Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
American Express — Terms Apply

 

 

 

Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Platinum Card
  • Centurion card
American Express Hotel Collection

Using Your Card’s Insurance Benefits

Your Guide to Benefits is the definitive source for how to utilize the benefits found on your card, but you can always call the number on the back of your card to quickly find out which benefits you have and how to file a claim.

Like all insurance, filing a claim can be complicated and require receipts, copies of credit card statements, and other necessary documentation. You’ll also want to pay attention to specific deadlines for notifying the claims administrator of the loss and when the needed documentation needs to be submitted.

Keep in mind that credit card issuers do not handle insurance claims directly but utilize a third-party administrator. As a result, you’ll need to submit appropriate credit card statements and other seemingly redundant documentation.

In the end, however, the insurance that comes on your credit card could be an economic benefit should you need to file a claim.

Final Thoughts

You’ll notice that we have not included every possible card offering each of these insurance coverages, protections, and benefits, but provided a sampling of the best cards in each category. To learn more about each coverage, and additional cards that offer a specific benefit, you’ll find links to further information included throughout this article.

Also note that coverages can be dropped or added at any time by the card issuer, so be sure to check your card’s Guide to Benefits or Cardholder Agreement for current coverage information.

The shopping and travel insurance benefits that come with your credit card can be some of the most underutilized benefits due to cardholders not knowing that these benefits exist.

Learning which benefits you have on each card could come in handy, potentially providing an economic benefit should you experience an unforeseen event.


Frequently asked questions

What types of insurances are offered with credit cards?

Credit cards can offer you many different protections like Price Protection, Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Extended Warranty Protection, Cell Phone Protection, Car Rental Insurance, Travel Accident Insurance, Trip Cancellation Insurance, and many more.

Is credit card insurance worth it?

Most of the insurances that come with your credit card offer secondary coverage. This means that you must first file a claim with any other insurance that might apply.

However, in the case where no other insurance applies, or if the airline or insurance company does not pay the claim in full, credit card insurance can be beneficial and worth it.

Also, there is no additional cost for the insurance that comes on your credit card.

Does credit card insurance cover COVID-19?

The travel insurance you have on your credit cards does not cover trip cancellations due to the fear of getting COVID-19. However, if you should need to cancel your trip or your trip is disrupted because you became ill, you may find coverage on your credit card.

Since each card coverage varies, you’ll want to reference your Guide to Benefits or call the number on the back of your card for additional information.

How can I tell if my card has travel insurance?

When you received your credit card in the mail, it came with a Guide to Benefits and/or Cardholder Agreement. These documents are the definitive resources for the benefits, protections, and insurances you have on your card.

You can also access these documents by logging into your credit card account online.

Another option is to call the number on the back of your card.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. Why is Capital One Venture not included on these lists? They have significant travel and retail benefits. Using this card more often for travelling now that Citibank has removed most travel protection benefits from their cards.

    Reply

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