Note: The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted existing and future travel plans and turned greater attention to trip insurance. Read our take on specific information concerning travel insurance and COVID-19, or see our comprehensive guide to managing your finances during COVID-19.
Nobody wants to plan the trip of a lifetime only to have to cancel it — and eat the cost — when an unexpected illness or weather event pops up.
That's where the right credit card can come in handy. These four cards offer a range of travel insurance benefits that can protect you in case your trip is unexpectedly derailed.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 3x points on travel and dining worldwide, a $300 annual travel credit and a substantial welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
But it’s the travel insurance benefits that really set the Chase Sapphire Reserve® apart. Let’s start with the trip cancellation/interruption coverage. If your trip is canceled or cut short due to severe weather, illness or another eligible reason, you’ll be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per trip for nonrefundable trip expenses.
Cardholders will also get access to other travel insurance benefits like rental car collision damage waiver, lost or delayed baggage insurance, delayed trip reimbursement, travel accident insurance, emergency assistance, roadside assistance, emergency medical and dental, and emergency evacuation and transportation coverage.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
With unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has emerged as a power player in the travel rewards card space.
It’s also a great option for those who like a little safety net when they travel. The card offers secondary auto rental collision coverage and travel accident insurance, if you purchased the fare with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
And if something goes wrong, cardholders have access to 24-hour travel assistance services. Available services include things like assistance with medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation and emergency ticket replacement.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express provides secondary rental car insurance and up to $3,000 for lost, stolen or damaged luggage. Terms apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers the Premium Global Assist Hotline, available to cardholders traveling 100 miles or more from home. This 24/7 emergency hotline can help you deal with all sorts of travel disasters, including financial, legal and medical emergencies. Terms apply.
» Learn more: American Express Platinum review: Luxury isn’t cheap
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is meant for small-business owners. Travel can be an integral part of building a new business, and that’s where this card shines.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers trip cancellation/interruption coverage of up to $5,000 per trip, auto rental collision damage waiver and roadside dispatch.
This card earns you 3x points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping and other business-related expenses every year. And your points will be worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Plus, with this card, there are no foreign transaction fees. So take those savings and invest them right back into your burgeoning business. This card is best for small-business owners who need to travel to grow their businesses and who don’t mind a card with an annual fee.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card