Travelers Waste Money on This Product They Can Get Free

Here's how to avoid blowing money on a travel expense you might even already have in your wallet.

Travelers Waste Money on This Product They Can Get Free Photo by kgarinKhun / Shutterstock.com

Folks are spending more money on travel insurance — and some of them may be wasting every penny.

AAA reports that its domestic and international travel insurance sales increased 13 percent last year compared with 2016 — and have increased 20 percent so far this year.

But that is often a waste of money. Many folks already have travel insurance — for free — thanks to their credit cards. So, anyone who buys this type of insurance without first checking whether their credit card already offers it as a perk could be throwing away that cash.

Similarly, anyone who travels often but doesn’t have free travel insurance through a credit card may find it worthwhile to look for a new credit card that offers the perk.

The best credit cards for travel insurance

WalletHub recently analyzed 64 credit cards that offer the perk of travel insurance. The site reports:

“Credit card travel insurance can reimburse cardholders in the event of cancelled trips, missed connections, lost or delayed luggage, or even death. But coverage amounts and restrictions vary widely based on the type of card you have, the company that issues it and the card network it’s affiliated with.”

WalletHub rated the 64 cards based on three main factors:

  • Travel accident insurance
  • Luggage insurance
  • Eligibility cost and extra coverage

The credit cards that earned the highest overall ratings are:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 92.9 percent
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 87.5 percent
  • Citi ThankYou Premier Card: 85.2 percent

Is travel insurance right for you?

Of course, there’s no point in opening a new credit card for travel insurance — or any other benefit — if you don’t need the benefit.

As we report in “14 Insurance Products That Are a Waste of Money,” travel insurance is a waste of money in some situations. They include when:

  • Your policy is riddled with exclusions.
  • You choose a policy that doesn’t cover the risks you are likely to encounter.
  • You buy coverage for risks you aren’t likely to encounter.
  • You only stand to lose the cost of the airline ticket cancellation fee.

To learn more about whether travel insurance is right for you, check out “Ask Stacy: Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

If you’re ready to buy travel insurance, see “Here’s How to Get a Travel Insurance Policy That Makes Sense.”

What’s your take on travel insurance? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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